2013 Harrison Grade Sonoma Coast Syrah Radio-Coteau winemaker Eric Sussman bought fruit from this vineyard on Green Valley’s westernmost ridge between 2002 and 2007. He reconnected with the owners in 2012, at a point when they were ready to sell the vineyard along with the old house, barn, apple orchard and the spacious treehouse perched between redwoods. He now farms the syrah vines organically, ferments the fruit without added yeasts (45 percent whole cluster in this vintage) and ages his syrah predominantly in old oak puncheons. The vineyard’s cool climate and sandy Goldridge soil created a gutsy syrah in the dry 2013 vintage, the intense spice of its tannins—wood bark, green peppercorn, black tea—growing toward rich, dark fruit as it takes on air. The flavors are potent, the final impression one of abundant coastal freshness that grabs the attention and doesn’t relent. This needs another few years in the cellar to unwind; then open it with grilled lamb chops. (142 cases) —Luke Sykora
Top 100 Countdown
Leading up to our Top 100 in San Francisco, our critics are sharing some favorite wines that will be poured at the event. We’re posting a new note each day through October 10th.