2014 La Côte Rousse, Syrah
La Côte Rousse hails entirely from Red Mountain and reflects its origins: bold, dense, structured and profound. In a very short period of time, Red Mountain has distinguished itself among Washington’s AVAs as the source of many of our states most compelling, age-worthy red wines. The origins of La Côte Rousse date back to 1999 with a single block of Syrah farmed at Scott Williams’ Ranch at the End of the Road Vineyard. This hillside vineyard (planted entirely to the Phelps clone of Syrah) consistently yielded one of our densest, most texturally convincing Syrahs.
In the early 2000’s, three additional vineyard blocks were added from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, a literal stone’s throw from Ranch at the End of the Road. Each block is planted to a different Syrah clone and each brings something unique to the blending table: Clone 383 provides the delicate perfume of cut flowers along with soft tannins; Clone 99 brings color, tension, and meatiness; Clone 174 adds hedonistic fruit flavors and spicy aromatics.
We picked these four blocks over a three-week period in 2014. Ideal weather conditions during the vines’ flowering period and the warm growing season resulted in even ripeness throughout each grape cluster, yielding berries remarkably even in size and color. As with La Serenne, the high level of grape and stem maturity in both clones 99 and 174 led to the decision to include 25-50% whole clusters during fermentation.
The 2014 La Côte Rousse displays the youthful, brooding, dark character we’ve come to expect from these Red Mountain sites. The superb ripening conditions are evident in its deep, penetrating core of blue and black fruits. The use of whole cluster fermentation has added additional spicy aromatics along with smoked meats, crushed herbs and wood spice.
- 100% Syrah
- Clones: 99,383,174
- Best from 2017 through 2024+
- Serve cool, 60-62°F
AVA & Vineyard Detail:
- Ceil du Cheval, Red Mountain
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 96 Points: From the hot, windswept slopes of Red Mountain, the 2014 Syrah la Cote Rousse is a serious, tight, backwards effort that won’t be for those looking for instant gratification. Possessing classic Red Mountain red and black fruits, dried earth, pepper, dried spice and black olive characteristics, it’s full-bodied, beautifully textured, has flat out awesome purity and impeccable balance. Give it 4-5 years of cellaring and drink it over the following decade or so.
While there's a long history of terrific wines from this estate, I think they've hit another level in the past few vintages, and these latest releases show a purity, elegance and textural quality not found in early bottlings. I'm sure this is in part due to the creation of a second wine, and even a stricter selection for all of the top cuvees. In short, don't miss a chance to try these wines." - Jeb Dunnuck