Category Archives: Syrah

2008 Cayuse Cailloux Vineyard Syrah Walla Walla

So much hype if you had never tried these wines you might be intimidated. Purple ruby color. On the nose, youthful, medium+ intensity, cherry, strawberry, meat, cracked pepper, herbs, very layered, with moderate oak, and some earth and funk. On the palate, dry, meaty, herby, very balanced with red fruit, lots of spice, and a seamless old world rustic charm to this wine that left me wanting more. I would have called this North Rhone if I had it blind.

2005 Rockblock “Seven Hills Vineyard” Syrah Walla Walla

rockblock_7hillsI had this wine at the Rhone Rangers event this summer and was really fired up about this wine. Made by Domaine Serene, the rocking Pinot Noir producer from the Willamette Valley, and sourced from one of the best Syrah vineyards in the state. Fortunately, I got to revisit this yesterday, and for this first time in a while the color of a wine necessitates some mentioning. Ruby with extraordinary haziness. On the nose, wet earth, bark, plums, blackberry, blueberry, meat, black pepper, spice, and some French Oak. On the palate, dry, creamy mouth feel, good dark fruit, dusty spicy component, medium tannin, medium alcohol, nicely balanced wine with moderate length on the finish. I am getting some of this for myself.    

2003 McCrea Cellars Cuvée Orleans


This is the flagship wine of one of the pioneers of Rhone Varietals in WA State. Without this wines commercial and critical success, the Syrah movement in WA just would not have happened. 85% Syrah, 12% Mourvèdre, 3% Viognier, is the blend, I have heard that the goal is to make something like Cht. Beaucastel. Great nose, of medium intensity, almost port-like, stewed plums, figs, and blackberries, smoke, floral component, mint, some dusty earth, and a touch of wood spice. On the palate, silky tannins, nice acidity, great balance, and real nice finish. Wild game would love this wine.    

2006 McCrea Cellars Syrah Washington State

We were told by a representative from the winery that this could be labeled Yakima Valley but they didn’t care to. On the nose, youthful, black fruit, blackberry, mulberry, black pepper, bacon, some barnyard, licorice, moderate oak, and a nice spice component. On the palate, dry, velvety, creamy texture, with bright fruit, med tannin, and a medium finish. A solid effort from one of the states best Rhone producers.    

2004 Columbia Crest Reserve Syrah


We are featuring this wineries reserve line this month. Second largest producer behind CSM in the state, but like CSM, the reserve wines are thought to be a winery inside a winery with a whole separate team that tends these wines. On the nose, youthful, medium intensity, bright black fruit, some plums, blackberries, white pepper, spice, a floral element, and a meaty component. On the palate, dry, medium intensity, well made, not over-oaked, and not the ever so popular dark berry mocha latte Syrah that everyone else is putting out. Silky in the mouth, very drinkable, but lacked structure, and the finish was moderate. At about $22 retail this is better than most Syrah’s of equal price. I just wanted a bit more depth, in many ways this reminded my of my Syrah that’s sitting in barrel still.    

2005 Kestrel Estate Syrah Yakima Valley


I almost bought fruit from this vineyard, but another local winery told me not to because of problems in vineyard management that would take a few years to straighten out. That being said, on the nose this wine was youthful, med- intensity, cherries, blackberries, black pepper, and not that interesting. On the palate, some juiciness to the fruit, but it falls away really quickly, into blandness, med tannin, med acidity, weak finish. We are pulling it of the menu, sorry but it’s not worth the $60 on our menu.    

2004 Montes Folly Chile


This has been one of my favorite Syrah’s for the past few years. Named Folly because everyone thought it was crazy to plant an untested varietal in the steep hillside slopes of the Apalta Valley of Chile. Turns out this wine is a great expression of New meets old World. Dark garnet color of medium intensity. On the nose, sound, aroma of medium intensity, pretty dark berries, tar, smoke, some earth, woodspice, and a small amount of Oak. On the palate, dry, med+ intensity, really beautiful mouthfeel and finish. Tannins were medium, acidity med, very pretty integration of fruit, earth, and oak. This was what I would call delicious, and can see why the people I convinced to try it freaked out about it.    

2005 L’Ecole Seven Hills Vineyard Syrah


There were few to none images of this winery, I need to either help them out or let them know about the army of wine bloggers that are trying to spread some wine love. Shocked actually, because this is a first growth of WA, that is still affordable, they haven’t escalated 20% a year like others. It was dark in the restaurant, so to me the wine was just dark. On the nose, aroma, dirt, meat, blueberry, blackberry, black pepper, and a bit of oak. On the palate, dry, med+ intensity, creamy dairy and really bright juicy blue and black berries. Will someone please send me an email to remind me to purchase a case to sit on for a few years.