SANTA BARBARA - CALIFORNIA - USA
“Sashi Moorman’s Piedrasassi label focuses on Syrah. The wines are deep, savoury and quite distinctive. In recent years, the use of whole clusters has come down, but that has not materially changed the wines personalities, or their tremendous appeal.” - Antonio Galloni
Points of interest within the greater Central Coast are found in its remarkable east-west transverse valleys, shaped by an era of tectonic contortion and upheaval. Here, geologic time stands on its head: diverse soils of varying epochs are often entangled. Receptive to the daily rhythms of the Pacific’s cooling winds and pervasive fog, these valleys and, in particular, their constituent hillsides, are host to some of California’s most compelling terroir for Syrah.
In the winery, Piedrasassi strive to coax from each harvest its individual expression of place. They employ, in balance, time-honoured technique, observations from travels and intuition. The native yeasts of the vineyards are cultivated before fermenting without additives or the manipulation of temperature. Often the whole grape cluster – its berries and stems - is made use of. The wines are then raised in large, used barrels and finally, bottled with only minimal sulphur – and without any fining or filtration.
Piedrasassi does not shy away from experimentation, but their work is always in the service of the same principles: commitment to ecological responsibility and the health of their patrons. The wines are structured to unfurl with age, to share with each passing year a new facet of a time and place; and wine must show up at the dinner table — that is, its most complete expression should be apparent alongside food and in good company.
Piedrasassi Santa Barbara County Syrah 2019
92 points, Antonio Galloni - "The 2019 Syrah (Santa Barbara County) is a bright, bold and super-expressive wine. Dazzling floral and spice accents lift a core of red-toned fruit in a vibrant, nuanced Syrah that screams with character. Most of this fruit is from John Sebastiano, one of the top sites in the Sta. Rita Hills. The County Syrah is a total knock-out, and a terrific value too."
Piedrasassi Bien Nacido Syrah 2018
95 points, Antonio Galloni -"The 2018 Syrah Bien Nacido is a dark, beguiling beauty. Purplish/black fruit, spice, lavender, liquorice and black pepper give the Bien Nacido a distinctly sepia-toned profile. Time in the glass brings out striking Syrah aromatics, but the 2018 remains a brooding, muscular wine with tons of depth and potent tannins that need time to soften."
Piedrasassi Rim Rock Syrah 2018
94 points, Antonio Galloni -"The 2018 Syrah Rim Rock Vineyard is the most reticent of these wines. All of its considerable energy is inward at this stage. Crushed rocks, dark raspberry, flowers, mint and iron are all laced together. Readers will have to be patient. There is plenty to look forward to, but I suspect the Rim Rock will always a be a touch linear and taut in feel. I really like the energy and saline intensity here."