We’ve found plenty to like in every bottling of our Estate grapes but that doesn’t preclude constantly examining the harvest outcomes with a critical eye. This is part of an ongoing fine-tuning of our approaches (both to our viticultural and vinification strategies) with the goal of producing the best (and most interesting) possible expression of our home site.
While this 2014 possesses familiar flavor details from previous years (a hint of 2008’s depth, the lush fruit core of 2009, the elegance and focus of 2012), the completeness of it dazzles. The 10th harvest seems to have it all, and it feels like a breakthrough pleasure to share the fruit of our efforts: brilliant blue/violet hued, deep dark fruit notes with a complex spice element, and pleasantly chewy tannins. It’s built for the long haul but is all enticingly filled with youthful charm.
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Varietals: 97% Syrah, 3% Viognier
Harvest Date: 9/23 & 9/30
Production: 235 cases
Fermentation: Aged 22 months in Kadar 400 L puncheons of which 20% were new Baker Lane Estate vineyard, though
non-certified, is farmed using organic/bio-dynamic principles. A cold soak of seven days preceded a natural yeast fermentation with no added enzymes.
2018 Baker Lane Estate Syrah, Sonoma Coast
The vinous denouement of this fortuitous winegrowing narrative has a warm violet robe that confirms its lush, supple expression of ripe berries, and hints of Asian spice and lightly smoked meat. It’s youthful but impressively expressive nose leads to a lively, textured mouthfeel whose integrated tannin and acid elements lifts the palate and propels it forward with grace and balance. The sky is the limit for the broadly (even exotically) flavored fare food choices with which this bottling could marry with delicious style.
Owners: Owned and operated by Stephen Singer and Michel Boynton
Location: Sebastopol, California
Baker Lane Vineyards Family, located in Sebastopol, California, is owned and operated by Stephen Singer and Michel Boynton. The winery has provided Stephen the rare opportunity to transform its 15 acres in to a bio-dynamically farmed Syrah and Viognier vineyard with singular terroir, olive orchard and home. Baker Lane’s mission to produce sustainably grown, exceptional expressions of cool climate (and most importantly, table friendly) Syrah, Viognier and Pinot Noir has appropriately drawn on all aspects of Stephen’s skill set.
Baker Lane Vineyards was inspired by great wines from around the world that express something distinctive and delicious about taste and site. The agricultural practices propel a commitment to winegrowing and winemaking that gains empirical heft with each passing year of boots in the vineyard. As distinct taste expressions emerge from each harvest, it’s clear that there IS a special flavor identity that comes to mind and palate. A decade of winemaking has confirmed the flavor and character of Baker Lane Wine’s terroir; now it’s our pleasurable quest to produce the best version of it that each growing season will allow.
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
@tercerowines Thanks, since we are short of Rats, your recommendation is encouraging. Also in a later post someone mentioned “cool climate” and that is encouraging as I tend to Columbia Valley or Walla Walla, and generally stay away from the CA ones just for the reason that I might find them overly bright and forward. Syncline is one of my favorite WA small producers.
@CorTot@rjquillin state / region? Assuming it might be the west coast one we are thinking of? I haven’t been in recently but it used to be one of my frequent stops. Selection varied by state, and then, different stores: some had really good wine buyers and grabbed a lot of great and interesting stuff, others didn’t seem to care and had a small section with the same regular stuff year after year.
@cocacola08 I don’t know if WCC or the winery determines the price delta. Also whether the “small” option is 2, 4, or 6 bottles. Obviously shipping comes in to play since it still costs quite a bit to just send 2 bottles.
Worst, for me, is that now, based on bad experiences this Summer, I always have to add $9.99 UPS “upcharge” fee because I might be away for a few days, and you have no idea when the order will actually ship. FedEx would send to air-conditioned FedEx Office for free and keep for a week. UPS up-charges for everything. $9.99 per box to delay for a few days, which I had to pay on a recent shipment of 2 boxes, so basically $20 extra. Makes me resist buying sometimes.
I’d probably buy more of they offered 6 packs for a reasonable upcharge. Something like a dollar or two. When it gets over $5 it’s pretty much a deal killer for me. With all I have, that might be a good thing.
@pmarin Not sure if you have this option but I signed up for unlimited changes under UPS My Choice - $20 for 1st year (then I think its $40 per year) - I use it to redirect to nearby Michaels store (as UPS Customer Service Center is no longer an option) but I think you may be able to change delivery date as well.
This is definitely cool climate juice, so keep that in mind.
It’s usually quality wine, but it’s not a “in your face ripe fruit ball”.
Ive had multiple vintages and all have been made in that style.
Also check CTr for notes on previous vintages.
@wino121 Actually, that makes me much more tempted to get it. I intentionally avoid some of that “hot, fresh juice” character in both Syrah and PN. So I tend towards WA state (Columbia Valley, Walla Walla, and sub-AVAs) for Syrah, and Oregon for PNs mostly.
So, since now I’m considering it for the next few hours until deal expires – wait, were there Rats?
BTW when reviewing CT (which I did based on @wino121 recommendation, thanks!) note that there are two apparently-different styles: this is the Estate, and the other is Sonoma Coast Cuvée. The estate seems to ask for more aging and breathing, the Coast Cuvée described as lighter and thinner but still pleasant, just a different style.