Wednesday, October 05, 2011

#WASyrah Twitter Tasting

I love these Twitter tastings, except it is a bit difficult to tweet on my iPhone and taste at the same time! Nice lineup of Washington Syrah from a variety of producers, and hosted by E & R Wine Shop, located in the John's Landing neighborhood of Portland. And, lucky for me, only 4 blocks from my office!

  • 2008 Dusted Valley Vintners Syrah Boomtown - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    Wine #1. Good cherry fruit, bright acidity, medium body. A bit sharp on the finish, but excellent QPR. (86 pts.)
  • 2008 Magnificent Wine Company Syrah Columbia Valley - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    Wine #2. Another great $20-ish range QPR wine. Cherry fruit on the entry, medium body, midpalate is a bit flabby, but showing some nice plum fruit. Finish is all cherries. Would definitely grab this off a restaurant list. (88 pts.)
  • 2008 Milbrandt Vineyards Syrah The Estates - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wahluke Slope
    Wine #3. Loved the nose on this one! Big funky, pepper and blackberry, following to the palate. Good structure and acidity, supple tannins, medium/full bodied and drinking nicely. Sorry I missed this winery on our last Prosser visit! Tied for my WOTT. (92 pts.)
  • 2008 L'Ecole No. 41 Syrah - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    Wine #4. I caught a hint of TCA on this one. Not very apparent to others at the tasting, from what I overheard, but I am particularly sensitive to TCA taint. Flavors were a bit muted as well, if comparing this to the 2007 means anything. Lacking the big peppery fruit of the '07, and is actually a bit harsh. Would love to revisit this from a different bottle, as I loved the '07 and it is a killer QPR wine at $24. (85 pts.)
  • 2009 Dusted Valley Vintners Syrah Stained Tooth - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
    Wine #5. Very forward nose, showing big fruit. On the entry, you can tell this is a young wine. A bit disjointed at the moment, and harshly tannic for my palate. Some vigorous swirling calmed this badboy down a tad, and that fruit really stood out. Lots of cherry and plum, but the tannins and acidity are both quite apparent. Give this one a year or two and it'll shine! (88 pts.)
  • 2008 Mercer Estates Syrah McKinley Springs Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills
    Wine #6. Right off the bat I can tell this is a Horse Heaven Hills wine. Huge peppery nose dominates. Lots of sweet fruit hitting the palate, some vanilla and mocha on the back. Nice tannins and acidity, quite well-integrated. First Mercer wine I've had, and I'm impressed! (89 pts.)
  • 2007 Reininger Syrah - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    Wine #7. Very nice blackberry and pepper nose on this one. Hits the palate with sweet/funky blackberry fruit, and ends with a big dollop if black pepper. I think the extra age on this one gives it an edge, and it was drinking very nicely. Smooth, integrated, and delicious. I think this was tied for my WOTT. (92 pts.)
  • 2008 Otis Kenyon Syrah - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    Wine #8. Good fruit with a nice bit of funk. Strikingly strong blueberry flavors, which I usually don't get off Syrah. Finish is a bit sour cherry, which detracts from this wines appeal somewhat. (89 pts.)
  • 2008 L'Ecole No. 41 Syrah Estate Seven Hills - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    Wine #9. Another great Walla Walla wine, blackberries and pepper abound. Medium to full bodied, with lots of thick fruit, and a great black pepper finish. So tasty, and just a tad below my top picks in this tasting. Evolving quite well since the last time I tasted this (Dec 2010). (91 pts.)
  • 2009 Amavi Cellars Syrah - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    Wine #10. This is another young'un. Nose is quite reticent, taking some fairly vigorous swirling to coax any aromas out. Just a hint of fruit. Palate-wise, this is highly acidic at the moment. Bright, with ample tannins that need to calm down a bit for pleasurable drinking (or several hours of decanting). The fruit emerges with more swirling, and is very nice black cherry. Hints of pepper and dark chocolate appear on the finish, but are overshadowed by the tannins. This should be a blockbuster, given some time to bring everything together. (90 pts.)
A great tasting with some stellar Syrahs. E & R Wine Shop is fairly new to me, but it is a great little shop! Lots of older vintage bottles here and there, and some rare stuff you never see anywhere (2006 Gramercy John Lewis Syrah, anyone?). My only complaint is also one of the shops benefits: There are bottles stashed horizontally on the racks behind bottles standing upright, so it is hard to really see all their inventory. However, this probably explains how they still have all those older vintages and rare bottles!
Tasting notes posted from CellarTracker.

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