Gary Mills, the visionary, brains and hands behind Jamsheed, spent two years at Ridge Vineyards in Santa Cruz everything he could under the tutelage of winemaking legend Paul Draper. The winery is named for Jamsheed, a Persian king who ancient writings tell us was an early inventor of wine, when he stored his grapes in jars over winter where they would spontaneously ferment. This wine is 100% Syrah or Shiraz as the Persians called it. 60% hails from a Pyrenees estate established in the late 1960’s on quartz laced granitic soils. The rest of the blend (40%) is from two different Yarra Valley vineyards. The average vine age for these grapes is over 20 years old. Fermented with indigenous yeasts and 75% whole bunches, the wine was pressed to new (20%) French puncheons and older hogsheads for 8 months and then bottled unfiltered and unfined. The International Wine Cellar scored it 91 points and said “Bright purple. Highly fragrant scents of black and blue fruits, olive paste and smoky Indian spices. Shows textbook syrah character, with appealing sweetness, smokiness and spiciness to its cassis, cherry compote and licorice pastille flavors. The persistent, subtly tannic finish repeats the smoky note and shows very good focus. Fantastic value here, and a great introduction to winemaker Gary Mills' style."