2019 Sans Soufre Ajouté - Syrah 50% Grenache 50%
John Sebastiano Vineyard, Santa Barbara County
"Sans Soufre Ajouté—"without sulfur added”—is a project that started for us back in 2011, after Adam was inspired by a lively and supple SO2-free blend that a protégé had crafted. It became a technical challenge that we’ve continued to make for the love of drinking it.
This blend is comprised of equal parts Grenache and Syrah, both grown on steep southwest facing slopes at John Sebastiano Vineyard. This site features densely-planted rows on what’s kind of a peak rising from the eastern outskirts of Sta Rita Hills. The relative elevation makes for a fierce raking by cool Pacific winds, so the fruit ripens late—in the cool 2019 vintage both varietals ripened into November.
Our wines from JSV tend to display supple and easy-going textures, but in this release you’ll find a bit more nerve and structure. The core of the wine is still plush and primary, loaded with dark notions of blueberry and mulberry, with a brighter cherry note, too. All that is framed by fine and ample tannins, with an earthy and herby depth that evokes cold-brewed Sumatra coffee. Also, you usually the aromas of sulfite-free wine aren’t as delineated, yet this carries a great fragrance of dark flowers, mint and smoky peppercorns.
While not so juicy as some previous releases, the extra gravitas and grip doesn’t compromise the casual quaffability we’ve come to love in this wine. You’ll find it’s still perfectly suited as a pre-dinner Chef’s beverage, or for backyard barbecues with friends."