Terre Rouge and Easton Wines was founded in the late 80s by husband and wife team Bill Easton and Jane O’Riordan. Winemaker Bill Easton began his career in the wine business working for small California wineries. In the late 70's he founded Solano Cellars, a wine shop in Berkeley, California, specializing in small artisan producers from around the world. From years in the shop and traveling extensively in Europe, Bill's palate and style of winemaking developed. He creates wines that are balanced and elegant, with complexity that develops as the wines age in bottle. The French call it élevage, which is "raising" the wine in the bottle. There is an art to this style of winemaking and great pleasure in a wine that is ready to drink, while still showing great promise for future aging.
This is the nineteenth vintage of our Les Côtes de l’Ouest Syrah. It is made from fruit grown (about 60% of the blend) at a superb vineyard site that is planted in the hills just west of the Amador County line, just a few miles from the Mokelumne River in Clements Hills (a new Lodi sub-appellation). Tight spacing, vertical trellising, and upward shoot positioning give the fruit maximum sun exposure to promote full flavor development. It is blended with our mountain Syrah (the remaining 40% of the blend) grown at several other sites. We chose theses sites because of their impeccable vineyard management (some of which we farm) and their flavor compatibility. The soils at the Clements Hills site are alluvium granite rock (Monpellier & Cometa) and the climate is moderated by Delta cooling. The other sites are a variety of volcanic and granite-based soil series that develop grapes with small cluster morphology. We find this wine is very forward and drinkable shortly after bottling, making it a great everyday Syrah, and perfect as a restaurant glass pour.
This 2017 vintage has beautiful color with rich, silky, wild raspberry fruit flavors laced with pepper, sage, tar, and olive/herb tones. Aromas are raspberry, smoky, wild gamey, peppery, and cinnamon. The wine has a clean purity of Syrah fruit that is reminiscent of many St. Joseph’s and other Northern Rhone's. It has forward fruit flavors and great acid balance. It is very smooth and savory in the mouth.
We harvested theses Syrah sites at about the normal calendar date in 2017, which was the 11th of September at 24.5 to 25.0˚ brix. The berry size was about normal in 2017, but we decided to co-ferment the Syrah with a bit of Viognier in each fermentor to finesse the wine. The grapes were lightly-crushed and fermented in our larger tanks and irrigated to minimize tannin extraction and aged 17 months in 20% new and 80% used French oak barrels. The finished wine is 96% Syrah and 4% Viognier. It was bottled at the end of March in 2019. We think this is always one of the best bottles of Syrah on the market for around 20 bucks!
14.5% alcohol by vol.; 3.82 pH; 6.3 gm./liter total acidity
Release Date: November 2020