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Wine of the Day
- Written by Fred Swan
- Monday, 19 March 2012 06:07
Alpha Omega first opened the doors of their hip yet inviting Rutherford tasting room in 2006. Located on Hwy 29, just across the street from Grgich Hills, it’s become a very popular stop for both the wine and the ambience. One of the benefits of stopping in is the ability to pick up some of their limited releases which aren’t available online or at retail.
Alpha Omega is primarily focused on Bordeaux varietal wines, including bold reds, dry Sauvignon Blanc and a late harvest dessert wine made in the style of Sauternes with both Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. The flagship wine is Alpha Omega Era, a Cabernet Sauvignon that includes small amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
The Alpha Omega winemaker is Jean Hoefliger. He is a native of Switzerland whose past posts include Chateau Lynch-Bages in Bordeax, Meerlust in South Africa and Newton Vineyard in Napa Valley. Michel Rolland serves as consulting winemaker. They favor native yeast fermentations in open top barrels and strive for bold yet complex wines with with silky, approachable tannins. The Alpha Omega Syrah is of that style
The grapes came from the Krupp Brothers Vineyard on Atlas Peak. It lies between Stagecoach Vineyard and Soda Canyon Road. Krupp Brothers Vineyard is the newest of the Krupps’ vineyards and features deep, lava rich soils. Don’t confuse it with Krupp Vineyard which is their oldest and coolest. That one is planted to early-ripening varieties such as Merlot and Tempranillo.
I provide all this background partially out of guilt. The wine I’m about to discuss is very good, and it’s sold out. It was a limited release, sent to club members and then sold at the tasting room while supplies lasted. That’s where I got my bottle. Alpha Omega plans to make the wine every year though. If the description sounds good, you can join the club to ensure access to the 2011 or hope there’s enough left for the tasting room.
The 2010 Alpha Omega Syrah is dark ruby-purple in the glass with come hither aromas of leather, blackberry, plum, black pepper and coffee. The wine is nearly full-bodied with very fine, lightly chalky tannins. There is enough acidity to balance both the tannins and the rich flavors of dark chocolate mousse, leathera and blackberry liqueur. The finish is long and juicy. This wine’s like a book you just can’t put down. Drink now through 2016. There’s no reason to decant. Highly Recommended.
2010 Alpha Omega Syrah Krupp Brothers Vineyard Napa Valley
Rating: Highly Recommended
Drink: Now through 2016
Release Date: November, 2011
Production: 350 cases
Retail Price: $68.00 (currently sold out)
Blend: 100% Syrah
Origin: Krupp Brothers Vineyard, Atlas Peak, Napa Valley
Fermentation: Natural yeast fermentation, 20% in barrel
Aging: 10 months in French oak, 70% new, 30% one-year old
The wine above was purchased for review.
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