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2018 La Côte Patriarche
Red Willow Vineyard Syrah
The 2018 La Côte Patriarche, per usual, is striking in the glass with its typically dense color; glass-coating and near-black. The aromas remind us where it comes from: warm rocks and graphite, sagebrush, tar, and wood spice join dark fruits, charred red pepper, and violets. The dense palate is full and powerful with an assertive tannic structure. It somehow manages to maintain its freshness, however, and there’s precise, layered flavors of cedar, roasted meat, salted chocolate, and dried nori. The finish lasts for minutes. This can easily handle up to 20 years in the cellar, but with an hour or two decant is showing some absolute magic now.
La Côte Patriarche (French for "The Founder's Slope") is a heartfelt and thankful homage to Mike Sauer and David Lake MW, the visionaries, who planted Washington's first Syrah at Red Willow Vineyard in 1986. Red Willow has since become perhaps the most influential site for syrah in the state, launching Washington's success with the variety and providing the inspiration and the plan cuttings for many vineyards, including our own La Serenne. That original 1986 planing is what today makes up La Côte Patriarche. Who knew history could be so delicious?