Dovecote’s flagship wine is made to highlight the unique own-rooted Estrella River Syrah that was originally “borrowed” from the famed Chapoutier vineyard in Hermitage, France. Above all, it is what Thompson Vineyard has become renowned for over nearly 30 years. Dark, rich, and multidimensional, the 2015 Dovecote Syrah delivers its power with a graceful touch.
Meticulously farmed from just a few of the sandiest, windblown, and nutrient-depleted northwesternmost rows of the cool climate Thompson Vineyard. 25 year old own-rooted Estrella River Syrah struggles to draw enough nourishment up through its deep roots to produce a crop. After four years of severe drought, the vines exhausted all of their energy on a minuscule yield in 2015 (barely 1 ton/acre) — an ostensible swansong vintage where many younger surrounding vineyards had nothing to harvest at all. Clusters and berries were tiny, almost pea-sized, with massive skin-to-pulp ratios providing intense structure and density. Simultaneously, harvest was the earliest on record in Santa Barbara County, thus balancing the richness of fruit with a foundation of freshness and elegance that together deliver a rare grace only found in special years.
Harvested at midnight at a miniscule 1 TPA, cold grapes were brought into the winery early in the morning. All clusters and berries were then de-stemmed and meticulously sorted by hand and then stored at 35 degrees for 36 hours before allowing fermentation to begin in small open top bins. Wine was aged in 33% new French oak barrels for 24 months and bottled unfiltered. Finally, the wine was allowed an additional full year of bottle conditioning before release and will benefit from additional cellar time before consumption.
- Own-rooted Estrella River Syrah
- 100% Syrah
- Thompson Vineyard
- Vine Age
- 25 years
- Estrella River
- Sandy Loam
- Alisos Canyon, Los Alamos Valley, Santa Barbara County
- Cool I/II
- Tons Per Acre
- < 1
- Peak Years