Reminiscent of fresh-baked spice cake right out of the oven, this expressive wine has a nose of blackberry, blueberry and sweet pipe smoke that prefaces a savory palate of dark fruit, cocoa, grilled game, and clove with an underpinning of dusty tannins and fresh acidity. Shy in its youth due to a cool vintage, it will develop more elegance and complexity over time. Age five to seven years.
The heart of the Paso Robles AVA lies 25 miles inland from the coast with mild conditions in winter, spring and fall. Summers are mostly hot and dry, but a break in the coastal range called the “Templeton Gap” allows a marine layer to move inland late in the afternoon, lowering temperatures and providing the cool evenings and nights that promote well-balanced grape acidity.
The El Pomar district of Paso Robles is characterized by heavy clay soils and a close proximity to the Templeton Gap that generate consistently ripe fruit and enormous complexity in the finished wines.
Sextant Vineyards is situated at 400 feet above sea level on rolling hills and terraces east of the Salinas River. The site was planted in 2000 with eight acres of Clone 877 that were later trained in the vertical shoot position. Developed and certified by the French research group ENTAV, this newer syrah selection produces rich, fruit-forward wines. The dark and heavy clay soils contain fair amounts limestone and shale that channel photosynthesis into full grape development in lieu of excessive vine growth. The combined effect of soil, clone and climate engenders deeply tinted syrah with bright fruit components.