Issue 165: November/December 2012 Top New Releases from Washington State
By Stephen Tanzer
2010 W.T. Vintners ‘Gorgeous’ Syrah, Destiny Ridge Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills
(Vinified with 30% whole clusters; aged in third-year Saury barrels): Bight medium ruby. Highly aromatic nose combines violet, black olive and white pepper. Began with expressive flavors of blue fruits, licorice pastille, spices and fresh herbs. Finishes clenched and peppery, with a saline quality and a firm tannic edge.
2010 W.T. Vintners Syrah “Damavian” Les Collines Vineyard, Block 30, Walla Walla Valley
(From Block 30, at an elevation of 1,100 feet; vinified with 35% whole clusters and aged in third-use barrels): Good bright ruby. Explosive, rather Old World aromas of blueberry, dark chocolate, African violet, orange zest and Brazil nut. Juicy and very intense, with dark berry flavors accented by brown spices. Strong Syrah character here but not in the most modern style owing to the absence of new oak–and not a thing wrong with that! Finishes lively and very long, with a strong note of wild blueberry compote. Clearly a bottling to follow.