TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

Tasting notes, varietals, grapes - anything related to wine
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
Brandon R
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1999
Joined: November 10th, 2015, 5:07 pm
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 43 times

TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#1 Post by Brandon R »

FIVE SYRAH, BLIND (FOUR WA, ONE OR), PLUS TWO REYNVAAN NON-BLIND - (4/3/2021)

Since this was the first time getting a lot of family together in quite some time due to Covid, we decided to throw together an informal outdoor Syrah tasting. The weather was bright and sunny, but cool with a slight breeze which was perfect for tasting reds. Dinner was going to follow shortly after the tasting, and the main course was grilled leg of lamb, so we opted for Syrah. Snice most of those in attendance have mostly Washington in their cellars, that's what we went with.

Image

All wines were tasted blind. Going into the tasting, I knew of the five wines, but someone else wrapped and labeled them in random order. I even went so far as to change out the corks with some old ones before the wines were wrapped, just to make sure nobody could "cheat."
  • 2017 Delmas Syrah SJR Vineyard - USA, Oregon, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater
    Tasted blind. This was the first wine poured and I knew, almost without a doubt, this had a good amount of Viognier in it. The nose was all red fruit: raspberry and pie cherry, but with an underlying subtle peachy note that, to me, screamed Viognier. A big wine, but quite light in color and in weight, so my "big" is in the concentration and flavor that just exploded. Long and fine on the finish. My mom said, "wimpy," but I totally disagree. Finesse is a word I used. While young, this offers a ton of enjoyment now. Not sure ageing is needed, although it won't harm the wine I wouldn't think. This was my favorite of the tasting. (94 pts.)
  • 2008 Bunnell Family Cellars Syrah Clifton Hill Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wahluke Slope
    Tasted blind. The nose was riper than the first wine (this wine is second in the lineup), and showed some alcoholic heat. After reveal, seeing as how the first wine was a 2017 Delmas SJR Syrah, the stark difference in the nose doesn't surprise me. Really interesting cardamom or clove note in the nose. The palate is nice, with blackberry fruit and a little herb. Zero tannin left. Tasty, but should be consumed soon. (90 pts.)
  • 2014 Owen Roe Syrah Union Gap Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
    Tasted blind. Third wine in the lineup. Nose wasn't good: smelled prune-like and roasted. I think this wine is already over-the-hill. Surprisingly tannic still, though. Plum and spice on the palate with grainy and significant tannic presence. This doesn't taste flawed, and I doubt it was cooked, as Dad bought it from the tasting room a few miles away. Too bad. (80 pts.)
  • 2012 Betz Family Syrah La Côte Rousse - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
    Tasted blind. This smells great: nice and fresh, albeit not as "big" as the three noses before it. Cherry and spice dominates. Blackberry fruit, but on the less-ripe side, if that makes sense. Some underbrush as well. What strikes me the most is the lovely balance and purity here. Sneaky tannins show up on the very long finish. This could age more, but it's great now. My guess, based on those tannins: Red Mountain. (93 pts.)
  • 2012 Matello Fool's Journey Deux Vert - USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley, Yamhill-Carlton
    Tasted blind. This wine was the fifth and final wine tasted. This was a total standout from the other four wines and, after the reveal, that's not surprising as the other four were Washington wines. The nose was shot through with a very interesting herbaceousness under the bright pepper-inflicted red fruit. Much more acidity than the other four wines, which makes me think this is probably the Oregon fruit. Quite Rhone-like, actually, with its briary/peppery character and great acidity. Delicious, and even better with food. After reveal, I was really surprised to see that there was (going from memory) 10% Viognier(?) blended in. It wasn't apparent at all. (91 pts.)

    Image
These were tasted non-blind with dinner. What great wines!
  • 2012 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah Stonessence - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    Not decanted. The nose on this was killer right away: a complex mélange of raspberry, earl grey tea, pepper, and soy sauce. The palate was perfectly balanced and, even though it's a mid-weight wine, the concentration was outstanding. Equally complex as the nose was, with loads of personality: dark fruit, spice, umami-like notes, all with a very long finish. One step behind the Delmas tasted earlier, but not by much. This is such distinct Syrah. (93 pts.)
  • 2013 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah Foothills Reserve - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
    Not decanted. I like this a little less than the 2012 Reynvaan Stonessence tasted alongside, but it's still outstanding. Red and dark fruit on the nose. On the palate, it's a little funky, but has beautiful fruit. A nice little note that reminds me of the liquid you get from rehydrating dried porcini mushrooms. Long finish. Good now and in no sign of decline. (92 pts.)
Image

The pic two above shows the wines in the order tasted, from left to right. My guess, before the reveal was: Delmas, Owen Roe, Bunnell, Betz, Matello. Turns out, I was close: I switched the Owen Roe and Bunnell. With that over-the-hill nose, I was certain it was the 13-year-old wine. I was wrong. These were all good, save the one, and it was a very fun tasting. It really highlighted the wine variance of styles of Syrah that come out of the region.
Posted from CellarTracker
Last edited by Brandon R on April 5th, 2021, 3:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
B. Redman

User avatar
Chris C a r y
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 251
Joined: May 25th, 2011, 1:44 pm
Location: Cowiche (Yakima), Washington
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 25 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (four WA, one OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#2 Post by Chris C a r y »

Nice tasting and notes, but your title is wrong. Delmas is an Oregon wine. :)

I'd take the Owen Roe back, and ask what they think is wrong with it. I've had similar short lived pruny experiences with some other Yak Syrahs (Sheridan, not Owen Roe) and I've wondered why.

User avatar
Brandon R
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1999
Joined: November 10th, 2015, 5:07 pm
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#3 Post by Brandon R »

Haha, whoops! The Delmas wasn't my wine, so I have no idea where the winery is...I assumed in Walla Walla. I should've been more accurate, though, with the SJR Vineyard. Edited. Thanks, Chris!

It's tricky, though, becuase the Delmas fruit is in the Walla Walla AVA, but the fruit for the Matello was from Yamhill-Carlton...very unique!
B. Redman

User avatar
John Glas
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2946
Joined: January 14th, 2010, 9:54 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 52 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#4 Post by John Glas »

Nice notes. They all source fruit or own vineyards in Oregon (Rocks) but operations are usually in Washington for tax reasons. Cayuse would be a really good example.

Ron Slye
Monopole Crü
Monopole Crü
Posts: 978
Joined: May 4th, 2014, 2:11 pm
Location: Seattle
Has thanked: 26 times
Been thanked: 30 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#5 Post by Ron Slye »

Nice notes, and looks like a fun and educational tasting.

I am more and more convinced that Delmas is making some of the best syrah in.....the area.

User avatar
Marshall Manning
Monopole Crü
Monopole Crü
Posts: 1070
Joined: January 31st, 2009, 1:16 pm
Location: Portland, OR
Has thanked: 21 times
Been thanked: 122 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#6 Post by Marshall Manning »

John Glas wrote: April 5th, 2021, 4:24 pm Nice notes. They all source fruit or own vineyards in Oregon (Rocks) but operations are usually in Washington for tax reasons. Cayuse would be a really good example.
Cayuse has an office in downtown WW, but the winery and vineyards are in OR.
Marshall

User avatar
John Glas
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 2946
Joined: January 14th, 2010, 9:54 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Has thanked: 17 times
Been thanked: 52 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#7 Post by John Glas »

Cayuse has an office in downtown WW, but the winery and vineyards are in OR.
I know went by it. Again for tax reasons.
https://www.decanter.com/features/pacif ... ns-247207/

User avatar
Brandon R
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1999
Joined: November 10th, 2015, 5:07 pm
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#8 Post by Brandon R »

Ron Slye wrote: April 5th, 2021, 4:36 pm Nice notes, and looks like a fun and educational tasting.

I am more and more convinced that Delmas is making some of the best syrah in.....the area.
Ha! What's the, "in.....the area" all about? I agree, they're excellent. I haven't had any aged examples, though, and I'm genuinely curious how they'd age. I would assume that the very forward signature of the Viognier in the blend would integrate and maybe more depth would be there. These are great young, too, so maybe age others and drink Delmas on the younger side?

I also don't remember from the label if the Matello had Viognier blended in or if it was co-fermented, but it was totally integrated and I was, frankly, pretty surprised it was in there.
B. Redman

john stimson
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3718
Joined: January 24th, 2010, 8:11 pm
Location: seattle
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 24 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#9 Post by john stimson »

Delmas doesn't actually have a "winery". Currently, I think they are making them at the Walls facility in WW (could be wrong about that, but I think that's correct.) Legally, I believe they are bonded in WW.

User avatar
Brandon R
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 1999
Joined: November 10th, 2015, 5:07 pm
Has thanked: 6 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#10 Post by Brandon R »

Okay, so this has clearly and unintentionally become a discussion of winery vs. vineyard vs. production, etc. The point of the tasting was NOT to get lost in those details but, rather, compare and contrast Syrah from the PacNW.

Thanks for breaking this open, Chris! deadhorse champagne.gif
B. Redman

User avatar
Chris C a r y
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 251
Joined: May 25th, 2011, 1:44 pm
Location: Cowiche (Yakima), Washington
Has thanked: 55 times
Been thanked: 25 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#11 Post by Chris C a r y »

[stirthepothal.gif] Any time!🤓

Jonathan Jaggers
Posts: 86
Joined: March 11th, 2021, 6:38 pm
Has thanked: 26 times
Been thanked: 17 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#12 Post by Jonathan Jaggers »

Sounds like a great exercise to do once enough of the family are vaccinated, thanks for the notes and idea...I might steal it!

Ron Slye
Monopole Crü
Monopole Crü
Posts: 978
Joined: May 4th, 2014, 2:11 pm
Location: Seattle
Has thanked: 26 times
Been thanked: 30 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#13 Post by Ron Slye »

john stimson wrote: April 6th, 2021, 9:12 am Delmas doesn't actually have a "winery". Currently, I think they are making them at the Walls facility in WW (could be wrong about that, but I think that's correct.) Legally, I believe they are bonded in WW.
I don't know the answer to this, but I know that Billo has been a consulting winemaker -- so I wonder if they are using the Rasa facilities if they do not have their own?

My comment on "the area" was signaling these issues. The grapes are clearly grown in Oregon. But as we have all learned the politics of designation in the area has influenced how people refer to different wines.

John Peacock
Posts: 517
Joined: November 15th, 2010, 10:08 am
Location: Dundee, OR
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 14 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#14 Post by John Peacock »

John Glas wrote: April 5th, 2021, 8:11 pm
Cayuse has an office in downtown WW, but the winery and vineyards are in OR.
I know went by it. Again for tax reasons.
https://www.decanter.com/features/pacif ... ns-247207/
You make it sound like they have the office in downtown Walla Walla for a tax benefit, but the article only states that Cayuse must be bonded in both OR and WA and pay extra taxes. As an OR winery selling wine in WA, I'm required to submit sales reports and pay taxes accordingly, but I don't have an office in WA.

From what I have heard, Cayuse keeps the office in Walla Walla, and a barrel of wine there, so they can be considered a WA winery and be included in the various WA trade groups and events. Making and selling wine made in OR from WA grapes puts you in a tough spot regarding what trade groups you can be a part of (again, from experience).
ITB - Ocelli Cellars
Washington Grenache made in Oregon Wine Country

john stimson
GCC Member
GCC Member
Posts: 3718
Joined: January 24th, 2010, 8:11 pm
Location: seattle
Has thanked: 3 times
Been thanked: 24 times

Re: TN: Five Syrah, blind (three WA, two OR), plus two Reynvaan non-blind

#15 Post by john stimson »

Ron Slye wrote: April 6th, 2021, 1:54 pm
john stimson wrote: April 6th, 2021, 9:12 am Delmas doesn't actually have a "winery". Currently, I think they are making them at the Walls facility in WW (could be wrong about that, but I think that's correct.) Legally, I believe they are bonded in WW.
I don't know the answer to this, but I know that Billo has been a consulting winemaker -- so I wonder if they are using the Rasa facilities if they do not have their own?

My comment on "the area" was signaling these issues. The grapes are clearly grown in Oregon. But as we have all learned the politics of designation in the area has influenced how people refer to different wines.
The Rasa facility isn't all that big, and Billo makes wine for/with/consults for numerous wineries. I don't think there's room. When we toured/tasted with Steve Robertson (SJR) last fall (all tours at Delmas are in the vineyard as best I can tell), I'm pretty sure he indicated they had an operating agreement with the Walls and the wines were being made physically there.

Post Reply

Return to “Wine Talk”