2013 John Lewis Syrah, Walla Walla Valley
The John Lewis release email is always a love/hate exercise for us. It’s always extremely exciting, as we have the opportunity to share a wine we truly love. We hate it because the quantities are extremely limited, and this is a wine we want to share with everyone. The 2013 vintage, however, offers great news. First, it is an classic vintage. As we have said before, it is a vintage that will drink well in both the short and long term. Second, we were able to produce more John Lewis in 2013 than any other vintage, without making any compromises. It’s still a mere 221 cases, but far more than the scant 90 from the 2011 vintage or the 50 from the 2008 vintage.
Its interesting to me that as I read last year’s John Lewis release letter, I began with “the 2012 vintage was the year of the hillsides” The 2013 John Lewis continues that trend, revisiting the classic vineyard for John Lewis – Les Collines Vineyard and Block 46. While Block 46 always finds its way into the blend each year, it was also the major block for the 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2012 John Lewis blends. However, we took the 2013 one step further. This wine is 100% Les Collines and 100% Block 46. Who says we don’t make single vineyard wines?
Our winemaking formula remains consistent: harvest early, ferment slowly in open top tanks, 100% stems, and leave it in a puncheon for 18 months.
Although Jeb Dunnuck of the Wine Advocate hasn’t officially rated the wine, he did sample it last year during his visit:
“Probably the flagship Syrah, the John Lewis release comes all from the Les Collines vineyard in Walla Walla, specifically a single block (block 46) that’s located in mid-slope. It almost always sees 100% whole clusters during fermentation and spends 18 months in neutral puncheons. The 2013 Syrah John Lewis is a gorgeous example of this cuvee and gives lots of crushed violets, lavender, olive, pepper and gaminess to go with a full-bodied, layered, yet lively and fresh profile on the palate. Still firm and tight, this will be one of the longer-term prospects from this estate. It should benefit from 4-5 years of cellaring and have upwards of two decades of overall longevity.” (94-96 pts)
|VINEYARDS:||Les Collines Block 46 (Walla Walla Valley)|
|AGING:||100% Neutral French Oak Barrels|