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Pharoah Moans

Pharaoh Moans Paso Robles Syrah 2011

PharaohMoans front label - Paso Robles Syrah

The 2011 growing season at our Westside vineyard was typified by cool, damp weather, which lingered through bud break and caused minimal frost damage, primarily in the Grenache blocks. Rain persisted through the flowering period, resulting in some shatter and a smaller-than-usual crop. The summer remained cool, allowing the fruit to ripen in a prolonged, concentrated manner.

Our Syrah and Grenache vineyards, planted 2,300 vines per acre in a deep, rich limestone soil, yielded just under 1.5 tons per acre in fruit. We started picking our fruit on October 9, 2012, at a 26.5 brix level and a beautiful acidity of 0.76 g/l. We finished picking our Grenache in the third week of November! After fermenting for three weeks, our lots aged in a combination of 80% new French oak (Ermitage, Saury and Taransaud cooperage) and 20% neutral oak for a period of 16 months. After sorting through individual barrel lots and various clones, we arrive at our final, 14-barrel blend of 92% Syrah and 8% Grenache. The wine exhibits aromas of very dark fruits and ripe berries, accented by nuances of black licorice, white pepper and smoked game meats. Yum!

"A gorgeous effort that's made from 92% Syrah and 8% Grenache, all from Westside Vineyards and aged 16 months in 80% new oak, the 2011 PharaohMoans dishes out knockout black raspberry, roasted meats, chocolate and spice-driven aromatics. This full-bodied, decadent and dense effort stays focused and classy with big structure and a great mid-palate. Already approachable due to the wealth of material, it nevertheless has the balance and depth to evolve for over a decade. Drink now-2021. If you're in the mood for a full-bodied, gorgeously textured Syrah, few do it better."
- Wine Advocate, August 2013

"Dark purple. A wild, highly perfumed bouquet evokes candied black and blue fruits, violet, cola and smoky Indian spices. Sappy, concentrated boysenberry and cherry-vanilla flavors are complemented by notes of licorice and mocha and a hint of candied flowers. Really stains the palate, finishing smooth, spicy and long, with fully absorbed tannins.
- Stephen Tanzer, International Wine Cellar, November/December 2013

"Velvety smooth with ripe blackberry, boysenberry and vanilla oak; intense with notes of sweet chocolate, Christmas spice and toasted chestnuts; seamless and elegant with a long, lush finish."
- Anthony Dias Blue, Tasting Panel, September 2013

2011 SYRAH
"Dark, plush and layered, the 2011 Syrah shows a little more complexity than the 2010. Cinnamon, cloves and flowers add lovely nuance to this racy, intense wine. I very much like the sense of energy here. It will be interesting to see the direction future vintages take. The 2011 is 95% Syrah and 5% Grenache."
- Antonio Galloni, July 2013

As you are aware, the PharaohMoans label is a replica of the Rosetta Stone, which in 1822 finally decoded the hieroglyphic script. The dull text (which refers to tax breaks for priests) was inscribed in three languages, Greek, demotic Egyptian and hieroglyphics. We've just learned about a recent discovery at the British Museum of a fourth language on the Rosetta stone. The relic was fought over by French and British troops at the end of the Napoleonic wars, and finally taken to London. On the side of the stone, painted in English, one can read, "Captured in Egypt by the British Army in 1801." We think our English label inspired them to check!

We hope you will enjoy this world class rhone-style wine. Nunc Est Bibendum! ("Now we drink!")


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