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Claire Hill Wines Dry Creek Valley Syrah Grist Vineyard 2019


Cyber Weekend: Use code BFCM10 for 10% off 6+ bottles of wine (excludes Champagne). Starts at 12noon PT this Friday 11/26 through Monday 11/29. Learn more

Syrah is the grape that speaks most clearly to Claire and at Grist vineyard she liked what they were saying to her. High above the Dry Creek Valley atop Bradford Mountain (1,000 feet elevation), this Syrah has more in common with delicate Northern Rhône Syrah, though Dry Creek Valley (on average at 300ft elevation) bears more resemblance to robust Southern Rhône Syrah. Only 15 miles from the ocean as the crow flies and perched up above the fogline, Grist Vineyard has a cool growing season that allows for complex and developed flavors at lower potential alcohol. There’s a fantastic natural acidity to the grapes from here that brings freshness and verve.

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Claire Hill has long been amongst our favorite colleagues. For the last few years, she has been the face of the local distributor of the treasures within the Louis/Dressner portfolio. Her weekly visits were always a high point, and not just because she was bringing some of the world's best wines for us to taste. More than that, it was the pleasure of conversing with someone so thoughtful and intelligent.

Through the years, we heard bits and pieces about Claire’s developing wine project. What little she did quickly became Somm favorites and the few local restaurants that could get their hands on them quickly gobbled them up. This is why we were more than a little excited to learn that there was finally enough wine for us to buy some for the shop!

Claire's wines are swoonworthy. They possess the focus and precision one would expect from someone doing this for a decade or more. They radiate with the energy of California sunshine while maintaining structure and acidity we tend to assign to cool climate European wines. Having had many wines from the vineyards she buys fruit from, we can say with confidence that these are the amongst the most transcendent wines that we’ve ever tasted from those sites.

Born and raised in San Francisco, Claire was bitten by the wine bug after college. She’s worked harvests with Rhys and Unti, as well as with Eric Texier in the Rhone. It's perhaps with Eric in the Rhone where Claire’s decision making process began to take shape. She allows the vines to help her decide what the final wine will be.


  • Grape Variety


  • Vintage


  • Size


  • Farming Practice


  • Style

    Aromatic , Earthy , Fruity

  • Sweetness


  • Body

    Medium Bodied