The Language of Yes Syrah, Santa Maria Valley 2020


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A deliciously complex Syrah, marked by its lively acidity and layers of vivid pepperiness, black olive, violets, liquorice and white flowers. Smooth and textured with a long finish.

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£39.95 per bottle

RRP: £44.50 (save 10%)

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Sold in cases of 3 bottles
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The Syrah and Viognier grapes come from the single vineyard ‘Rancho Réal’, in the Santa Maria Valley which is one of the coolest sites where vines are successfully grown in California. Here, the vines enjoy a particularly long growing season, thus developing an impressive degree of complexity and articulation. For example, the formation of 'Rotundone', the molecule that imparts the peppery quality to wines, is favoured by cooler climates, lower light conditions and a long hang-time on the vine. The Guyot-trained vines were planted in 2010 at an elevation of 200 to 290 metres, in sandy loam soils. The vines are certified sustainable.

The gentlest techniques were used to coax out complexity, such as ‘en passerillage’; the post-harvest drying of the grapes. They were placed on paper raisin trees in the shade of the vine itself, which allowed for a slight dehydration and concentration of the grapes. Significantly it encouraged the lignification and maturation of the stems, an excellent source of tannin which supports the structure of the wine. Co-fermentation of the Syrah and Viognier grapes took place in stainless steel with 50% whole clusters, which slowly released the grape sugar into the fermenting must, creating a much slower and controlled fermentation. This clean fermentation is called ‘reductive élevage’; it protects the fruit and freshness of a wine as it ages. Minimisation of oxygen ingress was accomplished through substantial lees retention, infrequent (or no) racking, more frequent barrel topping and the utilisation of larger and less porous storage vessels. The wine was aged for 12 months in used barriques and bottled without fining or filtration.

Data sheet
RRP £44.50
Vintage 2020
Alcoholic strength 14%
Awards 94 Pts, Wine Advocate, 2022
Country USA
Region California
Subregion Santa Maria Valley
Grapes Syrah 87%, Viognier 13%
Body C
Contains sulphites Yes
Vegetarian Yes
Vegan Yes
Milk No
Eggs No
Organic No
Biodynamic No
Closure Screwcap
The Language of Yes

Randall Grahm is a legend of California winemaking, renowned for his trailblazing work with Rhône Varieties in the Central Coast. ‘The Language of Yes’ is his latest project, an attempt to capture the essence of Old World wines through the ‘uniqueness of the vineyards and the (mostly) sunny disposition of California’. ‘The Language of Yes’ or La Langue d’Oc, is the term that the medieval people of Southern France used to describe who they were by how they spoke. The aim is to craft wines preserving the old ways, revealing the utmost respect for the integrity of the sites form which they derive. The raising of the wine involves the lightest possible touch, allowing the natural exuberance of the vines, the grapes, the wine and the winemaker to joyously emerge, unmistakably pronouncing The Language of Yes.

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