Reminding me of a Northern Rhone Syrah from the Le Meal lieu-dit on Hermitage Hill, the 2013 Syrah The Hidden Northridge Vineyard comes entirely from the Northridge Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope, was fermented with 100% whole clusters and aged in mostly neutral oak. It offers thrilling notes of black raspberries, toasted bread, caramelized meats and licorice in a full-bodied, ultra-pure, supple, incredibly sexy style. Possessing building, fine tannin, it needs a lengthy decant if drinking anytime soon, but this utterly seamless, perfectly balanced beauty will offer upward of two decades of overall longevity. (JD)
Aromas of pomegranate, black fruit, herb and barrel spice lead to rich seamless palate-coating dark-fruit flavors. It’s hedonistic but retains a sense of balance along with an unabashed deliciousness. (SS)
Broad, generous and opulent, with raspberry, black cherry and rhubarb flavors that maintain momentum into a long and supple finish, picking up hints of dill and black tea. Best from 2018 through 2023. (HS)
(from broken basalt and limestone soil at an elevation of 1,150 feet, with a further cooling effect from a nearby apple orchard and its irrigation water): Good dark, fresh red. Strong red fruit lift to the aromas of cherry, licorice and menthol, along with sappy high-pitched spices. A wonderfully perfumed fruit bomb of a Syrah in a distinctly Pinot fashion. Finishes with broad, fine-grained, building tannins. 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) 92+
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