Tom Burgess was one of the first people in Napa Valley to understand the importance of mountain terrain when planting grapes. After all, many of the greatest wines in Europe are made from grapes on slopes for good drainage and mineral content.
For centuries, the Europeans valued the soil over all else. That's why most of their wines are named after the place, not the grapes. They've been doing this for so long, they know which grapes do best in which areas and the laws say which grapes can be grown and where.
Tom recognized this early on and planted grapes that would grow best on the mountain property he purchased in 1972. Grapes had been grown there for over 100 years so it had a good track record. From the very beginning, Burgess made wines that turned heads around the world. In national and international competitions, his wines were always at or near the top, and they still are.
Syrah is a relatively new grape for Burgess. The winery is most known for Cabernet and Zinfandel. This changed when he looked at the great vineyards in the Northern Rhone, where Syrah is King. It was there that he saw steep mountains, much like his, and decided that Syrah would enter the mix.
This is a powerful and astonishing wine. Bold and imposing, it thunders across the palate like a stallion offering pounds of blueberry, earth, and tobacco along with black and white pepper. The finish lasts for minutes, not seconds.
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