92 Insider points

 

REVIEWS

Pure freshness and unadulterated fruit character combined with very natural winemaking techniques from the roots where it all started, Greece.

This Syrache is a fine expression from two of my favorite coastal grapes, Syrah and Grenache. They are beautiful coastal grapes and the fruit character paired with great acidic balance make for some pretty, food pairing wines. The 2013 Syrache is intriguing because it has that "all-natural" feel and the Syrah carries the load of body and complexity while the Grenache lends some gorgeous fruit character. It's laced with notes of macerated berries, plum, new leather, fresh pepper & roses while being medium-bodied and really fresh. Syrache also has a lovely herbal component and nice minerality (reminiscent of a good Burgundy with some richness). The oak is not heavy as one would assume from 29-30 months in barrel (only 35% new), it's nicely integrated. Enjoy it now or for the next few years. I like it best with some salmon or carne asada. PERFECT SUMMERTIME BBQ RED! 

2012 Vintage: This blend of 64% Syrah and 36%


Grenache opens with white pepper and fresh rose petal scents. Thickly concentrated and robust, with meaty leather and blue fruit notes, it remains balanced and lifted on the finish despite its density. ~VIRGINIE BOONE, Wine Enthusiast, 5/1/2017

WHY WE LOVE IT
  • BLEND
    69% Syrah - 31% Grenache
  • APPELLATION
    Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara County
  • ALCOHOL
    14.20%
  • SIZE
    750ml
  • AGING/COOPERAGE
    29-30 months 35% new oak (mostly french barrels and a few hybrid barrels made with american staves and french heads) 65% neutral
  • PRODUCTION
    700 cases
  • WINDOW
    Now-2020
  • FRUIT

  • BODY

  • OAK

  • ACIDITY

“Ampelos,” the Greek word for vine, certified sustainable in practice, organic, and biodynamic. 

The Philosophy: The combination of carefully nurtured vines, sustainable farming, hand-sorted fruit, eco-friendly wine making, and the passion in a wine that is elegant, unique and supremely drinkable. The clean and cared-for fruit shines through every bottle, glass and sip of Ampelos wine.

From Corporate life to Cultivating grapes and winemaking, Peter and Rebecca were inspired to live their life to the fullest after a close encounter on 9/11 in NYC. This 2013 Syrache, like all of their great wines, is a fully expressive and pure example of passion and survival. Taking us back to the methods where it all started in Greece, paired with solid terroir, these two are producing some pretty fantastic wines in the Santa Barbara County area and this is a region you must get to know now. 

The Santa Barbara County Appellation is the world's most diverse wine growing region, with its transverse mountain ranges, proximity to the Pacific Ocean, long growing season, and complex soils.

The Sta. Rita Hills: The miracle of the region’s microclimate began about 20 million years ago during the Miocene Epoch, as marine sediment was deposited deep under the Pacific Ocean. Due to tectonic plate movements, mountains rose out of the ocean in a north-south orientation. Over a timespan of twelve million years, the mountains broke from the plate and turned clockwise, creating the most clearly delineated transverse range, from Alaska to Chile, on the Pacific Coast.

The combination of a purely East/West maritime throat, poor marine-based soils, elevated calcium in the soil and the Pacific’s cooling influence through fog, wind and moderating summer heat combine to form one of the world’s best cool-climate viticulture areas. 

They Call this wine the Sigma: "the sum" of great grapes from the cold climate vineyard in the Sta Rita Hills.  

TASTING NOTES 

The wine promises bright fruit with a palate pleasing array of cherry, blackberry and plum, while deeper notes of cracked pepper and chocolate whisper "pour me another glass…". Strong, but balanced tannins make this wine very food friendly and will allow plenty of aging time.

THE STORY TO KNOW

From the Winery:

In 1999 we purchased 82 acres in what would later become the Sta. Rita Hills appellation (Santa Rita Hills in California is legally Sta. Rita Hills), and named it “Ampelos,” the Greek word for vine. The name has a two-fold purpose. First, we believe that all great wines start in the vineyard. Secondly, we have close ties with Greece; we were married there and own a small bed & breakfast, called Ampelos Resort, on the island of Folegandros. We bought the land with dreams of someday watching the nightly sunset over the hills and our dogs running through the vines.

Soil. Vines. Wines. This is the order in which great wine is made. Waking up from the dream is the belief that a farmer must know his fruit, and we are resolute in our passion to produce hands-on, minimally invasive wines that both whisper and shout about the terroir from which they are grown. Our vineyard is one of the first in the US to be certified Sustainability in Practice, Organic and Biodynamic. Our commitment to eco-friendly, organic farming and wine making is evident in every sip.

A cancelled meeting at the World Trade Center on the morning of September, 11, 2001, brought us to the realization that it was time to pursue our dreams of growing grapes as if tomorrow might never arrive. We quit our corporate jobs and moved permanently to our fledgling vineyard in the southern Sta. Rita Hills AVA to start learning about farming the land from Jeff Newton (Central Vineyard Care).

PERFECT PAIRINGS

What do you think is the key to a great food and wine pairing?

From Peter: Acid and Ph. Good chefs, they know how to work with acid and Ph. Of course you’ve got to have good wine to begin with. Once you have that wine, get good food that lends itself to a chef who knows how to work with acid and Ph. Of course fitting flavors of the meat or fish or sauce that works with the wine.

Think charred carne asada and rich spice, thick blackberry jam on toast points, a fresh baked cherry cobbler and french vanilla ice cream.