Twenty-nineteen marked our 2nd vintage working with the La Cruz Vineyard. There is an inherent richness and depth to the fruit from La Cruz Vineyard that requires restraint to preserve the purity and balance of the finished wine. A selection of two clones were harvested between September 20th and the 28th. The Noir selection was picked first. True to name, it brings dark fruit and structure which act as the backbone of the wine. The following week the Alban selection was harvested and always adds soaring aromatics, reminiscent of the wines of Allemand. Grown on the thinner soils at the top of the hill, its red-fruited freshness and ample acidity allow for the use of whole cluster and is the perfect complement to the Noir. Organically farmed, 100% native fermentation, 50% whole cluster, no additions, bottled unfined and unfiltered (13.3% alc).
94 John Gilman, View from the Cellar
“The 2019 La Cruz Vineyard bottling of syrah from Model Farm comes in at 13.3 percent octane, included fifty percent whole clusters this year and, as is customary with Sean and Joanna’s wines, was fermented with indigenous yeasts and was raised in older French oak casks. The wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered and offers up a superb bouquet of red and black raspberries, sweet cassis, grilled meats, pepper, stony soil, beautiful spice tones and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, focused and complex, with a fine core of fruit, excellent soil undertow and grip, ripe, buried tannins and a long, vibrant and perfectly balanced finish. This is outstanding syrah in the making! 2032-2075+.
La Cruz Vineyard was planted in 1989 by Ted Lemon for the Keller Family. Located at the southeastern end of the Petaluma Gap appellation, La Cruz is one of the farthest vineyards from the namesake ‘Gap’ where the wind and fog funnel in from the ocean every afternoon. This slight change in climate from the rest of the appellation affords the vines extend sunshine and a bit of extra warmth, leading to deeper, richer fruit while still maintaining the trademark freshness that defines Syrah from the Petaluma Gap. We find the wines from this site to be distinct counterpoint to our ‘Estate’ Petaluma Gap Syrah.
Hillside vineyard in the South Eastern Petaluma Gap Appellation