Origin: United States
- Red Mountain
The 2013 vintage:
After the cooler vintages of 2010 and 2011, Washington is back to the more typical trend of warmth in 2012 and the even warmer 2013. After a relatively mild winter, bud break, flowering and fruit set took place anywhere from one week to four weeks early, and in very good conditions. The result was potentially a large crop, but conscientious growers and winemakers thinned out all but the best clusters.
2013 had a much higher temperature range than the previous three years and demanded attention to the vine and crop health. The heat stayed constant through the summer months, with just a little cooling over a couple days in July. As September arrived, and we began to harvest grapes, a cooling trend slowed things down in the second week of September. Many wineries stopped picking temporarily, or pushed out their harvest dates. Some winemakers refer to 2013 as the tale of two harvests, referring to the period before and after the cooling trend. In 2013, the combination of above average heat, and cool nighttime temperatures during harvest influenced the character of the finished wines. The result? Rich textures, deeply developed flavors and a harmonious freshness from the natural acidity we value so much.
Our La Côte Rousse Syrah has always been our strongest contender for the uniqueness of site expression in Washington Syrah. Its Red Mountain origins are unmistakable in its density, huge quantity of tannin, and non -fruit aromas: smoke, roasted meat, dusty gravel, and bacon fat all ride above the fruit. Its Red Mountain -ness makes it our “biggest” Syrah, brooding, structured, and inky. Three different blocks of Syrah in Ceil du Cheval Vineyard planted to 3 different clones, 99, 383, 174 (for the Franco‐geek in all of us), are blended with Phelps clone Syrah from Scott William’s meticulously cared for block at Kiona Vineyard. Blackberry and black cherry come through in waves, aromatically and on the palate, followed by those earthy/smoky secondary notes. The palate is mouth coating, with an impression of great power. Yet the 2013 vintage has endowed La Côte Rousse with an unusual combination of muscle and refinement.
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