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“Outstanding aromatic complexity. 94 rating.”John Gilman on 2015 North Canyon Road Syrah
“Edmunds St. John is one of the most important and trailblazing wineries in the state of California.”John Gilman
“As fine a Syrah as we've ever bottled.”Steve Edmunds
There are few winemakers in this world who are as tireless in their 30th year of making wine as they were in their first. Steve Edmunds is that rarity.
Having established himself in the 1980s as the California winemaker who best understood the magic of Northern Rhône Syrah, he never stopped looking for terroirs and combinations of terroirs with which to capture that magic.
In 1988, he was excited by the Côte-Rôtie-like nuance in the Syrah of El Dorado County’s Fenaughty Vineyard, but he thought the wine lacked weight. It wasn’t until 1997 that he found Fenaughty’s perfect mate: the nearby Wylie Vineyard. The 2005 Wylie-Fenaughty Syrah was one of the truly revelatory California wines we’ve ever experienced.
But Steve’s quest for his perfect Syrah marriage wasn’t finished. In 2013, he combined Fenaughty fruit with old-vine Syrah from nearby Barsotti Ranch. Though just two miles down the road, Barsotti had the granite to complement Fenaughty’s volcanic clay-loam soil, adding structure and minerality to the perfumed suppleness of Fenaughty. His first effort, a 50/50 blend, was promising, but Steve thought he could do better. So, in the frost-reduced 2015 vintage, he increased the percentage of Fenaughty to 65%. Bingo.
The wine is the 2015 North Canyon Road Syrah. And at $35 a bottle, it is one of the great bargains in wine today.
John Gilman - View From the Cellar
“Steve Edmunds’ North County Road bottling of syrah is composed of sixty-five percent fruit from Fenaughty Vineyard and thirty-five percent from Barsotti Ranch. The 2015 vintage comes in at 13.5 percent octane and delivers outstanding aromatic complexity in its mix of raspberries, smoked meats, pepper, lavender, stony minerality, beautiful spice tones, bonfire and a bit of new oak. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and very elegant in profile, with a fine structural chassis, an excellent core of fruit, ripe, seamless tannins and a long, tangy and complex finish that shows superb grip and backend lift. Surprisingly, this is more expressive today on the palate than it is on the nose. It is stellar syrah in the making. (Drink between 2025-2055)”
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