So I’ve had to create a new category to file this wine under, for blog purposes. If you’re not familiar with blog-speak, a category is a “tag” that you assign to each post that is sort of a “heads up” to search engines as to what the post is about. So this wine is filed under “Washington”, “Syrah”, and …. “unhealthy obsessions.” The reason for this is that I couldn’t stop thinking about this wine since I first tasted it last Thursday. I could hardly stand having to wait until yesterday, which was our next delivery day. So my adoration for this wine might border on a little intense. But this NOSE, y’all…. once you get an inhale, hopefully you’ll understand.
So my interest in this wine has spurred me to research a bit more about the Red Mountain AVA in Washington. And has thoroughly deepened my appreciation for Washington State wines in general. I’ve always had a fondness for Riesling from Washington State, and knew there were amazing reds to be found, but I don’t find our market to be especially “flooded”, the way we are with California wines. Especially top-notch Washington reds get pricey fairly quickly, and sell out fast. Which is why this wine is such a gem.
So here is a map of Washington State wine growing regions (also known as AVA’s):
It’s not a terribly BIG map, but whip out your glasses and take note that the Red Mountain AVA is that teeny tiny little red one- and this wine is from just one vineyard site- Bel’ Villa Vineyard- located within Red Mountain. It is the smallest in Washington at just over 4000 acres, and just 600 of those 4000 are planted with grapes. It is also the most expensive. The Hedges family of Hedges Family Estate, have been making wine in this region since the late 80’s. Sarah Hedges Goedhart (daughter of Hedges founders and also their assistant winemaker) and her husband Brent produce this wine, to quote their website, “in their basement.” Hence, it’s super-small production and hand-crafted. And wicked cool.
So all of these facts contribute to a trifecta of amazingness and here’s why: 384 cases produced? from the most special spot in Washington? AND (drumroll please…) this wine costs a wicked $32 retail!! That’s absurd. If this wine was from the Stags Leap District in California, it would easily set you back $75-$100.
Alright, alright so that’s enough economic/wine-nerdy facts about this wine. I’m sure you’re more than ready to hear me go to town about how freaking RIDIC it tastes. But first the nose. A fellow wine-buyer friend shares my affinity for this wine and stated that when he first smelled it, he just looked at their sales manager and said: “YES.” So simply, YES. yesyesyes. It’s a big nose, and actually it’s gotten a bit bigger this afternoon since I opened this bottle last night. Even now, I can’t smell it without wanting to squeal with delight. It has a great combination of dark fruits with hints of red fruits. This is due to the fact that they pick some grapes early, and some grapes later. I don’t know a ton about this, but once I read it, and tasted it, it kind of clicked. I hope it does to you, too, because it’s an interesting little tidbit. So back to the smell. Dark fruit- blackberry, blueberry, and touches of black cherry. A suggestion of graphite and maybe a bit of smoke. Today, with the overnight to open it up, I get more round aromas of cocoa powder, and some warmth- like blackberry liqueur. And some graceful, feminine floral notes as well. It’s much more forthcoming today. Aged for 10 months in French oak, 30% new, it would definitely age beautifully, as it’s sleepover sluttiness might suggest.
The thing I LOVE about Syrah, and THIS Syrah is that it is a perfect combination of masculine and feminine. This is something I really admire in a wine. It strikes the balance so well. Rough and scratchy like a 5:00 shadow, yet also silky and graceful. Dark colored and deeply flavored, and just 14% alcohol. Lean and mean. Also, a side note- I love this packaging.
I should have an open bottle for sampling purposes all weekend, and we will have a by-the-glass special on it for Friday and Saturday nights! And open at the wine sale this Saturday from 12-2! So that gives you plenty of opportunities to taste it! And swoon over it, and take it home. And promise to love it forever. This is $32 well spent. That’s all I got for today, happy drinking!