When it comes to Syrah I know what I want. That is; how I wish for it to smell and taste. As the grumpy old (?) man I’m starting to sound like, you’ve probably guessed it already.
Côte-Rôtie, Cornas, Hermitage and Saint-Joesph are my preferred choices, although Australia have contributed to some of my most memorable Shiraz experiences ever as well. I don’t want my Syrah too generous, too fruit ripe. I want a mineral driven style with an iron acidity which almost makes you wonder if there’s no fruit in the wine! Almost forgot; I kind of like the flowers as well, the floral notes which pairs well with the meaty components and the spice-rack.
That’s why I’m totally in love with Reynvaan in Walla Walla. Sadly, only two wines tasted so far but if 2009 Stonessence (pure Syrah) and the 2010 In the Rocks (Syrah & Viognier) is an indication where it’s heading, I’m prepared to claim Reynvaan as the best Syrah I’ve tasted from the US. Why? It’s a classy Côte-Rôtie resemblance and yet it possesses it’s own style which I guess only can be compared to Cayuse’s. The purity in the dark fruit mixed with moist leather and pipe tobacco, the restrained mineral style, the seductive and mouth-watering acidity, the violets. It drives me insane. I really don’t like when people refers to a sexy wine. It’s quite lame, isn’t it? Yet the only thing that pops up in mind when trying to capture the essence of the 2010 In the Rocks is…..sexy. Still not fully integrated, it probably needs another five years or so. That doesn’t make it undrinkable at the moment, not at all. You see, never too much of anything.
And the 2009 Stonessence is even better! One of those that will make people stop talking when entering the room. Packed with violets, licorice, tobacco, dark plums and cherries. Bacon. Need to mention the bacon fat. Expressive style and I’m surprised there’s no Viognier in this one, as it manages to keep pretty elegant. On the palate it’s more full-bodied than the In the Rocks, a more dense tannin structure and potentially it has the components for developing complexity. It’s long, pure and mineral driven. It’s on par with the very best from the mother country. Walla Walla. Reynvaan. Probably my coolest discovery so far this year. And then I’ve slurped my way through the Rhône Valley earlier in 2013!
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