2009 K Vintners Syrah “The Hidden” Northridge Vineyard

Hello friends. Well, so much for today’s regularly-scheduled weekend offering.

I’m scrapping it, because I was just offered a time-limited, barely-big-enough parcel from a coveted producer that is becoming more and more difficult to source:

Our problems are growth problems. The Full Pull list has continued to grow. The demand for Charles Smith’s wines nationwide (not to mention Japan and England) has continued to grow. What hasn’t grown: production.

That’s a dangerous combination, and it has made our K offerings fewer and further between. So when I was offered this opportunity, I jumped, even though I have not had the chance to sample this wine. The consistency of my experience with previous vintages of K Syrahs from Northridge Vineyard leaves me confident that this will deliver the goods.

A big part of the reason for the urgency is that this review is going to appear in the November 15 issue of Wine Spectator:

Wine Spectator (Harvey Steiman): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. 94pts.”

A tiny parcel of this landed in Seattle three days ago, and we have a hold on a chunk of it. That hold expires Monday night, so please try to get order requests in by Monday afternoon. This is a one-time deal; no chance at reorders. And if we have to under-allocate (a very real possibility), I suspect the remainder of the parcel not allocated to the Full Pull list will land at a number of the better bottle shops around town, so if you hunt, you can probably find more.

This is 100% Northridge Vineyard Syrah, a wild site on the Wahluke Slope, and a rarity because it sits above the Missoula floodline at elevations of 1100’, meaning instead of flood soils, this vineyard sits on a thin layer of ancient soils above a base of caliche and basalt.

Here is technical information from the winery: This is the first year we’ve held back Northridge Syrah for more barrel age and it deserves the special treatment. This fruit comes from an experimental block at Northridge where 3/4 of the block was grafted from Phelps to equal parts clones 470, 174 and 383 – all top end Rhone clones from Superior. We source the entire block and farm less than 2 tons per acre. The Rhone stems lignify earlier so we use 100% stems on the bottom of the fermenters and layer them with the de-stemmed Phelps clone on the top. The wine is of course native yeast fermented, then spends 27 months in barrel – a mix of two 500 Liter Puncheons and 11 French Rhone barrels.

And here are tasting notes from the winery: Our inaugural release of “The Hidden” Syrah. This co-ferment of four Syrah clones makes for one complex wine. 27 months in barrels and raring to go. It is gamey, bloody (think fresh meat) and has forest floor, anise and sassafras. If that is not enough, all of that is enclosed in a skin of wild blackberry. This wine is powerful and will age forever. Totally Killer…..

Please limit order requests to 3 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in about a week, at which point it will be available for pickup or shipping during the autumn shipping window.

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