2013 K Vintners "Cattle King - Upland Vineyard" Snipes Mountain Syrah
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Syrah Cattle King is a smokin', layered, sexy, voluptuous Syrah that does everything right. Coming from the River Rock Vineyard in Walla Walla and the Upland Vineyard in Snipes Mountain, not destemmed and brought up all in larger barrels, this beauty offers a sensational perfume of smoked meats, pepper, licorice, black olives and assorted ripe black fruits. Deep, layered and concentrated, yet always light on its feet and elegant, this fabulous Syrah has a terrific mid-palate, a core of sweet fruit and blockbuster length. It's a tour de force in vintage and certainly one of the top wines. It needs a decant if drinking anytime soon, but should be at its best from 2020 to 2038. (JD)
This wine is all about power and hedonism. Brooding dark fruit aromas meld with black licorice and lead to a seamless full-bodied blackberry and black-cherry flavors. It demands another sip.
Bright, dark red with ruby tones. Very primary, dark aromas of black cherry, violet, licorice and spices. Juicy and youthfully unevolved, combining good thickness of fruit with an impression of freshness. This Syrah is totally different in style from Charles Smith's bottlings from the Rocks District--in fact, it's rather Pinot-like. Finishes with good energy and tannic grip, as well as the spine to support aging. In the absence of Charles Smith, I sampled his extensive line-up of K Vintners wines in his airy new facility on the northern edge of Boeing Field in Seattle with Brennon Leighton, who makes wines under his own B. Leighton label and is co-winemaker with Smith on the Sixto wines. (Leighton works for Smith and is also a partner on several of their labels.) Leighton emphasized that all of Smith’s contracts for the K wines are by the acre, which is still the exception in Washington. Leighton noted that the 2013s are a bit coarser than the 2012s. Two thousand fourteen was an even warmer vintage, but Smith "made adjustments in the vineyards, leaving larger canopies and getting more shade on the fruit." This has long been a fascinating collection of wines encompassing a wide range of distinctive terroirs. (ST)