2018 Arroyo Grande Valley Syrah, Rim Rock Vineyard


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The Rim Rock Vineyard is Piedrasassi’s flagship site. We first started working with the grapes in 2007 and have leased and farmed the vineyard since 2016. Rim Rock lies only a few miles from the Pacific Ocean on an outcropping of weathered shale. The ground is almost entirely made up of small stones with only a margin of clay. Consequently, yields are always very low here. Planted in 1988 to own-rooted Chardonnay, the vineyard was grafted to Syrah in 2001. In our opinion, this is one of the most unique Syrah sites in California.

What makes the Rim Rock vineyard so unique is the extremely low vigor of the vines. At first glance, these vines look younger with their skinny trunks. However, by midgrowing season, it’s obvious that these vines are being restricted by the soil — both from fewer available nutrients and diminished access to water. All this leads to vines which are low yielding, but balanced in their growth and canopy development. The Rim Rock vineyard requires very little “farming.” The vines just naturally produce fantastic grapes. We usually have the longest “hang-time” with this vineyard which brings the blue fruits out in Syrah!

The Rim Rock Syrah presents itself with a deep purple color and a nose full of black currants, violets, matsutake mushrooms and crushed white pepper. On the palate the tannins are dusty and long, with an aftertaste of wild blueberries. The finish is earthy and leaves the palate with hints of garam masala and fresh mint.

We recommend cellaring the Rim Rock Syrah for several years before opening.