The Story: Bibiana González Rave is the founder and winemaker of Cattleya Wines. She is also the wife of star winemaker Jeff Pisoni. Born and raised in Colombia and trained as a winemaker in France, she moved to California in 2007 to settle into making extraordinary wines. In her words: “Since my early teenage years, my dream has been to make wine. At a very young age I was fortunate enough to begin learning how to make wine in France. I trained myself while working with some amazing winemakers who showed me the importance of loving the land, how to respect the farming itself, and to focus on the many details that go into making each drop of wine in each and every bottle.” She is the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay winemaker at Pahlmeyer and produces “Shared Notes” wines with her husband Jeff Pisoni. All those ingredients together and you have one of the best winemakers in the country!
The Wine: The wine offers up an amazing bouquet of exotic fruit that jumps out of the glass. The color is bold and intense and the flavors on the palate just reflect the same – intense black stone fruit, a touch for floral quality and a hint of meaty-bacon fat. Densely concentrated, yet incredibly elegant at the same time. The flavors go on and on into a gorgeously long finish with silky tannins!
Winemaker Notes: “Dark and mysterious in the glass, this is Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah at is finest. Hesitant at first to show its hand, The Initiation unfolds with time, to burst with notes of blueberry, cassis, licorice, and bacon fat. Bright acidity and age-worthy tannin mingle with dark berry flavors to create a wine with immense aging potential.”
Jeff Dunnuck 97 Points: There are two Syrahs from this estate. The 2019 Syrah The Initiation comes from the Soberanes Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands. It has a darker, slightly reserved bouquet of spiced red and black fruits supported by subtle iron, peppery herb, and smoked game-like aromas and flavors. Beautiful on the palate, with medium to full-bodied richness, it shines for its purity of fruit, polished, building tannins, and flawless overall balance. This classic, impeccably made Syrah can be drunk any time over the coming 10-15 years..”
Make sure to check out the other highly rated Cattleya wines: