A candidate for the wine of the vintage, the 2013 Syrah Royal City is as expansive, sexy and voluptuous as they get in the vintage, hands down. It’s deep ruby/purple color is followed by incredible notes of wild herbs, lavender, gamey meats, olive paste and sweet dark berry fruits. Full-bodied, relatively forward and charming, it still packs a wealth of material and has building tannin, all suggesting it will drink nicely for 10-15 years. (JD)
The aromas pop, with notes of stargazer lilies, brown stems, green olive and smoked meat, revealing more on each swirl. The fruit and savory flavors are rich and layered, earthshaking in their intensity, with a lengthy finish that only heightens the interest. It’s a complete showstopper. *Editors' Choice* (SS)
Rich and opulent, this towering wine offers layers of blueberry, plum and clotted cream flavors, with just enough mineral character to stay honest. Comes together into a vivid and expressive finish. Has plenty of power, but remains graceful. (HS)
Medium red. Raspberry, pepper and herbs on the nose. Boasts lovely sweetness but also a distinctly savory quality to its red fruit and floral flavors. This Syrah manages to combine power and restraint, not to mention very good definition. Finishes with substantial broad, dusty tannins and subtle length. In the absence of Charles Smith, I sampled his extensive line-up of K Vintners wines in his airy new facility on the northern edge of Boeing Field in Seattle with Brennon Leighton, who makes wines under his own B. Leighton label and is co-winemaker with Smith on the Sixto wines. (Leighton works for Smith and is also a partner on several of their labels.) Leighton emphasized that all of Smith’s contracts for the K wines are by the acre, which is still the exception in Washington. Leighton noted that the 2013s are a bit coarser than the 2012s. Two thousand fourteen was an even warmer vintage, but Smith "made adjustments in the vineyards, leaving larger canopies and getting more shade on the fruit." This has long been a fascinating collection of wines encompassing a wide range of distinctive terroirs. (ST)
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