2010 K Vintners Syrah Cougar Hills

Year: 2010
Appellation: Walla Walla, Columbia Valley
Country: USA - Washington
Red Wine
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Previous press:
2006 95 Wine Advocate

2005 92 Wine Advocate

2003 93 Wine Advocate

Winery Notes:
Tasting Notes:
Once again classic Cougar Hills. This wine opens with black olive, dried orange peel, and pink peppercorns, then gives way to sea salt and iodine with a baseline of roasted earth. One Rockin’ Wine. —Charles Smith

92 (2005 Vintage, last rated) Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate “A bit more restrained aromatically with a more elegant personality. Concentrated, ripe, and round. The flavors are already exhibiting complexity, and the finish is very long. Allow for another 3-4 years in the cellar and drink it through 2020.”

This wine is sourced from the hillside portion of Cougar Hills vineyard, which is planted to the Phelps clone of Syrah. The soil is a composite of loam, river rock and gravel with a layer of volcanic ash about three feet below the soil surface. The vineyard also has cobbles and loam and was planted in 2000. All of this lends to a dark, saline, oyster shell quality that is uniquely Walla Walla.

The short story on our 2010 wines is all about freshness and doing the right thing in the vineyard. 2010 started with mild win- ter and a warm spring then turned cool, very cool in May and June. By cool, I mean that on average we see a year that cool once in thirty years. So, we dropped fruit, a lot of it. We took all of our high end wines down to just one cluster per shoot across the board. On heavier clustered varieties we removed shoulders or wings from the cluster. Depending on spacing, yields were reduced to between 1 and 2 tons/ac. Then we hung the fruit; and these perfect remaining clusters ripened in the cooler, later parts of fall. The weather gods smiled on us and excellent weather for final ripening held. They reached outstanding flavor con- centration and retained their bright acidity without brix levels soaring. The wines were then fermented on their own native yeasts with varying degrees of whole cluster but all whole berried and pressed on our JLB20 basket press. The wines have shown true elegance and freshness throughout elevage supported by firm fine grain tannin. The concentrated cooler climate flavors coupled with bright acidity is as exciting as any vintage we've made to date.