WHY WE LOVE IT
- The Syrah grapes are sourced from two incredible vineyards in the Napa Valley – Hudson in Los Carneros and Stagecoach on Atlas Peak. These unique sites within cooler Napa Valley AVAs lend this wine its signature characteristics.
Varietal Composition: 100% Syrah
Elaboration: Forty-seven percent of the Syrah grapes were destemmed and fermented in stainless steel tanks and 11% were destemmed and fermented in concrete tanks. These grapes were cold-soaked for 4 days, then fermented at a maximum temperature of 92F, and were pressed off the skins after 7-10 days. The remaining 42% was whole-cluster fermented in open-top fermenters. These grapes were fermented at a maximum temperature of 87F, and the wine was pressed off the skins after 7 days. After pressing, the wine was transferred to French Oak Burgundy barrels where it underwent malolactic fermentation. The wine was kept on heavy lees for several months and was stirred twice a month during this time. The coopers used in this wine include Francois Freres, Meyrieux, and Sirugue, of which, 68% were new barrels. The wine was aged in these barrels for 16 months prior to bottling.
Tasting Notes: This wine has savory aromas of white and black pepper, dried meats, and grilled mushroom along with the sweet aromas of blueberry, plum, and huckleberry pie. The palate is rich and dense with firm tannin, bright acidity, and a lasting finish. Like the nose, the flavors here are sweet and savory with blueberry, plum, au jus, white pepper, and grilled meats. The whole-cluster fermentation adds even more complexity with some green peppercorn and spice on the nose and a little bite in the finish. The oak imparts smokiness to the nose and bittersweet chocolate to the finish.
2015 – 92 Wine Spectator
2016 – 94 Wine Spectator | 95 Wine Advocate | 96 Jeb Dunnuck
2018 – 92 Wine Spectator | 93 Wine Advocate | 96 Vinous
2019 – 92 Wine Advocate
Based on a mutual love and passion for wine, Governor Gavin Newsom and composer/philanthropist Gordon Getty opened a wine store with a mission of creating an approachable environment for people to learn about and purchase wine. Newsom and Getty were inspired by one of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters, Sir John “PlumpJack” Falstaff. A down-to-earth, fun-loving, irreverent character, rivaled only by his fierce loyalty to Prince Hal (Henry V), with whom he shares more than a few goblets of sack (wine) at the local tavern. With this philosophy in mind and an opportunity to create their own winery, Newsom and Getty acquired a century-old 42-acre vineyard in the Napa Valley. Dating back to 1881, this property is one of the oldest operating wineries in the Napa Valley, known then as Mount Eden Winery.
Positioned on the eastern side of the Oakville appellation, tucked below the foothills of the Vaca mountain range, their 42-acre estate vineyard is the cornerstone of their winemaking program at PlumpJack Estate Winery. They are extremely fortunate to have several different soil types on the property, giving them the ability to cultivate and blend copious blocks with different flavors and characteristics to craft wines with intriguing complexity.The majority of the estate lies on a rocky, gravelly base that has been coated in alluvial soils that were washed down from the Vaca Mountains. This alluvial fan spilled out across the east side of the estate sharing land rich in volcanic nutrients creating a near-perfect soil composition – the gravelly base provides excellent water drainage, putting more stress on the vines, and the robust volcanic soils create more complex aromatics with structured, concentrated dark fruit character. Moving to the west of the estate, towards the bowl of the Napa Valley, a few different soil variations are present. Here the vines are influenced by sandy loam soils, and it’s this part of our property that we see expressions of raspberry, cherry, mint and the quintessential Oakville component, sage. The last part of the estate, the west most portion, lies in the Napa River flood zone and is predominantly clay based. This particular soil and corridor of the property does not drain as well as the west side of the property. It is for this reason that they have planted a couple rows of Sauvignon Blanc and Viogner, all of which thrive here with the extra dosage of water.
Today, Winemaker Aaron Miller and his team continue the winemaking heritage at PlumpJack Estate Winery by producing elegant wines that pay tribute to the Oakville estate vineyard and that has earned critical-acclaim.