Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Dual Syrahs for BBQ Rib Dinner

Dual Washington State Columbia Valley Syrahs for BBQ Rib Dinner

For a mid-week BBQ dinner we opened from the cellar two primo Syrahs - both from Washington State Columbia Valley.

We started with this Force Majeure Red Mountain vineyard Syrah. We visited Force Majeure Estate and Vineyards and site of their new winery in the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater AVA, in Walla Walla during our Walla Walla Wine Experience in 2018. We tasted and acquired this label at that time during that trip. 

Force Majeure Red Mountain Syrah 2015

This Red Mountain estate Syrah is grown predominantly at the top of  Force Majeure's hillside vineyard where it is steepest and rockiest. There the vines must put put down deep roots to gather moisture and nutrients, and the soil helps to create a powerful but elegant wine with a volcanic soil backbone. The blend is aged in a combination of new and used French oak barrels and puncheons for 18 months.

This label was awarded 93-96 points by Jeb Dunnuck of the Wine Advocate.

Dark garnet colored, full-bodied, rich concentrated black berry fruits, hints of blue fruits, accented with layers of smokiness, minerality and tones of anise, black tea, black olive tapenade and hints of smokey meats, with bright lively acidity and cloying but approachable tannins on the tangy lingering finish.

RM 92 

A visit to Force Majeure Estate and Vineyards in the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater AVA, Walla Walla.


Spring Valley Vineyard Nina Lee Syrah 2015

We followed with another Washington State Columbia Valley Syrah, this one from Walla Walla. We visited the vineyards and the producer tasting room in town during that same trip to Walla Walla. This label is more fruit forward and bold, but less refined and elegant than the Force Majeure label above.

Our visit to the ranch and picturesque vineyards, and meeting owner Dean Derby were highlights of our Walla Walla Wine Experience in the fall of 2018. We first tasted this release of this label in the tasting room in town during that visit.

We just received our supplemental wine club allocation from Spring Valley Vineyards. 'Supplemental' meaning that we added an additional two cases to our normal shipment - a mix of five Spring Valley labels, Uriah Red Blend, Frederick Red Blend, Sharilee Petit Verdot, Katherine Corkrum Cabernet Franc and Nina Lee Syrah

As I've chronicled in these pages, each label is named for an ancestral family member dating back to patriarch founder Uriah Corkrum. Nina Lee was his son Frederick's wife, a vaudeville actress that he met while she visited Walla Walla and performed at the local theatre on a North American tour back in the 1920's.

Nina Lee Spring Valley Vineyard Walla Walla Syrah 2015

The 2015 release of Nina Lee is a blend of 99% Syrah and 1% Viognier, aged 19 months in 100% French oak, 30% new.

This was rated 93 Points by and Jeb Dunnuck. It was awarded 92 points by International Wine Report.

Upon opening the black fruit aromas permeated the room, the dark inky purple color is most apparent, medium-full bodied, rich concentrated black berry and black cherry fruits are accented by smoke, black tea, notes of olive tapenade,  pepper, spice, and hint of dark mocha with a long earthy finish. Needs some time to settle and integrate a bit further, give it a couple of years cellar aging to reach its prime.

RM 91 points pop and pour. 92 points the next day ... and chilled.