The Originals block is not only our original planting, but it is the original Syrah block of Ballard Canyon. The two old California Sirene clones, Estrella River and Durrell Vineyard, were planted in 1992 and 1993. Sashi Moorman first separated these blocks into the designated “Originals” cuvee with the 2008 vintage. The low yields of these dry-farmed, mature vines give a rich concentration to the Originals Syrah. Because of this richness, the Originals might be the most hedonistic, seductive 2012 Syrah out of the gate. With 60% whole-cluster fermentation and a slow 3 week fermentation on the skins in concrete, this wine will also pay dividends to those who wait to pop it. It’s quite easy to make rich Syrah in California. Green harvesting for low yields and leaving the grapes on the vine until they dehydrate somehow became the status quo over the past two decades. What separates the Originals Syrah from the pack is its combination of richness with brightness and freshness. This is not a wine made from raisins, but a product of picking on the perfect nights after a perfect growing season. On the nose, a dense perfume of violet, blueberry, anise, with blood orange wafts out of the glass. Hints of iron and graphite preface the firm structure of the wine. The 60% stem-inclusion lifts the aromatic profile lending attractive smells of fresh cut herbs. The wine coats the mouth and is intensely vibrant, young, and aggressive. Poignant red fruit flavors are tamed by the luxurious mouth-feel. This wine screams for red meat. A powerful, integrated wine, already intensely enjoyable. The 2012 Originals arrives in the new, custom Ballard Canyon Syrah bottle with the words BALLARD CANYON subtly raised in the shoulder of the glass. The debut of the bottle, only used by Ballard Canyon grower-producers for Syrah, happens to coincide with the ideal, even 2012 growing season.