We only bottle a reserve syrah in exceptional years, and 2007 proved to be such a vintage. Below you will find more information on the wine, which has received rave reviews including 91 points from Robert Parker.
- Tasting Notes
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.
The 2007 growing season proved ideal, with grape sugars ripening at the same rate as the flavors and tannins, whereas often the sugars get way ahead of the phenolics. The winter had brought half our usual rainfall, and an early spring led to early budbreak. The heart of the growing season was picture perfect, with moderate temperatures and significant cooling fog. Harvest started right on time. Although clusters were lighter and smaller, the grapes had excellent flavors.
The Montemaggiore Reserve is intended to be the big brother to our Paolo's Vineyard Syrah: big, bold, intense, complex, and intended for long-term aging. Since it's only made in exceptional vintages, it reflects the best that Montemaggiore offers.
The aroma of the 2007 Reserve Syrah opens with deep, rich cherry and blackberry aromas, underpinned by hints of vanilla, mocha, and pepper. The tannins are soft and supple, and the texture silky, while the finish is long and smooth.
The grapes from this Reserve Syrah came from our Hilltop, whose exceptional quality in 2007 merited a reserve bottling. At harvest, all the grapes were destemmed but not crushed, then carefully hand sorted at the berry level. All the grapes underwent a four-day cold soak in open-top stainless steel tanks, then were inoculated with the northern Rhône Syrah yeast. The whole berry fermentation with punchdowns for cap management brought out the wine's complexity on the palate. After a gentle pressing in a stainless steel basket press in order to limit astringency, the wine aged for 19 months in 100% French oak barrels. This reserve bottling sees a bit more new oak than our flagship Paolo's Vineyard Syrah.
Being an intense and complex wine, the Montemaggiore Reserve goes best with like-minded dishes, as it can overwhelm lighter or simpler dishes. But don't underestimate its ability to shine alongside an engrossing book and a roaring fire.
The Reserve pairs well with grass-fed steak, grilled sausages, butterflied lamb, pasta bolognese, Manchego cheese, and bitter-sweet chocolate.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
“The 2007 Syrah Reserve justifies its Reserve status with more concentration, power, density, and nuance as well as a deeper, more opaque ruby/purple color than itssibling [2007 Paolo's Vineyard Syrah]. It should drink well for a decade. These are both attractive efforts from Montemaggiore."
“An interesting Syrah and quite a good one despite some youthful vigor. The tannins are aggressive and accentuate the acidity, making the wine feel tough in the mouth. But it’s extraordinarily rich. Floods the palate with intensely ripe blackberries and blueberries, with cool-climate notes of black pepper. Give it a good decant before serving."