2012 Horsepower "The Tribe Vineyard" Walla Walla Valley Syrah

SKU #1198278 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 More gamy, bloody and meaty than the Sur Echalas Vineyard Syrah, the 2012 Syrah The Tribe Vineyard is a full-bodied, elegant, concentrated and structured effort that gives up complex notes of savory dark fruits, beef blood, dried herbs, pepper and olives. It's another incredible Syrah that needs short-term cellaring, but will have two decades of evolution. (JD)  (6/2015)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

 An aromatic tour de force, this perfumed wine offers hypnotic notes of flowers, green olive, asparagus, sea breeze, mineral, peat, smoke flowers and an earthy funk, showing layers of complexity. The palate's lithe frame belies the richness of the smoke, fire pit and grilled meat flavors that linger. (SS)  (9/2015)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Supple and expressive, with plum and currant flavors and stony overtones combining with hints of black olive and white pepper, adding depth to a distinctive profile on a medium-weight frame that punches above its weight. The deft balance plays against nubby tannins. Drink now through 2025. 463 cases made. (HS)  (6/2015)

93 points Vinous

 (14.1% alcohol; as with the Echalas Vineyard, the Tribe is cultivated with draft horses): Dark ruby. Aromas of black cherry, liquefied lamb tartare, paprika and black licorice, plus a note of medicinal reserve. Hugely sweet and concentrated but carrying a good bit of unabsorbed CO2 and showing less finesse today than the Cayuse Syrah bottlings from the 2012 vintage. Inky and primary, with strong underlying minerality. This is distinctly Brune while the Echalas Syrah is more Blonde. Finishes with substantial ripe tannins and a slight bitter edge that will require cellaring. (ST)  (11/2015)

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Varietal:

Shiraz/Syrah

- One of France's noblest black grape varieties, Syrah is known for its intense and distinctive perfume reminiscent of briar fruit, tar, spice and black pepper and its firm structure. One of few black grape varietals frequently vinified on its own, the best examples of Syrah come from the Northern Rhône, particularly Hermitage, but also Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph. These wines are very astringent in their youth, though some Crozes-Hermitage and St-Joseph can be enjoyed young, relatively speaking. Given the requisite patience, though, these wines can reveal amazing complexity and secondary fruit characteristics like plum and blackcurrant as well as subtle hints of smoke and flowers. In the Southern Rhône, Syrah is used to add structure and complexity to wines dominated by Grenache and complemented by Mourvèdre, like the more immediately drinkable Côte du Rhônes, as well as the long-lived wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. In recent years, plantings of Syrah have spread throughout the Languedoc-Roussillon where it is produced on its own or blended with other varietals. Outside of France, the most important Syrah growing country is easily Australia, where it is called Shiraz. Quality levels here depend greatly on yields and geography, and the wines range from bold, fruity and easy-drinking to intense and ageable, like the famed Penfolds Grange. Often bottled on its own, in Australia Syrah is also can be blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre, as in the Southern Rhône, and is increasingly combined with Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah has also been steadily increasing in popularity in California, thanks to a group of advocates called the Rhône Rangers. Its most successful iterations come from the Central and Sonoma Coasts, where winemakers are pushing boundaries and creating some incredible wines. In recent years Syrah has also found a number of proponents in Washington State, which is definitely a region to watch for this variety.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

Washington

- Washington has become one of the most important wine producing states in the United States, and development continues to grow rapidly. In 1969, when California was exploding as a wine producer, Washington had only two wineries, but by 2000 that number had passed 100. Most of Washington's grape crop goes to uses other than wine. Merlot and Chardonnay have been the most successful in Washington. It's interesting to note that Washington's prime wine regions are located at 46° north, along the same latitude as the legendary French wine districts of Bordeaux and Burgundy. During the summer, Washington averages more than two hours more sunlight each day compared to California.