2018 The Initiation | Syrah


SKU: RA18SYTICT Category: Tag:

Take the first step and be initiated.


Dark and mysterious in the glass, this is Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah at is finest. Hesitant at first to show its hand, The Initiation unfolds with time, to burst with notes of blueberry, cassis, licorice, and bacon fat. Bright acidity and age-worthy tannin mingle with dark berry flavors to create a wine with immense aging potential.



The Soberanes Vineyard is located in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation of Monterey County amid the sandy loam soils boasting significant sub-soil boulders layered into the alluvial fan. Meticulously farmed by the Pisoni & Franscioni families, the vines thrive in this cool site among foggy mornings and Pacific winds. You can expect hints of minerality, beautiful acidity while the tannins wrap the mouth-feel with a unique velvet texture.


The fruit was harvested by hand in the early morning hours of October 13th. A ten day cold soak on the skins preceded an additional 15 day primary fermentation. Gentle extraction of color, tannin, and flavor came through a combination of daily punch downs and pump overs until fermentation was complete. Once dry, the wine was transferred to 75% new French oak barrels, where malolactic fermentation then took place. After 22 long, undisturbed months, the wine was carefully bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Alc: 14.1%
Cases produced: 150 cases (9L equivalent) – 750 mL


Cattleya was born in 2011 with a single barrel of Syrah from the Soberanes Vineyard. It marked the beginning of my journey as the proprietor and winemaker of my own wine label. This site became my initiation—making wine from the variety I worked with so much in France, among the steep hillsides of the famed Côte-Rôtie appellation in the Rhone Valley.