Red Willow Vineyard: Wines We Tasted



By Kori ~ July 30th, 2008.

At the conclusion of our recent visit to Red Willow Vineyard, our hosts Mike and Jonathan Sauer treated us to a sample tasting of four Syrahs made with grapes from Red Willow Vineyard: a 1991 Columbia Winery Red Willow Vineyard Syrah, a 2003 Columbia Winery Red Willow Vineyard Syrah, a 2005 Columbia Winery Red Willow Vineyard South Chapel Syrah which is co-fermented with Viognier (92.5% Syrah, 7.5% Viognier), and a 2006 Owen Roe Ex Umbris Syrah.

While all four wines gave us a good sampling of Red Willow’s Syrah grapes, we thought the two best wines were the 1991 Library Wine which was great for a 17 year-old Washington Syrah and the 2005 South Chapel Syrah which we believe will be even better with a little more age.

Here are our ratings for each of the four wines, in the order we tasted them:

1991 Columbia Winery Red Willow Vineyard Syrah
Vineyard: 100% Red Willow Vineyard
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: Not Available
Price: Not Available

2003 Columbia Winery Red Willow Vineyard Syrah
Vineyard: 100% Red Willow Vineyard
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Price: $30

2005 Columbia Winery Red Willow Vineyard South Chapel Syrah
Vineyard: 100% Red Willow Vineyard
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Price: $30

2006 Owen Roe Ex Umbris Syrah
Vineyards: Erickson Road Vineyard, Red Willow Vineyard, Elephant Mountain Vineyard, Lewis Vineyard, Alder Ridge Vineyard
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Price: $22

As we will outline further in a subsequent post, Red Willow Vineyard has had a close working relationship with Columbia Winery for over 30 years. The Owen Roe offering we tasted is one of the first of many you will see in the next few years from different producers that use Red Willow grapes. It is an exciting time at Red Willow, and we are looking forward to sharing some of that excitement with you. Stay tuned!


Filed under: American Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Vineyards, Washington State Wine

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