Coming in at # 29 on a very short list of the world’s greatest wines, Zaca Mesa Winery’s 2006 Estate Syrah has just been announced one of Wine Spectator magazine’s Top 100 wines of 2010. “We always knew the 2006 Estate Syrah was outstanding,” says Zaca Mesa President and CEO Brook Williams. “We are proud to be included with these other great wines.”
Hitting newsstands this month, the magazine’s prestigious Top 100 list was culled from over 15,800 new releases across 14 countries, as reviewed during blind tastings. The Wine Spectator staff then narrowed the list down based on four criteria: Quality, value, availability, and what the editors call the “excitement” factor. This isn’t the first time Zaca Mesa has made Wine Spectator’s Top 100; the winery was also honored in 1995 reaching #6 with their 1993 Estate Syrah.
When asked what he considers to be the 2006 Estate Syrah’s greatest strength, winemaker Eric Mohseni returns to a familiar theme at Zaca Mesa. “It’s the food friendliness of a wine made from estate-grown, cool-climate fruit,” he says. “Plenty of hang time doesn’t hurt, either.”
Indeed, the 2006 growing season was exceptionally long. A downpour in early October threatened to harm the fruit on the vine, but a warm, dry spell followed quickly thereafter, allowing the grapes plenty of safe hang time for extended ripening. Harvest was completed entirely by hand, after which the grapes underwent a four-day cold-soak with twice-daily punch-downs during fermentation for color saturation, exuberant flavors, and soft but firm tannins.
The result is a Syrah with richly concentrated color, aromas and flavors of blackberry, cassis, espresso and mocha, as well as Zaca Mesa’s signature sage spice that is indigenous to their estate vineyards. Full-bodied, with slight smokiness and a stripe of gentle acidity, the 2006 Estate Syrah pairs beautifully with traditional winter dishes like rack of lamb with rosemary and garlic and can be cellared over the next 10 years.
Zaca Mesa Winery has also been recognized for bucking the sells trends of Syrah with a 150% increased sales over the previous year, nearly tripled from 5,500 cases in 2008 to 14,000 cases in 2009.
Zaca Mesa Winery, located in the Santa Ynez Valley of Santa Barbara County, California, is dedicated to estate grown and bottled Rhône varietal wines. They craft our wines with integrity using traditional methods from grapes sustainably grown in their Santa Barbara County vineyard. Since 1973, they have farmed and nurtured their vineyard to produce wines that are true to the unique spirit of their land. For more information about Zaca Mesa Winery call (805) 688-9339, fax (805) 688-8796, or visit online. Zaca Mesa Winery is located at 6905 Foxen Canyon Road in Los Olivos.