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Tif's Painting for 2019 JP Cellars Syzyg

31% Pinot Noir
          -- Vitae Springs Vineyard
36% Gamay
          -- Jubilee Vineyard
33% Chardonnay
          -- Jubilee Vineyard
90 Cases Produced
11.8% alc. by vol
3.62 pH | 5.1 g/L Titratable Acidity

price: $20 per bottle
           $240 per case
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Syzygy (n.) | pronounced (sĭz′ə-jē) Greek word 

Definition: 1) An alignment of three celestial bodies in a gravitational system. 2) A union of opposites.

2020 Syzygy Red Blend

The Syzygy Red Blend was inspired by the Passe-Tout-Grains AOC in Burgundy, and it was made by following traditional winemaking methods. This wine style favors a "field blend" approach, which is when many different varieties of grapes are harvested together in the same picking bins. The fermentations that result from a field blend tend to showcase a higher degree of complexity in addition to increased stability. No filtration was used in order to preserve the natural integrity.

Pinot Noir, Gamay, and Chardonnay were selected for this blend because, as single-varietal wines, they are the hallmark of Burgundy. While there are other minor grapes allowed to be grown in Burgundy, such as Aligote, these main three varieties share a much more profound history in this ancient and extraordinary wine region.

Tasting notes:

Light-bodied and well-structured. The vibrant acidity in tandem with the fine-grained tannins give this wine a lively spirit. The flavor profile is rich in ripe red berries and wild flowers -- marionberry, cherry, raspberry, and fresh plum. With a nod to Chardonnay, this wine portrays a flinty, wet stone minerality that stands above the fruit notes. The Syzygy Red Blend portrays a graceful and elegant rendering of what unfolds from the connection behind these diverse varieties.

Harvest notes:

This wine was sourced from two outstanding vineyards -- Vitae Springs Vineyard and Jubilee Vineyard. All three varietals were  fermented together in the same bin with natural yeast. Most of the grapes were destemmed, but 20% of the grapes were added as whole-cluster. Whole-cluster grapes amplify the tannin structure in addition to imposing some austerity on the resulting fruit flavor profile.


The fermentation progressed beautifully and without a worry. Only pump-over and foot-treading techniques were used to gently stir the fermenting grapes in order to keep as many whole berries as possible. Crushing the grapes is commonly used in other wine regions, but crushing berries leads to too much harsh and bitter tannins to be extracted from the skins of these delicate Burgundian varieties.

Once the primary fermentation had converted all the natural sugars to alcohol, the skins were lightly pressed. This young wine was allowed to settle for a short period before being transferred to old French oak barrels. The light, fluffy lees from the primary fermentation was included in each barrel because this acts as a natural anti-oxidant. The fluffy lees also boost the secondary (malolactic) fermentation by being a natural source of nutrients. The wine was aged in barrel on the lees for 9 months before being bottled on August 19, 2021.


About the artwork

The painting on the label depicts three enso circles along a straight line in order to symbolize the three grape varieties in this blend. The texture in the background may be seen to represent the nuanced character of the Willamette Valley terroir that connects all three varieties. Artist: Tif Sheppard

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