The Red Zone

Since founding The Farm Winery, we have farmed Syrah every vintage and combined it our primary wines:  The Big Game and Touchy-Feely.   We've even created Primal Scream which is two-thirds Syrah.   However, not until vintage 2014, did we taste Syrah which demanded to be its pure self.  When we did, The Red Zone was born.  The bad news is there are just two barrels.

Vintage 2017 winemaker's notes

42 Cases produced - just 2 barrels   100% Syrah

The nose is mesmerizing.  Intense, complex, demanding.  A swirl of notes and colors and warmth.  A mellowness of fruit accentuated by ink and char and spice. In the palate it doubles down.  It’s a full-scale invasion of flavor.  There’s urgency and tension and minerality.  But then comes the warmth again, and the opening up and the giving and the pleasure.  And in the end, memories of fruit and spice wrapped in a mineral length.

I love wine with food.  I really do.  But with this vintage of The Red Zone…. think of drinking it on its own?  Take a risk and talk to it.  Open up to it.  You can always eat later. Now is Red Zone time.

Vintage 2017 reviews

Inky ruby. Ripe, spice-accented blackberry, cherry and exotic spices on the powerfully scented nose, along with a smoky nuance and a hint of vanilla that builds as the wine opens up. Supple and deeply concentrated, offering sweet black/blue fruit flavors complemented by suggestions of cracked pepper, violet and candied licorice. Finishes alluringly sweet and long, with a spicy jolt of cracked pepper and building florality and supple tannins that come in late.
93 points;  Vinous  December 2020

Medium dark red. Warning: this is a wine you can’t put down. There’s lovely, spicy dark red fruit on the nose, in the mouth, and on the palate-staining finish. And it shows perfect balance, freshness, and outstanding length. Perhaps not the most complex wine in The Farm portfolio, but extremely appealing.
93 points;  International Wine Review  April 2021
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Vintage 2016 winemaker's notes

100% Syrah - just one barrel

In the nose, blue.  Velvet and blue.  Slight echoes of a rare but charred steak?  Or is it only my desire?  Velvet, and blue and memories of ink…. In the mouth, warmth and balance and thick velvety texture coating the palate.  A call for lamb. A call for baby goat.  A food wine that claims its right to share of our joy of company, of friends, of family.  It even dares to be so unique as to claim also a place at the center of our conversation.  It impels the exchange of ideas.  Such is the ideal of winehood!  Density with elegance coat my mouth in a long remembrance of subtle tannin and tangy, mineral fruit. 
22 Cases produced

Vintage 2016 reviews

The Red Zone Syrah is a gorgeous wine showing underbrush and red and dark red fruit on nose and ripe plum, spice and pepper on the palate with excellent acidity and a hint of forest floor.  Is is soft and sensuous on the palate and has a long finish.
94 points;  International Wine Review  December 2020

Starting out with a lovely, very tastefully oaked nose of red and black berries highlighted with touches of caramelized meats and sweet spice, this rich, very well-crafted Syrah manages to be both weighty and bright on the palate, and its deep and continuous flavors display great fruity clarity and length.  Although structured for keeping and sure to benefit from a half-dozen or more years of additional age, it is surprisingly open and inviting given its tender years, and Syrah fanciers a bit short on patience will find plenty to like in the shorter term.
93 points;  Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine  October 2019

Vintage 2014 winemaker's notes

100% Syrah from Terra Bella Vineyard.  44 cases produced.

When we harvest Syrah from Block 1 in Terra Bella, the top of the hill is fermented on its own, and reserved as a component for The Big Game.  But when we tasted barrels labelled 1410 and 1435, we couldn’t resist the temptation of setting them aside.  There is a time during tasting when a barrel screams “I want to be.”  When it shows that it is a wine on its own.  When it doesn’t need blending with anything else to be complete.

2014 The Red Zone is 100% Syrah.  A nose of intensity rarely found.  I find notes of red and dark fruits (freshness and ripeness together!); also, white pepper and mesquite smoke and charred meat.  What does this tell me?  That language is limited and cannot express this complexity.  In the palate, there’s a laser focus of vibrant fruit.  And at the same time, a three-dimensionality that invites exploration.  A sensation of space that is lightness within density.  The silences of music.