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Community Tasting Notes (17) Avg Score: 93.3 points

  • Slow ox for two hours. Deep, dark ruby with a narrow pale rim. Big, lovely nose of red fruit and cherry with a touch of horse sweat, blood, guts, and black pepper. Huge, rich mouth feel. Long but relatively unvarying finish. Drinking brilliantly but I expect it to improve for 2 to 4 years.

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  • What a great wine! Slightly sweeter on the finish than I recall from the previous bottle, but drinking wonderfully. Flavors consistent with prior note. Drink now - 2031.

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  • Another great bottle of Syrah from Delmas. Expressive on the nose and palate. It’s well balanced and really hard to set down

    Several bottles tasted over the last 8 years from the 12’s-17’s. It never disappoints. A more elegant wine making expression of this AVA. If I could only cellar only one Rocks Syrah this would be the one. It opens up predictably with a couple hour decant being sufficient although you could get by with less. This has been my biggest disappointment with some of the other producers in this area. It’s hard to know how long to decant prior to a meal due to bottle variation within the same label and vintage.

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  • Been sitting on 3 bottles of this for a few years and finally decided to pull the cork on a beautiful, temperate, New England evening with marinated steak tips.

    Color/App: translucent, medium-deep ruby core -> diffuse ruby rim; medium + viscosity. Classic Rocks nose on PnP of kalamata olives in brine, bacon, roasted meat, creosote, iodine and earth. As great as the bouquet is, the palate is where this wine really shines. Creamy, silky mouthfeel showing off savory/herbal notes, cherries and plums, bittersweet chocolate and yep, some (not over-the-top but just right) barnyard. To my mind, very much in the vein of Cayuse but with that added creamy element. Fabulous balance and a long, lovely finish. Quite impressive and certainly deserves to be in the top rank of WA Syrahs. It's drinking great now and will easily do so for 5-10+ more years.

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  • Upon opening, there was a good amount of barnyard and bandaid on the nose, with some yogurt and bacon fat notes. We left it in the decanter for 45 minutes, and it was at its best about 1.5 hours after opening. The Brett notes were largely gone, and we were left with chocolate, tobacco and mushrooms. Super-smooth mouthfeel, and still very nice fruit.

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  • By Stephen Tanzer
    Focus on Washington: The New Normal (Nov 2018), 11/1/2018, (See more on Vinous...)

    (Delmas Syrah Sjr Vineyard Washington Red) Login and sign up and see review text.

Full Pull

  • By Paul Zitarelli
    Full Pull Anniversary Week 6 of 6: Singular Rocks Syrah, 10/7/2018

    (Delmas Syrah SJR Vineyard) Hello friends, and thanks for joining us as we wrap up Anniversary Week 2018! Full Pull launched a little more than nine years ago, on October 5, 2009, and we use the occasion of our anniversary week to blast out some of our most compelling offers of the year. Today marks the sixth and last of our sextet of Anniversary Week offers, and we’re wrapping things up with a beauty; a singular Rocks District Syrah that is among the most challenging-to-source bottlings currently coming out of this special part of the northwest.I say challenging to source for a few reasons. First, because there are only three places in the United States to purchase this wine: direct through the Delmas mailing list (now closed, but you ought to consider joining the waiting list); from our esteemed colleagues at McCarthy & Schiering (please consider reaching out to Jay and Dan if we end up with painful allocations again); and through the Full Pull list. Not a single restaurant has this wine on its list. Not a single somm can humblebrag about Delmas. But I have to admit: even we’ve been a dodgy source. Max allocations of the 2014 vintage? 2 bottles. Last year’s 2015? 1 bottle max allocations, and dozens of list members shut out entirely. This year production has nudged upwards (all the way to 230 cases!), so I’m cautiously optimistic that allocations will improve marginally, but after that recent K Vintners allocation bloodbath, I’m emphasizing the word “cautiously.” On the allocation front, my plan is to run allocations on Wednesday at 12pm so that folks picking up this weekend will have access to the wine. As usual, we’ll favor breadth over depth, so that everyone gets one bottle before anyone gets two, and our formula for prioritizing allocations will include overall orders, frequency of orders, recency of orders, and list tenure, among other factors. Now then, the starting place for what makes Delmas Syrah special is the same as for every special wine in the world: the land. Specifically, SJR Vineyard, owned by Steve Robertson and located here, at the far southwestern edge of the Rocks District , with 8 acres currently in production, and another 2 acres planted last year. It’s mostly Syrah, with a little Grenache and a little Viognier. Brooke Robertson (Steve’s daughter) is now managing the vineyard, after several years getting her viticulture master’s at Cal Poly and working at Harlan Estate in the Napa Valley. I had a chance to hang out with Brooke in the vineyard last year, and she is a dynamo, with fascinating ideas about how to grow grapes in the rocks. The future seems bright indeed for this vineyard. On the winemaking side, Billo Naravane MW (it still gives me a kick to write the Master of Wine initials after Billo’s name) has been the consulting winemaker since day one, and what a joy it is to see Billo – who is a Rhone savant – working with rocks fruit. Here’s what the always-eloquent Billo has to say about the site: “SJR Vineyard produces Syrah with an amazing sense of terroir; there is a haunting earthiness and minerality that is present in all of the wines from this vineyard. The resulting wines have that rare combination of elegance, finesse, and power without heaviness. SJR Vineyard is a site that truly has something spectacular to say.” This 2016 has a full 8% Viognier coferment, and saw a 153-hour cold soak (that’s nearly a week). It was raised entirely in French oak (60% new) for 14 months, and it clocks in at 14.5% listed alc. This has a super-expressive, double-take rocks nose: yes marionberries and blueberries, but also a whole cavalcade of shapeshifting savory tones: black olive tapenade and smoky bacon fat; candied violets and Asian spice (star anise, Szechuan peppercorn); the brackish kelpy notes inherent to some of the most thrilling rocks Syrahs. I adore this nose – it’s completely aromatically arresting – and yet what distinguishes this from past vintages of Delmas is mouthfeel. This is so seamless, so pleasurable, such a lavish wine-drinking experience. Color me smitten. International Wine Report (Owen Bargreen): “The 2016 Delmas Syrah is a head-turning wine that takes its seat at the high table in Washington Syrah. This instantly impresses as it exudes heady aromas of red currant jelly, cigar ash, blood orange rind, barn floor, crushed wet gravel and Asian spices which all come together beautifully and continue to bring you back to the glass for more. On the palate this silky, smooth and seductive red is well balanced and laced with flavors of cranberries, pomegranate, Mandarin orange, red cherry candy, peat moss and Umami. This has incredible range, precision, purity and focus. A completely compelling wine from winemaker Billo Naravane that will cellar well for a decade or more. Drink 2018-2028. 96pts.” I should probably also note that Jeb Dunnuck hasn’t gotten his hands on the ’16 Delmas Syrah yet, but he did review a barrel sample of 2016 SJR Syrah made by Todd Alexander for Force Majeure, bestowing a 97-100pt score and calling it “a holy [EXPLETIVE] wine.” This is a special vineyard to be sure.

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