Edmunds St. John
Syrah “Bassetti Vineyard” San Luis Obispo County
13.7% ABV | Price: about $45
Bassetti Vineyard, says winemaker Steve Edmunds, is an exceptional site. It must be. Fruit for the 2001 vintage derived from fourth leaf vines in only their second year of production, yet the wine exhibits tremendous confidence and self-possession.
The winemaking was straightforward: grapes were de-stemmed and put into open-top fermenters, the cap was punched down three times per day, and the wine was pressed at dryness. It spent less than a year in very old French puncheons, and was bottled in summer of 2002. Production was only about 150 cases. Regrettably, Edmunds no longer had access to the vineyard after 2005.
The 2001 is still resplendently alive, with gorgeous green olive, smoky black olive, juniper berry, and piney herbal aromas. The palate yields supple leather and cedar notes above earthy, savory depths. It has languorous finish.
Meat, earth, gravity. Truly wonderful, and sorely missed.