The winery’s prowess in blending fruit from distinct sites shows through with this 100% Syrah, a high proportion of which was whole-cluster fermented. Hedonistic streaks of pepper hit the nose first before developed layers of peppery cherry and blueberry pique the palate. Given an extra year in bottle after extended time in barrel, it balances smoky chocolate richness against vibrant acidity and silky mouthfeel.
The 2011 Cuvee Keltie, which came in under 14% alcohol, spent 22 months in neutral wood, and 100% whole stems were used. The wine reveals a chocolaty, smoky, bacon-scented nose that at first suggests a French Cote Rotie, but as it hits the palate with its full-bodied creme de cassis, blackberry, charcoal and graphite personality, it moves more toward a single vineyard Hermitage from the likes of Chapoutier. This supple, rich 2011 can be drunk now or cellared for a decade.
The 2011 Syrah Cuvée Keltie is a selection of the best barrels in the cellar from Walker Vine Hill, Obsidian, Richards and Steiner. One of the darker 2011s here, the Cuvée Keltie boasts terrific depth, power and raciness. Black fruit, smoke, licorice and incense flow through to the finish. This resonant, expressive Syrah could use another year or two in bottle to fully assimilate the 80% whole clusters. Today the 2011 is deep, dense and a bit compact, yet full of promise.
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