The 2015 La Côte Rousse Syrah combines grapes from 4 unique vineyard sites on Red Mountain, each planted to a different clonal selection of the Syrah grape. At Ciel du Cheval vineyard, Jim Holmes farms 3 of these blocks to 3 different French clones- 383, 174, and 99. Upslope, at Ranch at the End of the Road vineyard, Scott Williams farms the Tablas Creek clone of Syrah. Each of these unique blocks contributes differences in weight, texture, and flavor at the blending table.
The 2015 growing season started early in Washington State, even earlier than 2014 in fact. This lead continued through the growing season, bringing flowering, veraison (50% color in red grapes), and eventually harvest a few days earlier than 2014. While 2014 got warm and stayed that way for nearly the entirety of the season, 2015 experienced a wider range of temperatures. Temperatures during the season regularly rose out of the mid 80’s, slowing climbing toward the high 90’s over 1-2 weeks, then cooled. The result is less overall tannin, and a softer texture in the 2015 La Cote Rousse.