Lillian’s winemaker, Maggie Harrison learnt her craft under the auspices of Manfred Krankl at Sine Qua Non. This had the additional benefit of connecting her with some of the best fruit sources for Syrah in California.
Lillian Syrah is made from fruit sourced from three vineyards. White Hawk gives the darkest and most deepest fruit of the three sites. Complexity, comes as floral and iodine (ocean) related perfumes rather than a more typical bacon fat, and pepper oriented profile. This fruit usually encompasses about 50% of the blend. Each year Stolpman sells Maggie two tons of their best fruit. Usually this is T99 clone Syrah (producing very thick skins) and something from one of their high density plantings. The calcareous soils at Stolpman mean the fruit profile is slightly brighter and more tannic. This is usually 10-15% of the blend. Bien Nacido is a large historic vineyard planted closer to the coast. It is far cooler than Stolpman or Whitehawk and it is evident in the wines. This is more Northern Rhône-like in its flavours: it's all about bacon fat, smoke, olives, lavender and crazy salt inflected oceanic aromas.
Maggie’s Lillian wines are extraordinary things: a fusion of elegance, gossamer lightness of touch and subtlety with intensity, concentration and power.