2013 W.T. Vintners, Les Collines “Damavian” Syrah, $49.75
Winery info: Woodinville-based WT Vintners was founded in 2007 by Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen, his wife Cortney, and two business partners. Jeff is an award-winning sommelier who has worked with a number of top Seattle restaurants, most recently as wine director at RN 74. He has also worked harvests at top estates in Burgundy, New Zealand, and here in the northwest. His focus is on limited production, terroir-driven wines sourced from top vineyard sites in Washington. (This wine is named for their three children, Dashiel, Malin, and Vivian.)
Winemaker: Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen
Grapes: 100% Syrah
Vineyard Source: Les Collines, with deep, windblown loess soil, in the foothills of the Blue Mountains in the Walla Walla Valley AVA. It comes from their Block 30, at 1,100 feet elevation, where the vines are protected from spring frosts and the fruit is able to ripen slowly, developing exceptional flavor and structure.
Flavor profile: This expressive, terroir-driven Syrah is medium-bodied and well balanced, with juicy notes of black olives, and ripe flavors of black cherry, pepper, and a hint of smoky earth.
Availability: As an older vintage, there is just a tiny bit of this wine left with the distributor.
Drinkability: Enjoy anytime now or over the next two to three years.
Food Pairing: Try it with grilled lamb chops, pepper-crusted rib eye, or perhaps duck.
2017 Guardian Cellars, The Alibi, $43
Winery info: Jerry Riener had volunteered for a number of years at several Woodinville wineries, including Matthews, Mark Ryan, and Baer. Eventually he began crafting his own wines. He officially launched Guardian Cellars in 2007, all while keeping his day job as a cop. Since then he has become a highly-acclaimed winemaker in his own right, and producer of some of our most popular wines.
Winemaker: Jerry Riener
Grapes: 55% Cabernet Sauvignon and 45% Merlot, aged 20 months in 65% new French oak.
Vineyards: Quintessence and Obelisco, both in the Red Mountain AVA.
Flavor profile: This is a classic Red Mountain wine, rich and concentrated, with good tannic structure. It has smooth, dark fruit flavors of blackberry and black plum, with just a touch of vanilla and a long, balanced finish.
Availability: 450 cases made. It is in good supply at this time.
Drinkability: It wouldn’t hurt to lay this one down for about a year, then enjoy anytime up to 2024.
Food Pairing: With its solid Red Mountain structure, this would be a good wine for a juicy steak, herb-crusted lamb, or any hearty fare.