Each year, I feel Yves and I get closer to achieving the vision we have had for this project. This year is really showing finesse with a palate of elegance, depth, purity and sheer intensity.
I have always felt that this vineyard brings a very Hermitage aspect to the table, but this year I think there is a touch of Côte Rôtie showing through. A sensational deep red/purple color is followed by what I feel is one of the most fragrant noses for this wine that we have made. From the savory to the black/blue and red fruits to the cassis and mineral notes that intermingles throughout. Full bodied, rich and concentrated, but manages to stay light on its feet.
This wine fills your palate with black cherry compote, black and red currants, olive and a liquid mineral component that is the essence of Rockpile Vineyard.
Domaine des Chirats is produced from the oldest Syrah plantings in the Rockpile AVA.
It is the oldest block of Syrah at Rockpile (RP) Vineyard. After making this Syrah for many years as the 'Haley' bottling, I decided to try a new project. This time, I wanted to work with another of my winemaking heroes, Yves Cuilleron of Côte-Rôtie. I met Yves in 1998 at Hospice du Rhône in Paso Robles. Yves and I wanted to take this Syrah in a different direction than what I had been making, so we did.
The original budwood came directly from Hermitage in the northern Rhône and was planted soon after. To really appreciate how different Domaine des Chirats is from the other RP Syrahs I make, you really need to taste them side-by-side. I also encourage you try it alongside a bottle of Yves Cuilleron Côte-Rôtie to see how our two styles come together.
Domaine des Chirats is translated in old French to "home of the pile of rocks". What a fitting name for this special wine.
At 2010 ft. elevation, our vineyard sites that we source from are rocky, and stressed. This gives me amazing fruit to make our Rockpile Vineyard Syrahs.
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