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2011 Principia Reserve Syrah

2011 Principia Reserve Syrah
2011 Principia Reserve Syrah

Winemaker Notes: Principia, our reserve syrah always leans towards a darker, more powerful expression of the variety and 2011 was no exception. The aromatics are profound and fascinating but consist primarily of pomegranate, carob, crema catalan, espresso, tar, chantrelle mushrooms, bing cherry, garrigue , and a soupcon of tahini. There is this enigmatic undertone of churned earth that carries through to the palate. On the palate it quickly brightens up into rich notes of blackberries, currants, cranberries, espresso, and finishes with that same dramatic pomegranate and carob juxtaposition that the aromatics lead with. The tannin is tight grained yet powerful and prolific, while the finish is quite long which suggests that this wine will continue to improve for the next 11-13 years and will hold for approximately 20-25 years.

Fermentation: The wine had a pre-fermentation maceration of 156 hours and a post-fermentation maceration of 63 hours. The wine was punched down by hand 3 times each day during macerations and fermentation. 50% of the lots comprising the blend were fermented with native yeasts. All individual wine components, including free run and press fractions, were kept separate until final blending.

Cooperage: The wine had an elevage of 28 months in French Oak. The oak profile is 25% new French oak (predominantly from Troncais and Alliers) and 75% neutral French oak. The wine achieved its sparkly brilliance from 3 judicious rackings, no fining agents were employed. The wine was very lightly filtered to capture any remaining lees.

Cases Produced: 125

VarietalReserve Syrah
AppellationWalla Walla Valley
VineyardLes Collines, Seven Hills, Upland
Acid6.0 g/L
Volume750 ml



93 Points



This is a limited production wine with 125 cases made. It is only 13.3% alcohol and the grapes come from the Les Collines, Seven Hills, Upland vineyards. This also saw 28 months in French Oak with 25% new oak and 75% neutral oak. This is a smoky nose with smoked Carolina pulled pork, white pepper, and cassis. Nice depth and richness considering the coldness of the vintage. Flavors reminiscent of blackberry, cassis, white pepper, and black cherry in this dark fruit profiled wine. Lovely minerality and acid backbone. (Best 2015-2025).

Owen Bargreen, International Wine Report

92 Points



My favorite of the Syrah releases, the 2011 Syrah Principia Reserve offers up a dark, decadent style, with plenty of pepper, underbrush, truffle and assorted black fruits emerging from the glass. Showing the firmer feel and juicy acidity that’s present in all of these 2011s, this solid Syrah will benefit from short-term cellaring and have 10 to 12 years of overall longevity.

Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate

91+ Points



Bright red-ruby. Sexy, primary aromas of black raspberry, black cherry, gunflint and fruity black pepper, plus a hint of tar. Juicy and invigorating, with lively acidity giving shape and a pristine quality to the flavors of raspberry, pepper, tar and spice. Wonderfully tangy but tightly coiled, in the style of the vintage’s more classic examples. I’d wait at least five years on this one.

Stephen Tanzer, Vinous Media

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