Full Pull Les Collines

Hello friends. Full Pull and Kerloo Cellars have history. History that goes way back before we became Sodo neighbors.

On October 9, 2009, four days after launching this delirious venture, we sent out our third-ever offer. It was the 2007 vintage of Ryan Crane’s Les Collines Vineyard Syrah. A wine that had dazzled me during my initial research explorations out to Walla Walla. At the time, the vineyard was only on like its seventh leaf, and Ryan was, I believe, on his first vintage for Kerloo. But already a statement wine, one that showed a winemaker and a vineyard chockful of potential.

More than seven years later, all that potential has been realized. And today we’re circling back to the wine that started it all. A wine that still possesses the capacity to dazzle.

2014 Kerloo Cellars Syrah Les Collines Vineyard

Les Collines is a special site for Syrah. There are other varieties planted, but it has become clear over the years that Syrah is the star of the show. The vineyard is located here on the WA-OR border, just south of Cottonwood Creek as it runs out towards Reynvaan’s winery. It’s basically about halfway between Forgotten Hills/Morrison Lane and the Reynvaan Foothills vineyards, and the Syrah profile reflects that location. Les Collines sits comfortably in the foothills of the Blue Mountains, with enough elevation and slope to protect from frost most years. While its accumulated heat units make it difficult to ripen, say, Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s just about perfectly borderline for Syrah.

Ryan has always had a knack with this site, a persistent ability to bring out its most expressive, perfumed, savory side. Savory at Les Collines is totally different than rocks funk. Here it’s earthier and more mineral in nature. In my mind I draw a Les Collines triangle, and the vertices are something like: pine nut, mushroom, blood sausage. The middle of that triangle is Les Collines aromatically, at least when Ryan makes the wine.

He does it entirely as whole-cluster fermentation, stems and all, which only helps exacerbate the sense of wildness, of sauvage. No new wood touches this beauty; it’s all about the dirt and the fruit. And there’s never much of it to go around. That first 2007 vintage had production of 70 cases. Now, seven vintages later, production has grown all the way to… wait for it… 144 cases. And the winery (and their busy tasting room; we know, we see it all the time) has already sold through most of this vintage. So consider this a first-call last-call offer.

This clocks in at 13.8% listed alc and begins with the sanguine mushroomy resinous nose described above, all over a core of brambly raspberry fruit lifted by floral tones galore. It’s a soprano wine, all high-toned beauty, one of those wines with seemingly impossible intensity at such moderate weight. There is a truly unique savory character here, some nonreplicable combination of stems and site and winemaker. And textural class galore, with subtle tannin, plenty of length, and a real palate-coating character. For lovers of the stylistic breadth of Walla Walla Valley Syrah, this is a top wine every year, and has remained reasonably priced for its inherent quality.

Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine will arrive in a week or two, at which point it will be ready for pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.

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