In the early stages of our blending, it was relatively easy to 'feel out' the individual characteristics of each varietal. The Syrah component had a more intense fruit than the Cabernet; in fact it quite overpowered the finesse the Cabernet brought to the blend. The Syrah brought 'grip' to the blend; I made notes that it exhibited profound 'pear' flavors. Prior to the final blend, we fined the Syrah with egg whites, somewhat 'toning down the 'fleshiness' and 'over-exuberance' of this component. The Cabernet was exquisite on its own account, exhibiting typical, honest currant and black fruit aromas and flavors. But, as is our want, we found that we improved on both components by blending them together. The final blend still had a 'knock out' nose of fruit, but now there were multifarious fruit components, adding complexity to the wine. Vagabond's final blend appeared 'seamless' in texture, no 'bumps' or unkindly tannins in the way. The wine is certainly youthful, with the fruit being so forward, yet Vagabond does possess a balance and accessibility that leave it quite satisfying in its precocious youth.
Wine AdvocateAn impressive new offering is the 580-case 2004 Vagabond, a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged completely in French oak, it boasts a dense ruby/purple hue, a big, sweet, blackberry, flower, pepper, coffee, and chocolate-scented bouquet, full body, and a soft, expansive style. Drink it over the next 7-8 years. A barrel sample of a 100% 2005 Syrah may or may not become the Vagabond, but I did not think it was as dramatic as the 2004.
Wine SpectatorShows wonderful intensity and purity of fruit, with spicy, peppery blackberry and wild berry flavors and hazelnut and cedar notes. Deftly balanced and persistent on the finish, gaining complexity. Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2011. 600 cases made.