Wine Tasting Dinner: 2007 Washington Syrah Revisited



By Kori ~ May 21st, 2014.

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.

The 2007 vintage was one of the best vintages in the history of Washington State. We featured 2007 Washington Syrah in a couple of our wine tasting dinners several years ago when those wines were recently released. Now that wines from the 2007 vintage have some bottle age on them, we decided to revisit some of those Washington Syrahs in our wine tasting dinner last Friday. It was another fabulous evening of great wines, the company of wonderful friends, and LaGayle’s (Mom’s) excellent food. All six wines paired extremely well with our dinner of tomato basil soup, ensalada mixta salad, grilled beef tenderloin steak, Swiss chard with caramelized onions, roasted rosemary tri-colored potatoes, and topped off with eclair cake garnished with whipped topping and raspberries for dessert.

Wines from Grand Rêve Vintners (now known as Force Majeure Vineyards), Rasa Vineyards, and Kerloo Cellars came out on top in this stellar lineup. 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. At seven years old, these wines are all drinking beautifully and should have a number of good years left.

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, dense red. Very aromatic with earth, herbs, blackberry, and licorice on the nose. Red and black fruit, licorice, and earth come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with a very 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, $60 to $95

2007 Rasa Vineyards Principia Reserve Syrah (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): 100% Syrah. Dark, dense red. Gorgeous nose with a lot going on aromatically. Blackberry, black plum, clove, pepper, smoked meat, and pencil lead fill both the nose and palate. Full-bodied with crisp acidity and high yet silky tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $85

2007 Kerloo Cellars Les Collines Syrah (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): Deep, dark red. Beautiful nose with aromas of blackberry, black cherry, and spice. More blackberry and black cherry as well as leather and smoked meat come through on the palate. Full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with a very long finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Winery, $29

2007 Fielding Hills Syrah (Riverbend Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington): Dark, dense purple. Very aromatic with blackberry, black cherry, mocha, and floral notes on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with a very long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $40; Available elsewhere, $38 to $42

2007 Corliss Estates Syrah (Columbia Valley, Washington): Dark, dense purple. Nice nose with earth and black fruit aromas. More earth and black fruit as well as smoked meat come through on the palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity and high tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $55; Available elsewhere, $60

2007 Sequel Syrah [Long Shadows] (Columbia Valley, Washington): Dark, dense purple. Nose is a bit tight at first, then black fruit and smoky aromas come through. Black fruit, black pepper, and spice dominate the palate. Medium to full-bodied and crisp with medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $45; Available elsewhere, $44


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

Reader's Comments

  1. Joanne Saliby | May 22nd, 2014 at 8:26 am

    cake garnished with whipped topping I do hope you meant whipped cream, and not some “created” topping with artificial ingredients.

    Ensalada means salad so adding that word is redundant.

  2. alex saliby | May 22nd, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Austere for wines of the Northern Rhone?! You are either ignorant of the meaning of the word austere or really uninformed about the wines of the northern Rhone.

    Adjective: austere (austerer, austerest) o’steer;
    1. Very plain, appearing grim and minimally functional.

    That doesn’t describe any of the wines I’ve drunk from the north.

  3. Kori | May 22nd, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Alex,
    Before calling someone “ignorant” of a word’s meaning, you might want to scroll down in your dictionary to the full definition of austere as it pertains to wine:

    aus·tere adjective \ȯ-ˈstir also -ˈster\
    of a wine : having the flavor of acid or tannin predominant over fruit flavors usually indicating a capacity for aging

    Given that definition, I’ll stick to using it as a descriptor of Northern Rhone Syrah.

    Cheers!

  4. north face | October 24th, 2014 at 3:14 am

    Bons points mis à part, la conception 924 a montré quelques absides. Vo ihm iegen damengoße Haogenbinen fü Atoscheinwefe, Lechtdioden (LED)-Lampen fü Pkws, LEDs fü Schüsseanhänge, fü die Küche nd sebst fü die Dsche. Déja des ivaisons en Espagne, Begiqe, Aemagne,Canada,Gadeope, a Rénion;Les fais d’envoi mentionnés ne sont qe po a Fance métopoitaine. Un simpe oge à èves po mette en vae e boche, si bee et si ppese.

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