La Fai Syrah/Viognier
This cuvée is named after David’s ex-wife, Connie, and was first made in 2014. Originally from Hong Kong, Connie’s Cantonese name is Wong Tsz Fai – and Fai means “sunlight” in Chinese.
The grapes for this release come from the Kimsey Vineyard (certified organic), maintained by Ruben Soloranzo and planted in 2008 in Santa Barbara County’s Ballard Canyon appellation. The vines grow on a sandy loam soil.
95% Syrah co-fermented with 5% Viognier – fully whole-clustered on Viognier, 36% whole clustered on Syrah. The grapes were hand-harvested mid-September and then manually pressed by David with a hand ratchet press, because it’s important to him to be there in the moment and pay attention to the grapes. Fermentation with indigenous yeasts. Punch down 3 times a day for the first week, then twice a day for 3 weeks, followed by once a day for the last part of the fermentation. 9 months in 60 gallons Boswell French oak barrel aging. 30% of the wine goes to one 1 year-old barrel and two 2 year-old barrels, with the 70% remaining sent to neutral barrels (two 4 year old barrels, two 5 year-old barrel, one 6 year-old barrel and two 11 year-old barrels). Hand bottled unfined and unfiltered. 12.75% alcohol.
About the Producer
The story of Boscoe Wine Co. starts in 1979 with the Haskell family’s first trip to Santa Ynez Valley. It was on this trip that David Haskell, then only a child, was introduced to the region. What began as family forays to the wine country developed into an enduring passion for the vineyards of Santa Barbara County. David soon decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his life there – a vision he would later realize through Boscoe Wine Co.
Both father and son share an infatuation with wine, and it was this shared love that led John and David Haskell to found Boscoe Wine Co. Having already started an award-winning restaurant together in West Hollywood, California, the team set out to build on their individual strengths: John bringing the business acumen to provide the company with a solid foundation, and David bringing a palate refined by more than 20 years as a sommelier, as well as his passion for wine science.
David had a vision: to make wine in a truly transparent way that was as honest as possible, capturing the full essence of the fruit. Many winemakers make natural wine. But there’s still a tendency to control and manipulate the process, making it all far from ‘natural': “at Boscoe, we always let the grapes speak for themselves, using temperature, minimal sulfur and our trained palates to shape and preserve what’s already there”.
As Boscoe’s winemaker, David uses science to aid and inform his decisions. The trick is letting the grapes be at their best then avoiding over meddling. That’s why he doesn’t add yeasts to his wines, letting the wild yeast from the field and the cellar flourish and impart its unique character. It’s also why he’s so focused on keeping it local: his entire winemaking process, from vineyard to cellar, occurs in only 10-square-miles of the Santa Ynez Valley. It’s that special relationship between the fruit and the land that brings “terroir” to life in the glass. And because nothing extra is introduced, Boscoe is able to give the drinker the ability to experience the unique environmental conditions from vintage to vintage.
The winery is named after David’s childhood cat Boscoe, "the best cat who ever existed". Haskell was only four or five years old when Boscoe came into his life. The Haskell family cat for sixteen years, Boscoe was more than just a cherished member of the household – he was the epitome of loyalty. Even after his passing, Boscoe was the code word among the Haskells for safety. Answering that things were “Boscoe” was a way of saying, “Everything is okay.” So when it came time to find a representative for the wine that would be a family product - a true collaboration between father and son, John came up with Boscoe which David instantly loved.