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The Scholium Project, Androkteinos Syrah 2013


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  • Country:

    United States

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  • Winemaker:

    Abe Schoener

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This wine is composed of 100% Syrah from the Widowmaker block of Lee Hudson’s Henry Road vineyards in the Carneros of Napa. The vines were planted in the early 2000s in the deep, rich, loamy bottomland of the Huichica creek. The fruit is rich and strong and we want it to give everything up. The result is a very intense wine, surprisingly tannic for Syrah.

  • Production Notes
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100% whole cluster, with no destemming. When the fruit is brought in it is introduced gradually into 600 litre puncheons turned vertical, with their heads removed. They stomp the fruit thoroughly as it goes in, intending to break every berry and release some of them from the stems. Afterwards the puncheons are refrigerated for a week to macerate the fruit in order to release a wide spectrum of depth and flavour. The result is a very intense wine, surprisingly tannic for Syrah. It matured for 18 months in neutral barrels and ages without SO2. Total production you may ask? 54 cases! 

Abe Schoener has a PhD in Ancient Greek Philosophy. Eighteen years ago, he was teaching at St. John’s College in Annapolis MD in the USA when he accidentally became entrained in grape-growing and winemaking. He moved to Napa in California on a sabbatical, to pursue some very rudimentary studies in grapevine physiology and the relation between vine physiology and wine quality This was not for the sake of ever making wine, it was just to better ground my thinking about the philosophy of plant biology in real experience. He was fortunate enough to win some very good internships, and the second was with John Kongsgaard, who had studied extensively in Burgundy. He was nearly alone in being committed to natural yeast fermentations, infrequent racking and topping, and minimal use of sulfites and he instructed him in all of theses (then) radical techniques. He also encouraged me to experiment widely, and to accept no rules as necessary, and no principles as given except for the drive for excellence!

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