90 points - Wine Enthusiast, Cellar Selection
We have made the trip from Santa Rosa over the mountain to St. Helena a few times lately, which involves a long drive on the narrow, winding road that goes over top of Spring Mountain, and each time we have been struck by the stunning Spring Mountain Vineyards property. Located near the peak of the mountain, shortly after crossing into Napa County, the estate has breathtaking views of Napa Valley below, and the steep, terraced vineyards are an incredible sight. In fact, one can’t help but think of the hills of France’s Northern Rhone, with its steep, rocky vineyards, and wonder how Syrah might fare on Spring Mountain. Well, Spring Mountain Vineyards wondered the same thing and planted 4 acres of Syrah in 1995. The result has been phenomenal, and we are delighted to have been able to snag a small allocation of the extremely limited 2007 Syrah.
The 2007 Spring Mountain Estate Syrah is vibrant purple in color, with a classic Syrah nose of blueberry, blackberry, black pepper and tar. The palate is complex and rich, with black cherry, spice, and mixed berry flavors. This full-bodied wine is kept taught thanks to its generous acidity, resulting in a beautifully balanced, food-friendly wine. This is definitely a wine that will benefit from some a year or more in the cellar, allowing its firm, full tannin time to soften, although it can be enjoyed now if given an hour or two in a decanter. Serve it with a grilled rib-eye or other big, rich beef dish, and allow the tannin to work its magic. As the weather turns cool this fall, you will be glad you have a few bottles of this hearty Syrah to get you through the winter!
Appellation: Napa Valley - Spring Mountain District Estate Grown and Bottled
Clones: Beaucastel and Chapoutier
Varietal: 100% Syrah
Aging: 14 Months 50% new and 50% neutral French oak
Bottled: February 2009
Production: 650 Cases
The new Spring Mountain Vineyard was once three separate properties each with its own vineyard and winery: Spring Mountain Vineyards (Miravalle) 257 acres, Chateau Chevalier (Chevalier) 120 acres, and Draper Vineyards (La Perla) 435 acres.
The upper most property on the estate, La Perla, was founded in 1873 by Charles Lemme and expanded by the Schilling Spice family. Originally 285 acres it had the first Cabernet Sauvignon planted on Spring Mountain. The old winery remains today along with much of its original equipment and horse drawn carriages and wagons. Immediately below La Perla, and eventually added to it was the first vineyard planted by Fredrick and Jacob Beringer in 1882. These terraced hillsides were planted in a wide assortment of grape varieties to support the Beringer brothers fledgling winery.
Adjoining to the north of the Beringer vineyard was a Frenchman, Fortune Chevalier, whose stone winery, Chateau Chevalier, was making wine in 1891. And finally, next door to Chevalier was Tiburcio Parrott who grew olives, citrus and grapes. Parrott built a grand home on the estate which he named Miravalle.
Learn more at www.springmountainvineyard.com.