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Groundwork is all about the fundamentals. Putting to use the empirical knowledge he has gained from making wine for his first label, Sans Liege Wines, Curt Schalchlin seeks to bring his experience to a new set of wines that embrace the soul and simple living of the Rhône. The Syrah impresses right away on the nose, with hints of nori wrap, soy, cracked pepper, and singed tobacco set against wild berry and dried thyme. The palate's sizzling acidity carries flavors of fresh berry, fennel frond, and thyme-laced pepper.