In the vineyard, the team at Piedrasassi picks a bit earlier than their colleagues to keep the alcohol levels in balance with flavor and to preserve the natural acidity of the fruit. In the winery, Moorman employs some whole cluster inclusion, indigenous yeast fermentation, and no sulfur added at fermentation, remaining as natural as possible without compromising the integrity of the wine. Elevage is in 500L barrels to limit the wine's exposure to oxygen and to minimize the influence of oak. They add the smallest amount of sulfur to the wine at bottling; allowing the aromatics to stay expressive while still protecting the wine during cellaring. The result, in all of these bottlings, is Syrah that shows off the different sites through aromas that bloom and evolve in the glass and tannins that grip and engage the palate.
The 2015 Syrah Arroyo Grande Valley Rim Rock Vineyard is superb, wafting from the glass with aromas of wild plum, raspberries, grilled meat, tobacco leaf and cracked pepper. On the palate, it's full-bodied, fine-grained, even velvety on the attack, with a deep, tight-knit core and a long, firm and stony finish. Like all the Piedrasassi wines, this will reward a bit of patience, so cellar it for a few years before pulling corks. Interestingly, this is the only Syrah in the range that's grown in acid soils (like most of the soils of the Northern Rhône's viticultural regions).