With generations of farming history in Monterey County, and a commitment to making exceptional wines, The Pisoni Family hand-crafts the Lucia wines from the Pisoni, Garys’ and Soberanes Vineyards of the Santa Lucia Highlands.
2017 Susan’s Hill Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands, California
Drizzly days, showery days, days of driving rain: after several years of drought conditions, the thirteen inches of moisture that soaked into the parched earth prior to the 2017 harvest provided an incredibly welcome start to the growing season. Although the total rainfall was only slightly higher than our annual average, it was more than two-and- a half times greater than the meager five inches we received during each of the two preceding years. The warm, wet winter offered a very healthy start to the grapevines, encouraging them to build strong canopies. Budbreak began the third week of March, and the increased growth that followed kept Mark and his team well-occupied shaping and managing the canopy throughout the spring to maintain excellent vine balance. Like the winter, the summer that followed was warmer than average. Nonetheless, the Santa Lucia Highlands experienced their typical coastal winds and cooling morning fog. The result was that the growing season progressed nicely with excellent phenological development of the vines. A record-level heat wave surprised us in essentially all regions of California at the beginning of September. The heat prompted us to begin the harvest in some of our blocks the first week of the month. We irrigated others to maintain and support the ripening grapes amid the heat; by October 6th, approximately a month after we began the harvest, we took in the last batch of fruit.
Susan’s Hill, named for Gary’s sister Susan, is a special block within Pisoni Vineyards. Planted in 2001, this block sits on a rocky outcrop and crowns one of the vineyard’s highest ridges. Its peak is exposed to the elements and buffeted by heavy winds. The coarse, rocky soils ensure that the vines are extremely stressed, resulting in wines that are dark in color and very intense.
The Pisoni Family is committed to raising and hand-crafting exceptional wines. The limited production Lucia wines are created using classic, gentle and thoughtful winemaking techniques. Hand-picked and sorted grapes are fermented with native yeast and aged in carefully selected French oak barrels. Our state-of-the-art winemaking facility uses gravity flow as part of a custom design conceived to merge the estate vineyards and winery. This affords us complete control of the farming and winemaking process, ensuring consistently superior quality.
Inky black at the core and surrounded by a dark purple halo, the 2017 Lucia Susan’s Hill Syrah announces its presence emphatically without the slightest swirl in the glass. Powerful aromatics of blackberry, black pepper, smoky bacon fat, and fresh coffee grounds seamlessly transition on the palate, where they complement a complex, mouth-coating structure. Unique to this wine is its 14-month aging in a single French oak foudre, larger in size than conventional wine barrels, and whose influence adds depth and concentration of flavor on the palate before giving way to a long-lasting finish. As is common with the wines from the granite-laden soils and sundrenched rows of Susan’s Hill, this wine’s youthful acidity and persistent tannin structure promise a decade’s long life in bottle.
|20 months in Foudre (317 gallon). 100% New.
|100% French Oak
|100% Native Yeast 2017