Another Splendid Californian: Baileyana Syrah

When I couldn't get a nice Californian Pinot Noir in the local specialist wineshop the owner recommended the Baileyana Firepeak Syrah. It was about £17.00 a bottle but was well worth it. Very spicy but very plummy at the same time. Full bodied and oaky but not overly tannic; one of the best reds I have had for a long time.

Baileyana Winery was founded over 20 years ago in the Edna Valley on California's Central Coast. Rather than the typically California widely-spaced vines the lady founder, Catharine Niven, adopted a tighter Burgundian approach to the placement of her vines.

Since 1998 they have employed Burgundian winemaker Christian Roguenant who oversaw the construction of a new winery.

Their Firepeak vineyard (it is on the slopes of an extinct volcano) was only planted 10 years ago It is only four miles from the sea and benefits from a cool foggy climate.

Christian Roguenant: "We 'ave a very froggy climate 'ere".

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