A Taste of Monterey always seems to be able to make me smile when I open their shipping carton. Four times a year, we receive their shipment of Reserve Wine Selections and that means twelve bottles of excellent offerings from Monterey County and all of the AVA regions there, and it makes us relive our past holidays there.
The second bottle that I unpacked from the carton was Travieso Amaranta Syrah Santa Lucia Highlands 2013. I have found very little information about this winery as I believe that all of their wine is produced from contract growers. In 2005 they became a bonded winery and they have maintained a tight control over the grapes that they purchase as they only buy, by the acre and they have kept long term working relationships with their growers. Their philosophy is that rather than making a French wine, they wish to make a California wine.
This is the third wine that I have received from Travieso, and the other two were also the Amaranta Syrah, one was a vintage of 2008 and the other was 2011. The fruit for this wine all comes from Kirk Williams’ vineyard which is also known as the Fairview Ranch. They use minimal sulfite addition during the crush and they try to use domestic wild yeast for the fermentation. The fermenting period is from seven to eighteen days and they let the must rest for additional contact before pressing. They use from thirty to fifty percent new French Oak. The winery ages their wines for twenty-four to thirty-six months and looking at the current vintage of this wine, I would venture to say that this wine had the latter. Since I have had other Syrah wines from here, I know that they are big with spices and pepper along with red fruit and they have aged well.