(2011 Vintage) Syrah, which developed its reputation in the dry, continental climate of the Rhone Valley, tends to favor warm growing areas that develop the dark fruit and fine spices that make this varietal so memorable. To capture such a profile, we sourced our fruit from vineyards throughout Lodi, Paso Robles and Solano. Here, temperatures heat up considerably during the day, allowing the rich sugars to develop, and then cool off again at night, maintaining fine acids and well-balanced flavors. The Syrah for our Cuvee blend was harvested in small lots and fermented individually. Upon completion of fermentation, we evaluated the unique profile of each lot and selected a blend that would give us the complexity and heartiness we desired. To open up the spice component and add a dollop of fruit, we blended in approximately four percent Viognier, a common blending partner in Cote-Rotie. We used mostly neutral oak, 50 percent French and 50 percent American, to lend a touch of barrel character while keeping the wine approachable up front.