2017 Tranche, Syrah, $39.75
Winery info: Tranche is the sister label of Corliss Estates, which was founded in Walla Walla in 2001 and soon became one of the top wineries in the state, thanks to ample resources, excellent vineyard sites, and meticulous attention to detail at every stage. Their Tranche wines focus on other styles and varietals, but are made with the same impeccable care as the Corliss line. This vintage was made by Perth native, Andrew Trio, who began making wine in the Margaret River region and worked in New Zealand, California, the Mosel, and Barossa before joining Corliss. He has recently returned to Australia full time to make wine there.
Winemaker: Andrew Trio
Grapes: 97% Syrah and 3% Viognier. Aged 22 months in new and used French oak puncheons and one year in bottle before release.
Vineyard Source: Blended from the most exceptional blocks of their Blue Mountain Estate Vineyard, one of the highest elevation vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley. It is a cooler site, with wind-deposited silt loess soil, that tends to produce dark, complex wines with rich, supple tannins.
Flavor profile: This medium- to full-bodied Syrah has inviting aromas of fresh herbs and black pepper and layered flavors of plums, blackberry, and dark cocoa. With underlying notes of meatiness, earthy minerality, and long, satisfying finish, it is everything we love in a good Washington Syrah.
Availability: 364 cases made. It is still in decent supply for now.
Drinking window: While showing well now, the winery suggests enjoying it anytime from 2022 to 2027.
Food Pairing: Try it with steak, braised meat, or a nice roast lamb.
2017 Brook and Bull, Cabernet Sauvignon, $43
Winery info: Ashley Trout’s history in Washington wine began when she was a student at Whitman College and helped out at Reininger Winery. Fast forward to 2020 when she was named one of Wine’s Most Inspiring People by the Wine Industry Advisor. This was no doubt in part for her generous work founding and overseeing Vital Wines, a non-profit that helps Walla Walla Valley vineyard and winery workers access affordable health care. She was also recently named one of the country’s Top 40 Tastemakers Under 40 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Somehow she still found time to create her third winery, Brook and Bull in 2016 (some of you may recall her Flying Trout wines).
Winemaker: Ashley Trout
Grapes: 77% Cab Sauv, 15% Cab Franc and 8% Petit Verdot. Aged 21 months in 70% neutral and 30% new oak barrels.
Vineyards: Southwind, Stone Tree, and Connor Lee vineyards.
Flavor profile: This wine is very approachable and inviting right out of the gate, with flavors of ripe red fruit and smoky notes of grilled meat and underbrush. It is well structured, with smooth tannins and a nice hint of cocoa on the finish.
Availability: 320 cases made. The winery is sold out of this vintage and the distributor has just a bit left.
Drinking window: Enjoy anytime over the next few years, up to 2025.
Food Pairing: The winery suggests pairing it with yakitori. (“Yes, yakitori.”)