Sashi Moorman, Melissa Sorongon & Peter Pastan
Rim Rock Syrah 2017
If you want to understand how Sashi Moorman redefined ripeness in Santa Barbara — and, arguably, California — drink this wine. When it comes to American Syrah, fruit is easy, savory is hard. While the rest of the country is shooting airballs, Sashi Moorman is sinking threes like he's Stephen Curry.
Sashi Moorman is American wine’s Benjamin Franklin — ever tinkering, iterating, and going against the grain. His lightning rod: cool-climate Syrah, which he’s reimagined in the vein of Côte Rôtie by cultivating closer to the ocean — and harvesting earlier — than any of his colleagues dared to imagine. Sashi wouldn’t call himself a natural winemaker. Instead, he “makes wine naturally.” This might seem like a subtle distinction, but it actually reveals quite a lot about Sashi’s inherent pragmatism. More craftsman than banner-waving idealist, Sashi’s commitment to the environment is part of his mission to produce profound, terroir-driven wines. As such, his holistic approach goes far beyond any legal definition of organic. He tends his vines with the sensitivity of a gardener, forgoing synthetic sprays in favor old-school applications like sulfur and copper. The same goes in the cellar, where every decision reflects an inquisitive mind grappling with wine’s big questions.