Hello friends. Scott Southard has offered our list a lovely holiday Syrah gift: a deal on his single-vineyard Lawrence Syrah (normally a steal at $25):
Southard is what I could call a “core winery partner” for Full Pull. We offer almost everything Scott produces. And this wine is a good example of why.
As far as I know, there are two other wineries making single vineyard Syrahs from Lawrence: Ardor Cellars and Gard. Their price points: $50 and – wait for it – $50. And folks happily pay those prices, because this is a killer site for Syrah. To wit: the most recent vintages of Ardor’s and Gard’s Lawrence Syrahs have both earned 93pt reviews from Sean Sullivan in Wine Enthusiast, not the easiest reviewer.
Scott’s version has not been reviewed. I’m guessing that’s because the production level (four barrels; right around 100 cases) doesn’t warrant submission. But I should note: the last time Scott submitted this wine to Enthusiast for review (the 2009 vintage), it too received a 93pt review (from Paul Gregutt).
It’s Scott Southard’s cousins, the Lawrences, who farm Lawrence Vineyard, so this bottling is something of a family affair. The Royal Slope, where Lawrence Vineyard is located, is an excellent, excellent place to grow Syrah in Washington, perhaps the buzziest under-the-radar area for Syrah in the state right now. It contains Stoneridge Vineyard, which Charles Smith uses to make Heart, Skull, Old Bones, and Royal City Syrahs (tariffs ranging from $100-$140), and I’m certain that the success of those bottlings has led to more Syrah vines going into the ground.
Lawrence Vineyard, however, was in the ground well before all that, first planted out in 2003. It is high-elevation Syrah, ranging from 1400’-1600’, Right now, the Royal Slope is part of the greater Columbia Valley AVA, but I’d be shocked if this area does not eventually become its own AVA. As you can see on the map, the Royal Slope is one slope up from the Wahluke Slope, running north-to-south from Frenchman Hills down to Sentinel Mountain.
Syrah grapes from this particular Royal Slope site were harvested in early October 2012, then fermented whole-cluster (stems and all) and pressed after three weeks of skin contact. One of the four barriques used was new, which equates to 25% new French oak. This spent just shy of two years in barrel, and has now had another two-plus years in bottle to evolve further. It’s showing beautifully right now, beginning with a soaring nose combining huckleberries, violets, and a big mess of crushed-rock minerality. In the mouth, this has a notable palate-staining character, carrying mineral-inflected berry fruit seamlessly from attack to finish. There’s a piercing thread of high-elevation acid here. Fine-grained integrating tannins too. And so much inner-mouth perfume that I’d swear there’s Viognier in the mix. But no; this is all Syrah, from a vineyard that allows Scott to convey ripeness (14.5% listed alc) and freshness all at once.
Please limit order requests to 24 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine should arrive in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.