Yakima Valley’s Superlative Syrahs

There has been a lot “ink” on Washington Syrah recently. Beginning with the September, November 2012 and March 2013 issues of the Wine Spectator. These three issues included a good number of Yakima Valley Syrah’s scoring 90 points and above.

The Bellingham Herald recently published an article by Dan Radil, discussing how the Syrah grape is growing into a staple of Washington’s red-wine industry, and Andy Purdue writes about What is fueling growth of Washington Syrah? in his Great Northwest wine blog. Lastly, an older blog post “Wine Folly” discusses Washington Syrah It’s Awesome!  

The versatility and popularity of this grape is trending. Continued success by wine producers and wine grape growers will, as Andy remarked, fuel the growth of Syrah in Washington.

Following is a handfull of Syrah producers using Yakima Valley grapes receiving recognition for exceptional wine.

Amaurice Syrah-Grenache from Yakima Valley’s Boushey Vineyard (2010). This wine received 91 points from Wine Spectator.

Avennia Syrah Yakima Valley Arnaut (2010), again from Yakima Valley’s Boushey Vineyard received a 93 this month in the Wine Spectator.

Avennia Syrah Yakima Valley Parapine (2010) also received a 94 point score from the Spectator.

Maison Bleue Syrah Yakima Valley Liberte Boushey Vineyards (2010) scored well with 91 points.

Owen Roe Syrah Yakima Valley Chapel Block Red Willow Vineyard (2010) was recognized with 92 points while the Owen Roe Syrah Yakima Valley Lady Rosa (2010) received 90 points.

Sparkman Cellars Syrah Yakima Valley Darkness (2010) boasts 93 points from the magazine.

Betz Syrah Yakima Valley La Serenne Boushey Vineyard (2009) has 90 points for the wine while the Betz Syrah Yakima Valley La Cote Patriarche Red Willow Vineyard (2009) received 93 points from the prestigious magazine.

Doyenne Syrah Yakima Valley Signature (2009) was honored with 91 points for the wine.

Efeste Syrah Yakima Valley Jolie Bouche Boushey Vineyard (2009) also received 91 points for this bright flavorful wine.

The Efeste Syrah Yakima Valley Elenti Red Willow Vineyards (2009) wine was recognized with a score of 92 points.

The quality of these Yakima Valley wines support last week’s blog explaining how the geology of the Yakima Valley has contributed to the purity in grapes and therefore the wines from the Yakima Valley.

The Yakima Valley Syrah grape benefits from exposure to sunshine, long daylight hours, controlled water and the most experienced grape growers in the state. The best vineyards live on southward facing slopes where they can absorb the sun’s rays.
A recent blog post noted that the best Syrah Vineyards in Washington state are:

Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley AVA
Ciel du Cheval, Red Mountain, Sub Appellation of Yakima Valley AVA
Clifton Vineyards, Wahluke Slope AVA
Dubrul Vineyard, Yakima Valley AVA
Fries Vineyard (aka Desert Wind), Wahluke Slope AVA
Kiona Vineyard Red Mountain, Sub Appellation of Yakima Valley
Klipsun Vineyard Red Mountain, Sub Appellation of Yakima Valley
Larence Vineyard, Columbia Valley AVA
Les Collines, Walla Walla AVA
Outlook Vineyard, Yakima Valley AVA
Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley AVA
Terra Blanca, Red Mountain, Sub Appellation of Yakima Valley

A commendable group of vineyards indeed, with eight of the twelve being located in the Yakima Valley AVA.

Many wineries blend from multiple vineyards, but several of the most sought after Syrah wines in Washington State (as noted above) have a single vineyard designate, many of which are labeled Yakima Valley.

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