Mormann Vineyard is an under-the-radar ranch in the north-west corner of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, whose neighbors include Clos Pepe, Machado, Hilliard Bruce, and Kessler Hawk. The vineyard was first planted in 1999 and 2001 and operated for years as the Rozak Ranch Vineyard before changing hands.
The vines are grown on what is essentially a beach sand dune that is incredibly nutrient deficient with great drainage. This means that overly vigorous canopy is never a problem, and the yields are always low and concentrated. The vines struggle in this cool wind swept area which produces wines with beautiful natural acidity and bright, pure fruit flavors.
This bottling was made by hand-picking two different clones of Syrah at the end of the season. The fruit was harvested in November and still had quite low brix. We crushed both clones into the same tank and left 50% of the clusters whole in the fermentation. The ripe stems add tannin structure and beautiful savory characters.
A cooler-climate array of aromas and flavors comes through in the 2013 Syrah Mormann. Resonant and beautifully put together, the 2013 speaks to balance, with none of the elements sticking out. The interplay between dark varietal fruit and more savory, peppery notes is compelling. This powerful Syrah could use another year in bottle, but it is already delicious. The 2013 was fermented with 33% whole clusters and spent 14 months in neutral oak with no racking prior to bottling. Drink this racy Syrah over the next handful of years.