Grapes for the Abba Syrah were grown on the rolling foothills in Lodi, where soils are rocky and well drained. Vineyard owner and grower Phil Abba trains the vines in a Smart-Dyson ballerina trellis system, a divided canopy that essentially combines vertical shoot positioning with California sprawl, creating a dancing figure with "arms" shooting high into the air and "feet" delicately prancing below. The fruit sits in the middle, exposed to ambient light and good air flow for even development of grapes with deep, complex flavors. A "winemaker's wine," the Abba Syrah combines refined Rhône style with opulent California character. We gently destemmed and crushed a majority of the grapes, leaving approximately 10 percent whole berry for a pop of fruitiness. Dark and inky in color, the wine opens with seductive aromas of rose petal and Asian spice, with an undercurrent of rich black fruit. Heady aromas develop into a rich and silky palate packed with fruit, spice and wood, with no one characteristic competing with another. The depth and complexity of this wine make it a fine pairing with seared filet mignon, sautéed greens or herb-roasted potatoes.