TN: 2007 Olsen Estates Syrah Heritage, Another disappointing WA

  • 2007 Olsen Estates Syrah Heritage - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley (6/15/2013)
    Popped and bonged (Vinturi). Monster extraction and up front sweetness of fruit and oak but after an hour it completely fell apart. No structure and no elegance. I keep waiting for the WA epiphany; this isn’t it.

Posted from CellarTracker

Hey Scott,

What kind of syrah do you typically drink? Folks might be able to steer you to better wines if you give an indication of your preferences outside of WA.


Completely agree that Olsen Estates won’t be an epiphany wine. What else have you tried?

Michael and Scott, right now I’m just trying them all. I’m in on the Cellar Tracker Washington Barrel Project (made by Billo) and have high expectations. My problem with the Olsen was its overly sweet attack and then its sudden death. I like many styles of Syrah, from Northern Rhone to Arnot-Roberts to Saxum.
Good is good!
I’m not giving up on WA; so far I prefer the Syrahs to other grapes.

Scott, you should contact Paul Zitarelli (pm him). He knows Washington wines and Syrah really well and can point you in the right direction. That being said he also sells the Olsen wine.

One of the very best Washington syrahs I’ve had in years is the 2008 Substance Sugasy bottled for Garagiste. Very restrained and very true to its varietal character. I have been sitting on these bottles for years and they have gotten remarkably better in the last year.

While I have purchased quite a few WA Syrah over the past years, most are not ready for drinking. I have been pleased with the '07 Nota Bene, a lot of oak that needs air, Tulpen and Dunham are good if not great. The best I have had lately are from CA, the '05 Joseph Swan Great Oak which has some lovely acid and lighter fruit. The '05 PB Hein Lyons is developing some good acid and subtle fruit. I may have passed through the heavy funk and fruit WA wines. I hope I am not disappointed when I do open them, although the Rasa are darn good on initial sampling.

I bought the Olsen from Paul.
I like the Dunham as well.

Honestly, I think the epiphany for Washington wine is to be found among Mourvèdre & Grenache. Specifically Syncline & Rotie’s offerings. You can swim an ocean of Syrah w/the experience you describe above.

I’m liking those So Rhones a lot these days as does my wife in the rosé versions.

I don’t drink a lot of WA these days, but I think Syncline is a good choice. I’ve never liked Rotie’s grenache, but I seem to be alone in that. I think Maison Bleue does a good job of embracing the warm WA climate without going over the top; I’ve enjoyed their syrah, grenache, and mourvedre.