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2011 was a cooler than normal vintage with average rainfall. This was an exciting opportunity for us to work with cool climate fruit from our own backyard. Reduced yields lead to greater complexity, higher acidity and lower alcohols.
100% Grenache. Walking into the 2011 Garnacha blending sessions I had ideas of what I wanted; purity of fruit, awesome aromatics, structure for some cellaring and most of all fun to drink. The nose shows notes of rose petals, licorice, limestone dust, kirsch, and pomegranate. The palate carries well-balanced tannins filled with a hint of white pepper, berry pie, and red heart plum. The finish is elegant with a sound tannin structure. This will give the 2010 a run for its money... Drink 2014-2024
“Looking at Cris’s current release reds, the 2011 Garnacha is drop-dead gorgeous... it offers up thrilling amounts of blackberry, toasted spice, licorice, pepper and background meatiness as well as a medium to full-bodied, rich, mouth coating texture. Dense and concentrated, yet also graceful and light on its feel, it’s a great Grenache and will drink well through 2019.” 93 pts - The Wine Advocate
2011 Syrah, Bassetti Vineyard
100% Syrah. Susie and Ellis Bassetti live in a special place tucked in a small valley a mere 4 miles from the ocean. Their farm is abundant in fruit trees, native plants along with a plethora of plants from around the world that Susie uses for her dried floral business. The 9 acres of Syrah are planted on granite and serpentine. A long, cool growing season brings fruit that is so different than our west Paso plots.
Aromas are reminiscent of the Northern Rhone with white flowers, sweet olive tapenade and rocks intermingled with smoked chilies. The palate is lively and welcoming with notes of geranium, black fruits, and smoked meats. This wine screams Cote-Rotie with a slightly richer palate. Not a pop and pour wine, we recommend a good decant. Give it a few years in the cellar for maximum enjoyment. Drink 2015-2025
“The 2011 Syrah Bassetti Vineyard is going to be a fascinating wine to follow next to the superb 2010 as both develop in bottle. From a much cooler vintage, the 2011 is distinctly savory, floral and delineated, with perhaps a little more energy than the 2010. At the same time, the 2011 is going to need at least a few years in bottle to absorb the 50% new barrels used in this vintage. Rosemary, rose petals and sage linger on the impeccable finish." 92-94 pts - Vinous Media
2011 Damas Noir
100% Mourvédre. Anise, black fruits, mesquite and spice dance together in the glass. The soft, yet structured palate frames boysenberry, rose hips, salted black licorice and Asian spices. This wine is cool and dark, yet intoxicating and sultry. Think Lena Olin. Give it a decant or if you can hold off, some time in the cellar, then enjoy with mesquite grilled bacon-wrapped figs followed by an herb dusted leg of lamb or Provencal boulliabase. Drink 2015-2030
"Made from 100% Mourvedre, the 2011 Damas Noir exhibits classic varietal typicity in its dark, purple fruits, iron, beef blood, white pepper and leather-driven bouquet. Not losing a beat on the palate either, it gives up a full-bodied, rich, angular and chewy feel, with good concentration, ripe, yet edgy tannin and a great finish. Give it another year and enjoy it through 2026.” 93+ pts - The Wine Advocate