2019 was a dry year up until mid-May when we received 5 inches of rain. Come the summer solstice we hit our first 100 degree day. Thankfully this was not the norm throughout the growing season. While the summer was warm, we had rare heat events and enjoyed cool evenings – the perfect combination. We saw large, balanced canopies which provided us with a luscious crop. These canopies allowed for slow ripening of the fruit, developing incredible flavor profiles in the grapes. All around a terrific year!
The Kamen 2018s and 2019s are brilliant. Longtime winemaker Mark Herold knows this property like the back of his hand, and it comes through in big, dramatically rich wines that also capture the essence of site. The reds are the stars, but the whites, which are made in tiny quantities, are every bit as special.
The 2019 Syrah cascades with heady aromas. Tree ripe black plum, sun-kissed huckleberries, black cherry preserves, crushed rock and graphite. Time in the glass reveals more delicate notes of black walnut, tangerine blossom, Oolong tea, macaroon, beach rose and chocolate covered black licorice. Savory undertones meld with the luscious fruit. The wine captures both acidity and concentration in the framework of refined tannins. Elegant and balanced, the wine is approachable now, but will evolve over the next 15-20 years.
“Inky, deep and explosive, the Kamen Syrah is tremendous in 2019. Blackberry jam, chocolate, blood orange, sweet spice and licorice all race out of the glass. This full-throttle, exotically ripe Syrah is loaded with personality. As always, the Kamen Syrah is vinified with stems that are added back into the tanks after being air-dried for 4-5 days, along with a dollop of Viognier.” 95 points.
—Antonio Galloni, Vinous, September 2021