Two 2007 Syrahs from Bunnell Family Cellar

Hello friends. I have a soft spot for the 2007 vintage. When we launched Full Pull in 2009, it was the heyday of the 2007s, a universally-hailed vintage for Washington. Nowadays, 2007s are few and far between.

So it was with great gusto that I recently tasted a pair of Ron Bunnell’s Syrahs from 2007. They are drinking beautifully, just entering peak window in my opinion, and Ron has offered parcels of both to our list at a nice discount.

Bunnell Family Cellar is one of Washington’s insider wineries, a little hidden gem of a Rhone producer. From 1992 to 2004, Ron worked for Ste Michelle Wine Estates, and his final role there was Head Red Winemaker. That role had Ron traveling to the outer reaches of the state for vineyard research and management, and he put those vineyard contacts to good use when he struck out on his own.

2007 Bunnell Family Cellar Syrah Clifton Hill Vineyard

Clifton Hill is a Milbrandt-farmed site on the Wahluke Slope. It is a hillside site distinct from the larger Clifton Vineyard, which is at the base of the hill. Clifton Hill vineyard slopes to the west, overlooking Sentinel Gap, a geological oddity where the Missoula Floods carved their way through the Saddle Mountains.

Along with Syrah, there is Viognier planted at Clifton Hill, and the two grapes ripen at about the same time, allowing co-fermentation (3% Viognier to go with the 97% Syrah here). The aromatics are lovely, with the Viognier adding a topnote of lilac to a core of raspberry fruit. There is also a sweet grain note that seems specific to Clifton Hill. I have noticed it in multiple Syrah bottlings from this site. The palate is in a real sweet spot right now, offering intense red raspberry fruit with streaks of grain, cocoa, and orange blossom. There is still loads of primary fruit here, and while this is absolutely delicious right now, it still seems to have miles left in the tank.

Wine Spectator (Harvey Steiman): “($43); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”

Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”

2007 Bunnell Family Cellar Syrah Boushey-McPherson Vineyard

From Dick Boushey’s high-elevation (1300’) site in the Yakima Valley, this is 100% Syrah. No Viognier coferment here, and I don’t think you’d want one. It might mask this wine’s lush earthiness, its dark beauty. Everything about the character is darker here. The fruit is more blackberry than raspberry, and there are more dark notes of espresso bean and asphalt and briny black olive. In the reviews below, you’ll find both reviewers trying to pinpoint that elusive Boushey character: “wet earth and mineral accents”; “savory (umami) flavors of dried kelp and organic matter.” Whatever you call it, it’s that earthy complexity that keep Washington wine lovers returning to Boushey Syrah again and again.

Wine Spectator (Harvey Steiman): “($43); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 93pts.”

Wine Enthusiast (Paul Gregutt): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 92pts.”

First come first served up to 6 bottles of each, and the wines should arrive in about a week, at which point they will be available for pickup or shipping during the autumn shipping window.

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