Hello friends. Sometimes it feels so right to be so wrong.
On October 2, 2011, I wrote the following: “This is something of a poignant bottle, too. I know from previous vintages this wine has devoted followers on our list, and I’m sad to say this 2008 will be the last vintage of Lewis Vineyard Syrah from Bunchgrass, as the winery has decided to narrow their focus to Walla Walla Valley vineyards. It’s an understandable decision, but a sad one nevertheless for those of us who have come to love this wine.”
While the 2008 vintage was indeed the final vintage where Bunchgrass worked with Lewis Vineyard fruit (they decided to shift their focus more to the Walla Walla Valley), it turns out that another, earlier vintage has been waiting in the wings:
Long time list members will note that we actually offered the 2007 once before, in autumn 2010. In that offering, I called it “the chewiest of the three.” The other two wines in that offering were a Malbec and a Cabernet Sauvignon, so that ought to tell you something about what a tightly-wound wine this was back in 2010. Apparently, Tom Olander agreed, because after a brief release window, they held back the remainder of the vintage, deciding to sell through the more accessible 2008 first.
So, here we are two years later, with an unexpected final chance to access Bunchgrass’ work with Lewis Vineyard Syrah. This is also a rare (and ever-dwindling) opportunity to taste the acclaimed 2007 vintage in Washington.
If only more wineries could hold their Syrahs this long! For my palate, many Washington Syrahs enter a glorious drinking period at about five or six years past vintage, and that’s exactly where this one is. There is a wild, brambly character emerging on the nose, which presents an attractive mix of red raspberry, Dr. Pepper spice, and shiso leaf. The palate seems to be entering a wonderful phase where there is fine balance between rich, softening red fruit and emerging notes of earth and dust and bramble. The chewiness that I noted two years ago has calmed down considerably, now offering a kiss of citrus-tea tannin on the lingering finish. Killer wine.
Washington Wine Report (Sean Sullivan): “($28); [REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD]. Rating: **** (Excellent).”
And we couldn’t let a Bunchgrass offering go without including a Robert Sund poem (see here for an explanation). Since this is likely the last Yakima Valley fruit that will appear in a Bunchgrass release, let’s re-excerpt “East of the Mountains, Driving to White Swan,” written by Sund in June 1969:
— Robert Sund
Please limit order requests to 12 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 spring shipping window.