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The Story

From low yielding clonal selections originating in the Cote-Rotie and Hermitage regions of France, the IX Estate Syrah is characterized by the Old World aromatics of the Northern Rhone and a remarkably nuanced bouquet of cured meat, pepper, blackberry, coffee and acacia, graced with a black floral uplift. Its voluptuous texture, savory palate with mouthwatering tannins, and dense black color is truly irresistible, smooth and expressive. Considered “one of the most unique Syrahs being made in California today.”


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Written Notes

Amazing aromas of graphite, blackcurrant, black pepper, and blue fruit. Slate, too. Full-bodied, yet so agile and light, in a way that makes it irresistible to taste and drink. The palate is full of flavor with extraordinary mushroom, dried-meat., chocolate and black-fruit character. So long, with a creamy texture from the intense yet fine tannins. Great finish. Hard not to drink now, but will be better in 2025.

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The 2018 "IX Estate" Syrah attracts with alluring notes of violets, plum, and licorice. Warmed spice notes of toasted coriander seed, white pepper, and salt brine entice a sip and are complemented by salivating notes of smoked bacon. Deep, yet elegantly textured tannins frame the palate with a voluminous and juicy finish.

The 2018 growing season in Napa Valley will be remembered for its mild weather throughout the year. The dormant season of winter, however, began with an unusually dry spell. Half of the rain we received did not arrive until after March 1st. A modest 20 inches in total, slightly below our average (notably less than half of what fell in the unusual winter of 2017). By mid-April, the rains ceased and a contented season in the vineyard unfolded. Perhaps the biggest challenge to the entire season was the burgeoning grasses on the vineyard floor, a sign of the healthy soils.
Weather in May was cool, giving us moderate growth of the vines. A few sprinkles of rain occurred at the tail end, causing some flowers to shatter during bloom, resulting in looser clusters at harvest. Temperatures for the remainder of the season were incredibly mild. Much like 2013 and 2016, there was only 1 day over 100 degrees at the IX Estate for the entire year.
The Merlot and Syrah were harvested the last week in September, before a rain event the first week of October. Drying winds coupled with our timely removal of leaves enhanced airflow around the clusters. We began harvesting once again in the second week of October. The photogenic clusters harvested in 2018 had dark blue plump berries rich in flavor.
The wines of this vintage are classic and pure, with a spectrum of flavor and are aromatically pixelated. They exhibit an intellectual character which displays distinct moods with time in the glass. Counter to some vintages, the 2018’s transform from savory aromatics into deeply fruity aromatics rather than vice versa. As they open, their chiseled, firm tannins evolve into a very full, velvety texture.

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St. Helena, Napa Valley
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