Tierra Alta vineyard is a dramatically steep site that is full of chalky white limestone. It’s because of this soil profile, these wines always carry a strong streak of minerality.
The wide variation between the tops and bottoms of the slopes contribute to the energy in the wine. Richness and power from lean soils at the top of the hill, juiciness, and freshness from the heavier soils at the bottoms. This dynamism also plays out in the micro-climate of the area.
Tierra Alta is perched at the northern end of Ballard Canyon, and feels the fog pushing and pulling against it almost every day during the growing season - filling up the canyon in the morning and emptying out in the evening.
Ballard Canyon is Santa Barbara’s newest AVA, and has carved a niche among the world’s greatest Syrah producing regions. Ballard Canyon Syrahs rest in the middle of the grape’s stylistic range, possessing great weight and rich textures, while maintaining vibrancy and freshness.
Tierra Alta has been the backbone of my Syrah program since the very beginning in 2007. Every year, we have refined our approach to the different blocks and clones. We’ve tinkered with various percentages of stem inclusion, harvest ripeness, fermentation regime, etc. I am now at a point where I feel like I have a firm grasp on how to interact with the ranch, and I’m producing stronger and stronger wines every year.
Iron, smoke, tobacco, black olives, cedar and black cherries meld together in the 2012 Syrah Tierra Alta. It’s rich and explosive through to the finish. The 2012 boasts terrific depth and density in a meaty, full- bodied style. This wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered in April of 2014.