In 2004, Montemaggiore produced two Syrahs for the first time. The topmost portion of Paolo's Vineyard yielded six barrels of the most wonderfully intense wine that we bottled separately as our Hilltop Reserve.
- 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.
Yields were pushed lower in 2004 due to the cold, wet, dark spring of 2003 (grape bunches are formed internally the spring before they emerge). Our regulated deficit irrigation practices caused the individual grapes to be much smaller thus even more intensely flavored. Given the smaller number of bunches with smaller berries in 2004, we were further rewarded with wonderfully mild and even summer temperatures—the harvest was our earliest on record. What a spectacular year!
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.
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.
San Francisco International Wine Competition
The 2004 Hilltop Reserve Syrah performed exceptionally well by winning a Double Gold Medal in the largest international wine competition held in America, in which more than 1,000 wineries submitted wines from 21 countries.
San Francisco Chronicle
The 2004 Hilltop Reserve Syrah won a Gold Medal in the largest American wine competition, in which more than 3,800 wines were entered by 1,572 wineries from 20 states.