98 Pts Jeb Dunnuck - What could be thought of as the flagship Syrah, the 2017 Buffalo Hill comes from the Rockpile Vineyard (which is in the Rockpile AVA of Sonoma) and was brought up in new barrels. It’s unquestionably the biggest, richest effort in the lineup yet still has an Old World sensibility in its texture, acidity, and structure. Killer notes of blackberries, crème de cassis, smoked earth, chocolate, lavender, and ground pepper all flow to a full-bodied, powerful, straight-up stacked Syrah that has a wealth of raw material, perfect balance, and a great, great finish. It should age effortlessly for 10-15 years or more.
2016 - 99 Pts, 2015 - 96+ Pts, 2014 - 98; Pts 2013 - 98; Pts 2012 - 95; Pts 2011 - 92 Pts
2010 ft. Elevation of granite, loam, clay, quartz-it's the heaviest, rockiest, and steepest vineyard at Rockpile. The granite adds a mineral backbone to the weight that the clay creates in the wine. Planted to 470 small berry Syrah clone added with native yeast that Jeff isolated from Rockpile makes this a stunner wine every vintage. This section is named after the big hand carved Buffalo that sits atop the vineyard protecting the fruit.
In 2002 after many bottles of wine, I was able to talk Rod Park the original owner of the vineyard, to plant Syrah on the top of the hill where a carved wooden Buffalo stands. Rod wanted to leave the grassy and rocky hillside alone. Wel,l those many bottles of wine kicked in and the next thing you know we are planting Syrah on the hill. Welcome Buffalo Hill Syrah! This is the rockiest section of the vineyard, thus more stressful to the vines and produces very thick skinned and small berries.
It should age effortlessly for 10-15 years or more.