Monday, April 12, 2021

Deerfield Ranch 2012 Estate Syrah, Sonoma Valley

Scoring A Win For Clean Wine

A Treasure From The Cave

With 2020 basically being a wipeout in terms of wine travel, we really treasure the memories from our pre-pandemic wine visits. One especially sweet trip was to Sonoma back in 2017. The occasion was the Wine Bloggers Conference (since redubbed as the Wine Media Conference). Joining the Green Dragon and I were our good friends Steve and Tracey (aka the Cabernetor and Glorious T).

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We crisscrossed Sonoma and Napa stopping at places that produce some of our favorite wines as well as new-to-us wine producers that would create indelible impressions. One unique experience was at Deerfield Ranch.

Truth be told, we decided to visit primarily because it was located on our route to other wineries we had penciled in. I didn’t know much about it, but its website did mention a wineglass-shaped wine cave. That was enough to tip the scales and redirect our rental car.

To get to the wine cave tasting room, you walk through the production area, past barrels and tanks and hoses. The payoff is certainly worth it. The cave is decked out with comfortable seating areas such that each party could have its own semi-private tasting area. It was social distancing before its time!

A slightly weird note is that this was in October, so the cave was decorated with mannequins dressed in Halloween costumes. This led to a lot of clowning and photos on our part. But the main attraction was certainly the wine.

Sonoma Syrah At Its Best

Deerfield has many wines that top $100, and our small sips certainly were delicious. What grabbed our attention, though, was a beautiful Syrah, which we purchased and cracked open recently.

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The Estate Syrah uses organic grapes and is a biodynamic wine. In addition, Deerfield has a focus on “clean wine” which means they triple hand-sort their grapes and keep the free oxygen levels low resulting in fewer sulfites and histamines.

Another beautiful aspect of Deerfield Ranch wines is their aging. They aren’t presenting wines that are two years on from vintage, they’ve had a chance to mature for several years before release.

Only 500 cases of the Estate Syrah were made and it is aged in oak for 40 months. This wine is rich with cherries and strawberries in a beautifully refined style. Loose tannins and vibrant flavors are underpinned with lively acidity. The mid-palate is clean and precise with berry flavors. A savory finish adds to the experience. Drinking it reminded us of the great time and great friends with whom we enjoyed it.

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