92 points -Wine Enthusiast
90 points -Wine Spectator
92 Insider Points
A pure 100% Syrah that’s got an elegant sense of restraint. Bright and compelling, the fruit surrounds classically delicious layers of black pepper and charcuterie, soft tannins and a vibrant personality that calls out for pairing with cured meats and sophisticated cheeses. -Wine Enthusiast
Dense and appealingly racy, with floral blueberry and violet aromas, featuring layered flavors of raspberry, pepper and grilled herb. Tannins sneak in on the finish. Drink now through 2022. -Wine Spectator
Cranberry and leather aromas. Rich palate of blueberry, dark chocolate and savory bacon fat. Black raspberry through a lengthy finish. 92 Points - JZ Sept '18
Santa Rita Hills, Central Coast
It takes guts to put the words “The Complex” right into the very name of your wine. Good thing vintners Peter and Rebecca Work have the talent to back up their chutzpah. What this couple does with their hand-grown fruit high up in the Santa Rita Hills is nothing short of enchanting. And like most things this precious, their wines are made in achingly small batches.
“The 2010s are magical right now,” writes the Wine Enthusiast of this 90-point vintage for Central Coast Syrah (92 points from the Wine Advocate). Ampelos’ 2010 Syrah “Gamma: The Complex” is a study in restraint, showing a very Rhone-like character of lithe forest berries and earth. 92 points from the Wine Enthusiast, which writes: “Bright and compelling, the fruit surrounds classically delicious layers of black pepper and charcuterie, soft tannins and a vibrant personality.” And 90 big ones from the Wine Spectator, which notes: “Dense and appealingly racy, with floral blueberry and violet aromas, featuring layered flavors of raspberry, pepper and grilled herb.” Made from 100% estate-grown Syrah, this cool-climate red has reached its pinnacle after eight years of maturation and is something to behold when paired with slow-roasted pork.
· Ampelos was one of the first wineries in the U.S. to be certified organic, biodynamic and sustainable in practice (SIP).
· Going beyond the requirements of certified organic viticulture, at Ampelos all grape skins, stems, seeds and even lees (leftover yeasts) are composted back into the soil, and fermented wine is punched down by hand to minimize the winery’s use of electricity.
· The amazing terroir that is now home to Ampelos’ estate vineyards was purchased in 1999—before the Santa Rita Hills appellation existed.
· Smokin’ hot Sta. Rita Hills is actually quite cold, weather wise that is. More than perhaps any other AVA in California, the Sta. Rita Hills is exposed to fog and cooling winds from the pacific on a regular basis. And, unlike most other coastal wine regions, the hills actually run east to west here, which allows Ocean breezes easy access to the valley and its vines.
From the winemaker:
The anticipation - palpable, the attraction - undeniable, the return - inevitable. This "black beauty" is back: drawing you in with her velvety deep hues, granite minerality and the perfect harmony of a lady wise beyond her years. With a nose of cherry cola, palate pleasing hints of chocolate and cracked pepper and a smoothly balanced acidity, she gallops with intensity from start to finish. A cool climate maven, she showcases the complexity of her terroir to the envy of those who race against her. She is a winner!
*invino maintains excellent cellaring conditions, and strives to sell every bottle in pristine condition. As is standard industry practice, any wine purchased over seven vintage years old, is sold "as is" and may not be returned for any reason.
From the winery:
Ampelos is a Greek word meaning "vine". We believe that all great wines are made in the vineyard, we also have strong ties to Greece, so “ampelos” truly represents our focus.
We believe in taking care of and respecting the environment and that our vineyard needs to be in balance, therefore a few years ago we made the decision to go 100% bio-dynamic. This means we are essentially organic - yet a step beyond. In 2008, we were one of the first vineyards to be certified as Sustainably Farmed, a milestone of which we are particularly proud.
Pair with any spicy dish, whether it be Asian, Mexican, or Moroccan.