Wine Tasting Dinner: More 2007 Washington Syrah



By Kori ~ January 19th, 2011.

Washington Syrah compares favorably with the best in the world. Washington Syrah generally falls somewhere in between the jammy Shiraz of Australia and the more austere Syrah of the northern Rhone. It generally has good acidity and tannins. The common denominators of our favorite Syrahs from Washington have been deep, dark purple color and luscious black fruits, with hints of green bell peppers, black pepper, and spice.

Last Friday, we featured Washington Syrah from the 2007 vintage in our monthly wine tasting dinner. I personally believe that the 2007 vintage may ultimately be considered the best ever in Washington State.

All six wines paired perfectly with Mom’s dinner of roasted pepper tomato soup, sautéed pear salad with blue cheese dressing, prime rib, oven roasted root vegetables, sautéed broccoli rabe, and topped off with a German chocolate dessert with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Two of the six wines received a Quality rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5), and the top four wines received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5). Even though these wines are not inexpensive, they are well worth the money.

Wines from Grand Rêve Vintners and Rasa Vineyards came out on top in this stellar lineup. If you are not familiar with these wineries, I encourage you to get to know them. We named Rasa Vineyards as Best Newcomer in our Best of 2010 in Washington Wine Country, and Grand Rêve Vintners received honorable mention in the same category. This tasting only underscored the quality of wines both wineries are producing.

Really, you can’t go wrong with any of these wines. Washington State produces fabulous Syrah, and the winemakers who made these six wines are among the state’s best.

From 1st to last in the group consensus rankings:

2007 Grand Rêve Collaboration Series III (Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, Red Mountain, Washington): 100% Syrah. Winemaker Mark McNeilly of Mark Ryan Winery. Dark purplish red in color. Very aromatic with blackberry, oak, vanilla, and licorice on the nose. Luscious black fruits, licorice, and vanilla come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with a long finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $45; Available elsewhere, $69 to $100

2007 Rasa Vineyards QED (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): 94% Syrah, 3% Grenache, and 3% Mourvedre. Deep, dark purplish red. Gorgeous nose with aromas of blackberry, black cherry, game, and spice. Black fruits, spice, smoked meats, and hints of green bell pepper come through on the palate. Full-bodied and crisp with medium to high tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with good complexity and a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $50; Available elsewhere, $40 to $90

2007 Ross Andrew Winery Boushey Vineyard Syrah (Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Washington): Deep, dark ruby red. Aromatic with black fruits and pepper on the nose. More black fruits, pepper, and licorice flavors on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $25

2007 Saviah Cellars Red Mountain Syrah (Ranch at the End of the Road Vineyard, Red Mountain, Washington): Deep, dark purple in color. Nice nose with plum and oak aromas. Flavors of plum, black cherry, and a hint of tar. Medium to full-bodied and crisp with medium tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $18; Available elsewhere, $20 to $29

2007 Waters Winery Forgotten Hills Syrah (Forgotten Hills Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley, Washington): Deep, dark red. Aromatic with pepper, spice, and blackberry on the nose. Pepper, black fruits, earth, and vegetal notes come through on the palate. Medium-bodied and lively with medium tannins and a medium finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Garagiste (Seattle, Washington), $36; Available elsewhere, $35 to $75

2007 Nefarious Cellars Estate Syrah (Defiance Vineyard, Columbia Valley, Washington): Deep, dark purplish red. Nice nose with blackberry and spice aromas. Flavors of blackberry, spice, along with some Red Vines on the back end. Medium to full-bodied and crisp with medium, drying tannins, and a long, smooth finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $27; Available elsewhere, $27


Filed under: American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Leave a Comment