Big Basin Vineyards was founded in 1997 on an historic site in the Santa Cruz Mountains one mile from Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The first of the old vineyard blocks to be re-developed was named Rattlesnake Rock because of a prominent rock outcropping favored by the local snakes. This vineyard has steep South and Southwest facing hillsides and a relatively warm micro-climate for the coastal Santa Cruz Mountains. The warm days, windy afternoons and cool nights provide the right ingredients for full flavor development. The characteristic soils are fractured mudstones and clay loams with shallow top soil. Syrah budwood and rootstocks were selected with the goal of producing low yields of intense fruit. The 2003 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah was bottled in May 2005 after spending 20 months in 90% new French oak barrels. This vintage shows further development in expressing the special character of our mountain vineyard with silky tannins and elegance not present in the 2002 vintage. With time in the glass, the wine opens up with a nose of violets, leather, cedar and cigar box. Layers of black and red fruit come across the pallet with a sustained finish.