2009 La Côte Patriarche, Syrah
This gets the nod as the blackest of the 2009 Syrahs, with an impenetrable, dense core of color nearly to the very edge of the glass; swirl it and it coats the glass. This old Syrah planting at Red Willow Vineyard showed its stuff in 2009, creating a blend that’s somewhat a cross between the suppleness of La Serenne and power of La Côte Rousse. It makes sense: although Red Willow lies at the far west end of the Yakima Valley, nearer to the Cascade foothills, it’s warmer than the Boushey Vineyard (La Serenne) in the mid Yakima Valley, but not as hot as the vineyards on Red Mountain (La Côte Rousse).
The 2009 is deep, brooding and dense, a massive combination of fruit, earth and barrel. Yet it’s still seamless and plush. There’s a rich, silky entry and huge mid palate, with great grip and length in the finish. Its aroma is extraordinary, with profound black fruits, blueberries, Asian spice and black cherry candy. Smoked meat, game and a slight floral note round things out nicely.
There’s so much stuffing to this vintage of La Côte Patriarche that I’m hesitant to offer a drinking window. The Sauer family has been farming these vines since 1986 when they planted Washington’s first Syrah here: stories are still told of the earliest vintages (made by David Lake MW at the Columbia Winery) and how successfully they’ve aged over time. I haven’t tasted many of them, but I’m eager to track this wine as it matures over the next decade or more.
Blending Detail and Aging Profile
- 100% Syrah
- 12 months 100% French Oak barrels
- 50% new oak
- 50% one fill (1 year neutralized oak)
- Serve cool, 60-62°F
- Best from 2013 through 2022
AVA & Vineyard Detail:
100% Red Willow Vineyard (Yakima Valley)
From Jeb Dunnuck's Rhone Report June 2011.
"Yielding a deep black, opaque color, as well as smoky, layered aromatics of chocolate laced black cherries, spice, leafy underbrush, roasted meats, and big minerality, the wine is just beautifully made and shows a dense, concentrated, and age worthy personality. Very pure, with loads of fruit (possibly the most up front fruit of the ‘09s), a firm, focused texture, and a tannic finish, this beauty should be approachable in 2-4 years, and age effortlessly for 15-20. 95 Points"