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Inspired by his visits to the cellars of Jean Gonon and Raymond Trollat, 2016 was the first release of Pax Mahle’s Hillsides Syrah. The wine received a rare 100-point score from Vinous, and Antonio Galloni also recently wrote that Hillsides represents “one of the very finest wines in Northern California”. Hillsides is a culmination of the most compelling Syrah Pax can find in any given year. The wines are identified post-fermentation, taken from wood, and blended into a single concrete tank. Pax explains, “concrete gives a very dense core of fruit. Concrete breathes but not as much as wood; it brings the wine to a really nice reductive state, which allows us to minimise our use of sulphur.”
The sites used in the Sonoma Hillsides Syrah can vary each year. However, each is chosen to showcase the freshness and vibrancy that Syrah can only achieve in these cool-climate hillside slopes. In particular, the Walker Vine Hill Vineyard in the Russian River Valley invariably forms the base of this prestigious wine. Situated in a unique micro-climate that traps cool coastal influences to allow the fruit to ripen slowly, the vines are rooted in iconic Goldridge soil (a touchstone for cool-climate Syrah in California). The remaining sites include the Castelli-Knight Ranch, bringing high-tone spice and power; the Nellessen Vineyard, which provides nerve and acidity; and the cool and fog-blanketed Griffin’s Lair Vineyard in Petaluma Gap.
Like the rest of the Pax Syrah range, the Sonoma Hillsides is 100% whole cluster fermented and foot crushed.
We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which we operate in Melbourne, and pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. We also acknowledge and respect the Traditional Owners of lands across Australia, their Elders, Ancestors, cultures and heritage, and recognise the continuing sovereignties of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Nations.
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