FatMan // Estate Syrah // 2013
FatMan // Estate Syrah // 2013
100% Estate Ballard Canyon Vineyard
Ballard Canyon AVA
Hand Picked by Family in 2013
Barrel Aged 2 Years
Bottled in 2015
Bottle Aged 1 Year
I know what I want to say about this wine, I just don't know how to say it yet.
When I name Wine for my Grandfather. It is always my favorite.
The Fat Man Terrace is our largest terrace on the Windmill Estate Vineyard.
The Other Two are the Littleboy Terrace and the High Hill.
The Fatman terrace comprised of 12 steps and a total of 25 rows of vines. It is without a doubt the Keynote location on our vineyard. You can see from the little slideshow below.
We harvest these three different Syrah blocks as close in time as we can. We have always harvested the Little Boy and the Fat Man terraces on the same day. For the last two years, we have Harvested them all on the same day. We also do our best to farm all three of the Syrah Blocs the same way all year long. We could easily blend all three of these locations into one one and have the "Saarloos Estate Syrah". Most people do that, it's easy, we would only have to make one label, and no one would be the wiser. But easy just isn't our style. And hiding all of the unique aspects of each of these individual spots would be a travesty.
These 3 locations are a couple of brothers. They have the same DNA, they were raised in the same house, by the same parents, and were treated the same. We would have never these brothers to be the same would we? Of course not. Each brother or sister would have their characteristics that were formed by their relationship to the other. I know I would be a much different person if I was the youngest in my Family or even the middle child. The relationship to each other helps craft the individual location to another. Furthermore, I would never want to be looked at and judged as a unit; I believe we all strive to be seen as individuals. You see the High Hill Bloc of Syrah receives the first light of day on it. It also is hit first by the wind and blocks and diffuses the wind for the other terraces. The High Hill also has the most typographical change and is the Largest of all three of the blocks. While the Fat Man terrace is the Largest of the two terraces, it produces less than Half and little above 1/3 of the overall tonnage that the High Hill produces. There are only 12 Steps in the Terrace containing only 25 rows. This hill was terraformed to “create land” it is extremely hard to keep consistent. Think about watering the top of a hill like dropping small ball bearings. They like water will always flow to the bottom of the hill. So trying to water and they keep each of the vines as consistent as possible across all of the rows as they bend over the terrace as well as keeping them consistent from the bottom of the hill to the top is like spinning plates. Thus this dramatic location needs constant attention and correction just to keep them uniform and producing uniform fruit. Finally, the Little Boy is the Baby of the Family. Historically we can expect between only half a ton to 1.5 tons each year. That equates to less than 75 cases of wine from this location a year. This is a tremendous amount of work for less than a 1 ton of fruit a year. We have to treat and work these vines just as we would vines that produce twice to 4 times as much production. It is without a doubt the most difficult place on our vineyard to work, all of that effort for so little production. Now, I will stop talking like a farmer looking for weight and tonnage to sell. These High-Stress Environments are what create amazing grapes. Each vine must struggle and work to provide for their fruit, and in turn, that fruit is dark rich and bursting with flavor and depth. It is that depth and that stress that translates to wine that has characteristics that are age-worthy and give you a sense of place. We work each of these locations diligently and passionately and with vigilance. These brothers are as diverse as they come. Each is fighting for survival and their place in the world. You can see why we keep each of them separately and allow them to shine on their own.