2015 La Côte Patriarche, Syrah
The origins of our La Côte Patriarche begin with David Lake and Mike Saeur. In 1986 they took a risk, planting the first Syrah grapes in Washington State. The saying goes “as vines age, they slow down”. I’m not sure this saying is always true, but at our 1986 block of Syrah at Red Willow vineyard, the pace during harvest month is slow and steady. Since 2007, this 1 acre vineyard parcel yields about 3 ½ tons of fruit each season with very little cluster thinning. The Sauer Family are skilled grape growers bringing a high level of precision to the mechanics of viticulture, matched by deep rooted concern for the soil life.
Two separate vineyard blocks of Syrah from Red Willow vineyard are used in La Côte Patriarche, the first planted in 1986 and the second planted in 2000. Both sites are steep, but the 1986 block (1 acre) sits high on a south facing slope and “roasts” in the hottest days of August and September. The 2000 planting (1.4 acres of the same clonal material as the 1986 block) of Syrah is located in the “Marcoux” section of Red Willow Vineyard. This block produces a richer, more robust character and darker fruit flavors.
In 2015, both blocks of Syrah were picked on September 15th. The grapes were 100% de-stemmed and fermented in a combination vessels, including concrete for the 1986 block. After a 10 day fermention period, the contents of each fermentation tank were pressed into a combination of 228, 300, and 500l barrels. The resulting wines were aged “sur lie” for 10 months, and bottling after 1 year.
Blending Detail and Aging Profile
- 100% Syrah
- combination of 228, 300, and 500l barrels for ten months
- Best from 2017 through 2026+
- Serve cool, 60-62°F
AVA & Vineyard Detail:
- 100% Red Willow Vineyard, west end of the Yakima Valley
Robert Parker Wine Advocate
"Both Bob and Louis commented on the consistency of the vineyard block for this cuvee, and the 2015 La Cote Patriarche is another terrific wine. This cuvee comes from some of the oldest Syrah vines in the state, and I’m sure this has more than a little to do with the consistency, as the old vines are much more resilient to heat spikes and difficult weather. This 2015 shows a perfumed, black and blue fruit, floral and sappy herbs-driven personality to go with full-bodied richness, ripe, silky tannin and fabulous purity. Elegant, fresh, complex and nuanced, it’s a terrific Syrah from this first-rate team, and from Washington State." - Jeb Dunnuck