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Library Vintages

A blend of the best elements of the new and the old worlds; wines of dimension and pleasure, wines that allow the character of Washington to shine through.

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2003 La Serenne, Syrah

The influence of a hot vintage shows in the 2003 La Serenne, despite it being from one of our cooler vineyards. Midseason temperatures at the Boushey Vineyard (where 100% of this fruit is grown) were among the highest of the previous five years creating a depth and ripeness not seen before in this wine. "Thick" is the word we used in the cellar right from the start to describe it. Throughout fermentation and barrel/bottle aging it never lost its density and black color.

The 2003 is true to its predecessors: this is the wild child in the cellar. Boushey Vineyard always seems to produce the most "Rhone-like" qualities for Syrah — meaty and smoky and a hint of wild spice. We picked it a full month later than the grapes for its sister wine, 2003 Syrah La Côte Rousse, and the cooler ripening month most likely generates these more undisciplined notes. I love them. We aged this vintage only 12 months in French barrels, about half new, and the wine acquired all the tannin suppleness and flavor development it needed. I wanted to make sure the fruit essence wasn't overshadowed by oak.

The flavor foundation is blackberry/black cherry with roasted coffee bean, smoke and minerals. A whiff of violets surfaced in the 2003, a note I often find in Northern Rhone Syrah. And then there's its silky mouthfeel, the result of very low yields (less than 2.5 tons/acre), concentration, high alcohol and seamless tannin. Yet it still is powerful and amply built for 3-6 years of additional cellaring.

Blending Detail and Aging Profile

Blending Detail:

  • 100% Syrah

Barrel Program:

  • Aged 12 months in 100% French Oak
  • 50% new French Oak

Aging Profile:

  • Best from 2003 through 2009
  • Serve cool, 60-62°F

AVA & Vineyard Detail:

  • 100% Boushey Vineyard

Case Production:

  • 345 cases made