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.
Vineyard: Rockpile, sustainably farmed, vines planted in 1998
Planted at 2010-ft. elevation of granite, loam, clay, quartz, it's the heaviest, rockiest, and steepest vineyard at Rockpile. This elevation puts more stress on the vines producing thick-skinned and small berries. The granite adds a mineral backbone to the weight that the clay creates in the wine.
Vinification: 100% Syrah, 221 cases produced.
The fruit is hand-picked then cold-soaked. I gently foot-stomp the fruit of which 30% is whole cluster, the rest is whole berry and de-stemmed. None is crushed. The wine goes through open-top, then 100% Malolactic fermentation and aged 18 months in large-format 30% new French oak and 70% neutral French oak barrels. Will age effortlessly in the Cohn Zone: drink now - 2040.
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$.01 12+ 750 mL bottles
$ 15 1 - 11 750 mL bottles
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