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2009 Sheridan Singularity Syrah RP--91


Item Description: This bottle is in new condition with no known issues

Tasting Notes

Robert Parker: 91 Points
Sheridan’s pure Syrah 2009 Singularity has picked up a lot of caramelized resin and firm, formidable tannin, but there is also a wealth of cepage-typical virtues: richly ripe cherry with creme de cassis and chocolate; sage and mint both pungent and metaphorically cooling; black pepper and charred, roasted red meat. What’s more, in comparison with other Sheridan bottlings from this vintage, the tannins here are practically svelte and silken! (Okay, that’s an exaggeration, you understand: there’s still plenty to chew here.) There is even a suggestion of crushed stone to undergird and add interest to the sustained finish. Check this again in 2-3 years and anticipate at least that much time again to ponder and savor its virtues. Scott Greer confesses to having made “every mistake you can” in the initial course of planting his small vineyard on an overgrown former apple orchard in the Rattlesnake Hills. But based on what I could observe of his site and wines as well as those of Chris Camarda’s next-door Two Blondes, it seems as though nature may also have thrown up a bit of a roadblock in the form of hard-pan caliche not far from the surface in much of this sector, a feature that could quite conceivably be implicated in the extremely chewy, often drying tannins of so many Greer wines, characteristics that I would think encourage a lighter hand with fermentative extraction than he seems to have been willing to exercise. Apropos fermentations, they are generally yeasted and by Greer’s own admission “hot,” and he favors punch-down and rack-and-return over irrigation of the cap, but pre-fermentative cold soak can last as long as six days. Greer manages as well as sources fruit from nearby Dineen and Meek vineyards (making wines for the latter – reviewed separately in this report – in a common facility). Extremely eager and articulate, he reveals the personality that drove this financial planner as he turned into a wine grower, but also reveals that – after a dozen vintages, ever-more intensive planning, and heaps of critical praise (to which I’m afraid I won’t very significantly add) – he has become a veteran (though happily one not as hardened as are some of his wines). Greer says he harvests when “seeds are cocoa brown, stems are dark brown, (and) with a slight sagging of the grape skin itself (which) tells me that the vine is starting to shut down and has given me all it has,” but he acknowledges that in 2009 there was puckering, not merely sagging, of skins and more than the usual instances of shut down in the course of an especially hot high summer, features all traceable in the resultant wines. “We picked all of our Cabernet in two days from October 9-10,” relates Greer, whereas “usually we take two weeks and begin around the 18th at the earliest.” The 2010s here represent a predictably strong contrast. Greer calls them “Washington-” and his 2009s “California-style.” Wines labeled by Greer for a specific varietal, incidentally, are virtually always 100% from that grape because he thinks – whether or not one credits his reasoning – that it’s misleading to, for instance “say ‘Cabernet Sauvignon,’ but then put a bunch of other varietals in there to change that (varietal) aspect of the wine. I want a pure expression of Cabernet Sauvignon, or Syrah.” (Inaugural releases from Greer and his Sheridan Vineyard under the label “Crossfork Creek” are reviewed separately in this report under that name.)

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