2012 Horsepower "Sur Echalas Vineyard" Walla Walla Valley Syrah (Previously 250)

SKU #1198280 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Another wine I was able to taste multiple times, the 2012 Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard is the most voluptuous, sexy and textured of the lineup. Giving up classic, Old World Syrah notes of blackcurrants, black olives, smoked meats, ground pepper and violets, this beauty hits the palate with full-bodied richness and is gorgeous, concentrated and expansiveness on the palate, with plenty of of mid-palate depth and length. The tannin becomes more and more apparent with time in the glass. This needs 3-4 years to round into form, and will keep for 15-20 years. As with all of these 2012s, decant if drinking anytime soon. (JD)  (6/2015)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

 Arresting and perfumed, this wine displays aromas of stargazer lilies, fire pit, tapenade and smoked meat, displaying exquisite nuance and detail. Flavors are intensely rich yet light in their styling, with a savory and floral finish that continues as long as you care to count. It displays a rare sense of delicacy and intensity that is breathtaking. (SS)  (9/2015)

93 points Vinous

 Dark ruby. Black raspberry, cassis, smoked meat, white pepper, lavender and brown spices on the nose; very aromatic Syrah in a Côte Blonde style. Dense, savory, superconcentrated dark fruit and meat flavors unsullied by new oak. Wonderfully supple, balanced wine but not yet forthcoming. Finishes with big but very suave tannins. This needs some time in the cellar to express its underlying fruit. (ST)  (11/2015)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Starts off aromatic and generous, with plum and currant flavors, but turns steely and tight as the mineral notes overstep the fruit, coming together in a savory, sinewy style that keeps up the intensity without great weight. Drink now through 2022. 242 cases made. (HS)  (6/2015)

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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.