2006 Tulpen Cellars Syrah

Hello friends. Long-term list members will know that it’s rare for me to land in your inboxes twice in one day, but I want to get this out there as soon as possible to help ease the sting of Abeja under-allocations. Once I realized that demand for Abeja’s Syrah would dwarf my supply, my first action was an attempt to secure a larger parcel. No luck there. My next move was to determine whether any other producer was working with Abeja’s estate Mill Creek Syrah fruit, and that path led me to a familiar man: Kenny Hart.

Kenny is the vineyard manager at Abeja (and Dunham, among others), but he also makes wine under the Tulpen Cellars label (we offered his Bordeaux blend back in May), and he is the only other producer (besides Abeja) that has released a Syrah from Mill Creek fruit. His Syrah, at just under 200 cases produced, is even smaller-production than Abeja’s, and Kenny has agreed to a tariff well below his release price.

While this won’t ease the pain for those of you specifically chasing the potential of a future Wine Spectator Top 100, it should be a salve for those of you looking to taste fruit from this exciting vineyard, and it has the advantage of two additional years of age. This is 76% Syrah (of which half is Mill Creek and half is Dunham’s estate Lewis Vineyard) cofermented with 4% Mill Creek Viognier and then blended with 10% each of Grenache and Mourvedre. Certainly this is not an exact replica of the Abeja Syrah; instead, imagine standing in a canyon and shouting “Abeja Syrah!” This is the echo that returns. The palate depth, complexity, and savory character are all there.

Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “($30); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 91pts.”

I’m going to ask you to again limit order requests to 4 bottles, but this time, I’m confident that if you want 4, you will get 4, not 1 or 0. We should have this wine in the warehouse in a few weeks, at which point it will be available for pickup or shipping during the autumn shipping window.

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