What we’re drinking: DeLille Cellars Signature Syrah

Brynn writes:

In honor of March being Washington Wine Month, we’re going to highlight a Washington wine each week in our regular What We’re Drinking spot.

This week I’m continuing with the story from last week’s review of Mark Ryan Winery and the birthday party visit to Woodinville.

After our Mark Ryan trip (don’t worry I haven’t forgotten that I still owe you a review of our favorite wine from this tasting) we headed around the roundabout back to DeLille Cellars, which has a Carriage House tasting room about ¼ mile from the winery’s Chateau.

Upon arrival we were whisked away to a back table where we were poured by far the largest selection of wine we were to taste all day.

While we tasted some knock out wines from DeLille, it was the Doyenne Signature Syrah that left the best impression.

I think that’s because of the nose on this deep purple wine. After one sniff it was immediately evident that the wine had a splash of viognier, which gave it the floral notes I was picking up on the nose.

The wine is 98 percent syrah, 2 percent viognier. The syrah grapes come from a mix of different vineyards, which adds to the wine’s complexity.

I think the reason I liked my two small sips of this wine was because I found it approachable and something I would drink with or without food. We later tried the winery’s estate Syrah — 100 percent syrah sourced only from Grand Ciel Vineyard — and it was amazing to see the difference between the two.

Right off the bat the nose was different on the estate syrah because it didn’t have the viognier addition. The finish of the estate syrah was sharp and tannic, while the Doyenne syrah was smooth and pleasing. As the more complex of the two, the estate syrah is definitely one that I would love to taste again after it’s been laid down in the cellar for a few years.

Here’s what the winery has to say about the Doyenne signature syrah:

Tasting Notes:

Our Syrah defines the 2008 vintage character beautifully — revealing a nose of pomegranate, black raspberry, flowers, black pepper and minerals. Interesting notes of grilled meat and wet stones accompany the usual Syrah flavors of black plum, pomegranate, and fresh herbs. Demonstrating uncommon elegance, balance and power, the finish is focused and long. This wine continues the 2008 trend of interesting, elegant wines with classical structure and memorable longevity.

Varietal Blend:

  • 98 percent Syrah
  • 2 percent Viognier

Vineyard breakdown:

  • 49 percent Ciel du Cheval Syrah
  • 19 percent Grand Ciel Vineyard Syrah
  • 30 percent Boushey Vineyard Syrah
  • 2 percent Ciel du Cheval Viognier

Price: $39