MJM is our flagship, Syrah-based blend, named in honor of our wives Michelle, Jen and Mitchi. We farm Syrah from several precise blocks in both Ballard Canyon and Sta. Rita Hills, and we select only the finest, most dramatic, barrels for this blend, to which we add small amounts of Grenache and Viognier. The resulting wine is given additional aging until we feel it is ready for bottling. Depending upon vintage, élevage lasts anywhere from 24 to 34 months.
The 2017 Vintage was a difficult one, as the effects of a five-year drought and shatter (incomplete pollination) at set reduced yields in many of the vineyards well below 2 tons per acre. The resulting grapes were incredibly deep and intense, with thick skins, loads of fruit and a serious tannic spine. Even with gentle extraction techniques, we knew that the MJM would benefit from longer barrel aging than in past years. Ultimately, the 2017 MJM was crafted from wines from John Sebastiano (50%, three blocks) and Stolpman (50%, three blocks). Clones included 470, 383, Estrella, 174, and Alban 1. This dramatically intense wine was aged for a total of 30 months in the finest French oak cooperage (Sylvin, Ermitage & Seguin Moreau) of which 44% was new.
The 2017 MJM will be one of the more long lived MJMs, as it has concentration and large scaled, yet ripe tannins. Indeed, it reminds us of the 2015, another hot dry vintage. The wine should age well for 15 years and hold for another 10. Drink 2023-2035+.
The wine was rated in barrel by Jeb Dunnuck who gave it 96-98 Points and said:
“The 2017 Syrah MJM might be a candidate for the Syrah of the vintage…Beautifully pure crème de cassis, licorice, crushed stone, graphite, and ground pepper notes all emerge from the glass. It’s full-bodied, powerful and concentrated, yet as with all the wines from this team, it’s perfectly balanced, has awesome tannins, and a great finish.”