Digging into the Cellar Party III: 2006 Washington Syrah

By John ~ March 2nd, 2011.

Recently, the Wine Peeps team hosted our third Digging into the Cellar Party for about fifteen of our closest wine loving friends. For our first DITC Party, the theme was Rhone-style wines. For our second DITC Party, the theme was Red Blends. For this party, the theme was Washington Syrah, and we bookended a blind tasting of eleven 2006 Syrahs from Washington State with the 2006 O*S Dineen Vineyard Syrah, our Wine Peeps Washington Wine of the Year for 2009, and the 2006 Charles Smith Royal City Syrah, which Paul Gregutt of Wine Enthusiast gave a perfect score of 100 points. 2006 was an excellent vintage in Washington wine country, and we wanted to see how these wines were doing and determine which ones we thought still had a lot of life left.

What we found was that all of the wines were drinking very well, and we estimate that many of them could easily go another 7 to 10 years. Although this was not a serious, take-copious-tasting-notes event, each attendee was asked to turn in the sack numbers of their three favorites so that we could get a composite favorites list. With this group of wines, which were all very good, it was a difficult task.

After unveiling the sacked bottles, the consensus favorite of the group turned out to be the 2006 SYZYGY Syrah from the Walla Walla Valley. Other group favorites were the 2006 Ross Andrew Boushey Vineyard Syrah, the 2006 Fielding Hills Riverbend Vineyard Syrah, and the 2006 Watermill Walla Walla Valley Syrah. Other favorites of Kori and mine were the 2006 Long Shadows Sequel Syrah and the 2006 Alma Terra Coeo Syrah.

While the two bookend wines were not tasted blind, they received considerable praise from a number of the attendees; although, it was clear that the Charles Smith Royal City Syrah would not have received a perfect score of 100 points from this group. In fact, the O*S Dineen Vineyard Syrah received just as much praise, if not more, than the Royal City.

All in all, it was another super party with great friends and spectacular wine. We’re looking forward to doing it again.


Filed under: American Wine, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, Wine Activities/Events

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