We started with three wines from Napa Valley, as I wanted to open with wines that presented a sense of familiarity. Did they ever. The Araujo and Colgin Syrahs had something in common in that they were first and foremost wines of place. In this setting in particular, the 2010 Araujo Syrah really screamed Eisele Vineyard, with warm tobacco, smoke and grilled herb overtones. It was so distinct and pure.
Robert Parker 96
Another standout, the 2010 Syrah Eisele Vineyard is drop-dead gorgeous. A bevy of black olives and plums burst from the glass in an explosive wine loaded with varietal nuance and sheer power. The cooler vintage brought out the best. This is a marvelous, totally compelling wine endowed with massive concentration and depth. The addition of 3% Viognier and a small amount of stems add complexity. Black fruit, tobacco, savory herbs, licorice and menthol are layered into the brooding finish. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030. (Not yet released) This is a gorgeous set of wines from Bart and Daphne Araujo, and their team headed by winemaker Nigel Kinsman and consulting winemaker Francoise Peschon. In particular, the 2010s are knockouts. I won’t be surprised if one day 2010 is considered one of the great all-time vintages at this historic property. Readers may also want to look at my video interview with Bart Araujo on our website for an early look at the 2012 harvest. Tel. (707) 942-6061
Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030