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Vintage
2003
Vineyard Designation
Paolo’s Vineyard
Syrah

2003 Syrah
Varietal Blend
Syrah 95%
Cabernet Sauvignon 5%
Avg Sugar at Harvest
25.1 Brix
Alcohol
14.80
Cases Produced
750
Opt Consumption
2006-2015
Cooperage
83% French oak
17% American oak
53% new
Harvest Date
Oct 3-11, 2003
Bottling Date
April 2005
Release Date
April 2006

The wonderful aromas, flavors, and texture of the 2003 Montemaggiore Syrah are due not only to the steep mountainside of Paolo's Vineyard, but also to the unique combination of open- and closed-top tanks utilized during fermentation. Named Best Syrah in Sonoma County.

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  • Vineyard
  • Tasting Notes
  • Recipes
  • Accolades
  • Vintages

Vineyard Profile: Estate Vineyard
Located on a mountainside high above Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County, the rocky soils of Montemaggiore's estate vineyards produce intensely flavored grapes at naturally low yields. Using biodynamic practices and organic materials, we farm Paolo's Vineyard without chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.

2003 Vintage
“Strange” best describes the 2003 growing season. February saw bud break come two weeks early but then growth slowed in March and April with the deluge of rain. The summer seemed to track normally, but then July brought rain, not once but three times—very unusual for our typically rain-free summer. The season culminated with an intense heat spell in late September. Strangely, this unusual season resulted in phenomenal fruit complexity!

Winemaker's Goal
The Paolo's Vineyard Syrah is Montemaggiore's flagship wine, thus the ultimate expression of our estate mountainside vineyards.  Typically 100% Syrah, this wine has rich and intense flavors balancing black fruit with spicy, earthy, savory notes.

Tasting Notes
The aroma of the 2003 Paolo's Vineyard Syrah opens with deep, rich blackberry underpinned by hints of bittersweet chocolate and white pepper. The highly-textured palate balances the luscious fruit with a supple, velvety firmness. This wine carries the hallmarks of Montemaggiore: rich and mouth-filling yet elegant, with well integrated oak, smooth tannins and a long finish.
Winemaking Notes
Harvested at two separate times for optimum ripeness, the grapes were destemmed but not crushed, carefully hand sorted, and held in stainless steel for four days. The whole berry fermentation was conducted in a combination of open- and closed-top tanks to bring out both the natural fruit and a depth of palate. After a gentle pressing, the wine aged for 18 months in primarily French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered.

Food Pairings
Being medium to full-bodied, Montemaggiore Syrah goes well with foods that are likewise.  The earthy flavors in mushrooms, the smokey flavors in grilled meats, the slightly gamey flavors in lamb echo the aromas in the Paolo's Vineyard Syrah. 

This wine pairs well with marinated tri-tip, lamb kebabs, pasta bolognese, grilled portobellos, pork tenderloin, bacon rösti, and sheep's milk cheeses.

Consider our recipes for wild mushroom and brie crostini, salsa di parmigianochipotle sweet potato gratin, salmon grilled on a cedar plank, bucatini amatriciana, and lamb burgers.

Accolades

International Wine Review
September 2006

“Purple garnet in color, this textbook California Syrah is fashioned with a combination of pure lush blackberry fruit with smoky, meaty, and bacon fat highlights and copious high quality oak that persist through to the finish. The wine also reveals fine balance, ripe tannins, and good grip on the finish." 

Restaurant Wine
May / June 2006

“Fleshy, full bodied, and quite toasty in style; this is a moderately rich Syrah, tasting of blackberry, toasted oak, pepper, and cedar, with a lightly tannic finish. 5%CS. 750 cases [Anticipated peak drinkability 2007-2009]" 

Sonoma County Harvest Fair
October 2006

At the premiere showcase of Sonoma County wines, Montemaggiore's 2003 Paolo's Vineyard Syrah received a double gold medal and was named Best of Class! For those unfamiliar with wine competition jargon, "Best of Class" translates into Best Syrah, whereas "Double Gold" means that all judges believed that this wine deserved a gold medal. In essense, Montemaggiore's Syrah was named best in Sonoma County!

San Francisco Chronicle
January 2006

The 2003 Syrah performed exceptionally well by winning a Gold Medal in the largest American wine competition, in which more than 3,300 wines were entered from throughout the United States. 

Other Vintages
Montemaggiore has produced Paolo's Vineyard Syrah since our first vintage in 2002.  

 
Varietal Blend
Syrah 95%
Cabernet Sauvignon 5%
Avg Sugar at Harvest
25.1 Brix
Alcohol
14.80
Cases Produced
750
Opt Consumption
2006-2015
Cooperage
83% French oak
17% American oak
53% new
Harvest Date
Oct 3-11, 2003
Bottling Date
April 2005
Release Date
April 2006