Rhone Rangers in Seattle



By Kori ~ July 14th, 2008.

The Rhone Rangers—Advancing the knowledge & enjoyment of Rhone grapes grown in America and of the wines produced from those grapes.

Last Tuesday, Dad (John) and I attended the Rhone Rangers Trade/Media Tasting in Seattle. The Rhone Rangers are a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting American Rhone varietal wines. To be members, wineries must produce wines from one or more of the 22 varietals that are native to the Rhone Valley in France. Rhone Ranger member wineries from Washington, Oregon, and California participated in this tasting.

Since it would have been impossible to taste all the wines that were being poured, we chose to focus on one varietal, Syrah. We tasted a total of 45 wines, 44 Syrahs and one Syrah blend. We gave a 4 star rating to seven wines. We especially liked the 2006 Cline Los Carneros Estate Syrah and the 2006 Cass “Rockin’ One” Red Blend. We look forward to picking up some of these and adding them to our blind-tasting lineup to see how they stack up against some of our proven favorites. Look for posts on these tastings in the coming weeks and months.

In order to keep these notes from being unwieldy as we tasted 45 different wines, I have broken down the list into Quality rating categories. Under each Quality heading, the wine name will be listed along with appellation/region, price and QPR rating. Wines in bold type received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5).

Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
2006 Cline Los Carneros Estate Syrah, Carneros, $20, QPR: 5
2005 Snoqualmie Reserve Syrah, Columbia Valley, $23, QPR: 5
2004 Sarah’s Vineyard Syrah, Santa Clara Valley, $30, QPR: 4
2005 Tablas Creek Syrah, Paso Robles, $35, QPR: 4
2006 Cass “Rockin’ One” Red Blend, Paso Robles, $42, QPR: 3
2005 Domaine Serene Rockblock “Seven Hills Vineyard” Syrah, Rogue Valley, $45, QPR: 3
2005 McCrea Cellars Boushey Grande Cote Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley, $45, QPR: 3

Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
2006 Snoqualmie Columbia Valley Syrah, Columbia Valley, $10, QPR: 5
2006 J. Lohr Estates South Ridge Syrah, Paso Robles, $15, QPR: 5
2005 Kinton Syrah, Santa Barbara County, $20, QPR: 4
2005 Coyote Canyon Estate Syrah, Horse Heaven Hills, $22, QPR: 4
2005 Adelaida Cellars Estate Syrah, Paso Robles, $25, QPR: 4
2006 Justin Syrah, Paso Robles, $27, QPR: 4
2005 Novy Santa Lucia Highlands Syrah, Santa Lucia Highlands, $27, QPR: 4
2005 Sarah’s Vineyard Syrah, Santa Clara Valley, $30, QPR: 3
2005 Ecluse Lock Vineyard Syrah, Paso Robles, $32, QPR: 3
2004 Alexander Valley Vineyards Alexander School TOC Syrah, Alexander Valley, $35, QPR: 3
2003 Bridlewood Estate Syrah, Santa Ynez, $40, QPR: 2
2006 Walter Dacon C’est Syrah Magnifique, Yakima Valley, $42, QPR: 2
2004 McCrea Cellars Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Syrah, Red Mountain, $45, QPR: 2
2005 IO Ryan Road Vineyard Syrah, Paso Robles, $48, QPR: 1
2004 McCrea Cellars Cuvee Orleans Syrah, Yakima Valley, $50, QPR: 1
2005 Adelaida Cellars Viking Vineyard Reserve Estate Syrah, Paso Robles, $65, QPR: 1

Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
2006 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Shiraz, Columbia Valley, $11, QPR: 5
2005 Sawtooth Syrah, Idaho, $13, QPR: 5
2006 Cline Cool Climate Syrah, Sonoma Coast, $16, QPR: 4
2005 Bonterra Syrah, Mendocino County, $18, QPR: 4
2005 Columbia Crest Reserve Syrah, Columbia Valley, $20, QPR: 3
2005 Alexander Valley Vineyards Estate Syrah, Alexander Valley, $20, QPR: 3
2005 Novy Sonoma County Syrah, Sonoma County, $20, QPR: 3
2004 Bridlewood Central Coast Reserve Syrah, Central Coast, $24, QPR: 3
2003 Valley View Anna Maria Syrah, Rogue Valley, $24, QPR: 3
2003 Columbia Winery Red Willow Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley $30, QPR: 2
2006 Walter Dacon C’est Syrah Belle, Columbia Valley, $30, QPR: 2
2006 Walter Dacon C’est Syrah Beaux, Columbia Valley, $38, QPR: 1
2005 McCrea Cellars Amerique Syrah, Yakima Valley, $40, QPR: 1
2002 Arrowood Saralee’s Vineyard Syrah, Russian River Valley, $40, QPR: 1
2003 Terra Blanca Reserve Block 8 Syrah, Red Mountain, $42, QPR: 1
2004 Domain Serene Rockblock “Del Rio Vineyard” Syrah, Rogue Valley, $45, QPR: 1
2005 IO Upper Bench Vineyard Syrah, Santa Maria Valley, $48, QPR: 1

Quality: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
2004 Krupp Brothers “Black Bart” Syrah, Napa Valley, $45, QPR: NR
2006 Olsen Estates Syrah, Columbia Valley, $42, QPR: NR
2002 Terra Blanca Estate Vineyard Syrah, Red Mountain, $20, QPR: NR
2006 Volcano Vineyards Lakeside & Serenade Vineyards Syrah, Rogue Valley, $32, QPR: NR
2003 Zaca Mesa Estate Bottled Syrah, Santa Ynez Valley, $20, QPR: NR


Filed under: American Wine, California Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Oregon Wine, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, Wine Activities/Events, Wines NOT To Buy (1 & 2 Star), Wines Over $25, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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