95% Syrah, 5% Viognier. Helen Keplinger is widely regarded as one of the most talented and innovative winemakers in California. Prior to starting her eponymous wine label, she was the winemaker at Napa’s esteemed Cabernet house, Bryant Family Vineyard. Following Bryant Family Vineyard, Helen spent three years in the Priorat region of Spain where she became passionate about the culture, the lifestyle, and the wines of that region as well as the Rhone, where she would travel in her free time. Helen sources her Syrah and Grenache from old vines high in high-elevation sites so as not to lose the freshness of the grapes due to the hot weather. This Syrah, from a beautiful, cool, perfectly-tended block in Hudson Vineyards which is situated next to an old Hangman’s tree (in use until the early 1900s) hails a distinct Syrah with a dark personality. The wine is co-fermented with Viognier and aged in 50% French new oak barrels for 18 months before being bottled without fining or filtration. Hangman is a new world wine that is most reminiscent of the Northern Rhone. Filled with sweet tobacco, dark fruit, and dried herbs this wine is simply beautiful and only 209 cases produced! Helen is certainly making a name for herself in the valley and it’s easy to see why.