After a welcome winter of rain, California has started to warm again, reminding us that Spring has arrived! The budding grape vines of Napa and Sonoma were a shock to the system driving through the valleys in the past few weeks. But it is here! And why not celebrate with a new vintage of wines ready to enjoy?!
Belharra Wines is happy to announce our second release, the 2014 Las Madres Syrah and 2015 Rosé of Syrah! Both wines are from the cool-climate Las Madres Vineyard of the Sonoma Carneros. Our relationship with this unique vineyard continues to grow, as we watch the compound knowledge of John Painter and Jean Gadiot’s 15th leaf mix with our emerging comprehension of the wine Las Madres produces. In tastings throughout the process of vine to bottle, we are continually amazed with the quality, synergy and sense of place that this vineyard produces.
We have been overwhelmed this year by the positive response to our first bottlings. Camille and I have engaged with amazing people who truly enjoy our passion and labor, and often share it with those closest to them. We are honored! Our family, friends, and mentors, who continue to support us now that we have our wings built, are our foundation.
2014 was a dry and a bit above average temperature vintage that produced fruit at the height of maturity. A near perfect season meant we could harvest at our own pace, and this year was the 27th of September. The 2014 Las Madres Syrah was fermented partially in puncheons, large barrels placed on a head with the other head removed from the opening. This early oak integration initially created one of the best-smelling ferments I’ve ever inhaled. The longer-term outcome has been a rounded mouth-feel and structure that highlights the fruit of Las Madres. Aged a bit longer than 2013, 18-months in 20% new French oak, the typical spice of Syrah has been mellowed over time, and leaves a balance of fruit, spice and tannin that continues to integrate with a decant.
Our 2015 Rosé of Syrah is a cruelly rare iteration of a daily drinker. Low yields from a diminished fruit set left us negotiating to keep this wine in our repertoire for all (Camille and I very much included) who have come to enjoy this refreshing drink. Along with family and friends, we harvested a small chunk of Las Madres in late August. Picked and pressed into steel drums the same day, our Rosé embodies crisp fruitiness, with a mouthwatering nose and a finish that entices another sip. There were only 50 cases produced, and we predict it will go fast. Don’t miss out on this admittedly inadequate offering!
If Camille or I can guide you through questions about our wines, website, shipping details, ect, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Our checkout page now includes a box for notes specific to your order. We would like to start shipping the first and second weeks of April, weather-permitting. Getting your orders in early will give us the maximum window to get our wines to you. Our strength is in our personal service to you, our customers, and our goal is happy Belharra drinkers throughout the United States (and what we manage to bring to France)!
As always, thanks for your support, and we raise our glass with you to toast good times with family and friends.