Horse Heaven Hills
The 2009 vintage started out very slow! Bud break, the harbinger of the start of the growing season was later than normal causing some concern as to whether we would have a long enough growing season to ripen the grapes. Then the heat kicked in and we had an extremely hot and dry summer with some relief in early September. We waited and waited for the first grapes to come in and then BAM! Everything ripened at once resulting in a very compressed harvest. Although hurried, fermentation progressed normally. The wines have intense flavors, beautiful color & excellent balance.
The 2009 Syrah is big and spicy with expressive aromas of bacon, chocolate and blueberries followed by silky tannins on a mouthful of plums, blueberries and blackberries finishing with that trademark mocha.
Once again, we co-fermented the Syrah with 8% Viognier in a classic Côte Rôtie style. The grapes were sourced from McKinley Springs vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills. It was aged in 100% one vintage old French oak for 15 months. We produced only 150 cases. The ideal consumption is 3 to 7 years from release date, but this wine will develop for another 10 years. The alcohol by volume is 13.5%. It was bottled February 2011.
This is our last horah for Syrah. We will be focusing on Bordeaux varietals.
Excellent. Wine Press NW Robert Karl Cellars 2009 Syrah, Horse Heaven Hills, $26. Co-fermenting Syrah with Viognier results in more vibrant color, and this product of McKinley Springs Vineyard, using 8% Viognier, reveals itself in the glass with a dense, dark and beautiful purple hue. The nose gives off hints of blueberry, pomegranate, freshly laundered flannel, cotton candy, chalkboard dust and cured meat. The drink is akin to a bag of berries, loaded with Marionberry, blueberry and blackberry ice cream. It’s delicious and juicy, finishing with notes of licorice, coffee and black olive pit. (150 cases, 14.2% alc.)
Double Gold Medal, Seattle Wine Awards