Hello friends. We like to talk a lot about our growing neighborhood here in SoDo. Mostly because things have shifted so much in such a short amount of time. Having lots of neighbors is a nice change—only a few years ago it was just a handful of business around the Urban Works parking lot. One of those original businesses, our neighbor since 2014, is Structure Cellars. At the time, Structure was a little urban winery, rapidly growing their space from a basement/garage setup to an actual living, breathing winery. Over the last three years, Structure has been steadily growing, in production and expertise, and the wines they’re creating have the reviews and acclaim to prove it.
For those of you who haven’t met Brian Grasso and Brandee Slosar, they make the wine and run the tasting room at Structure—with the help of their two pups, Valentine and Nubbin. While Brandee has always been a oenophile, the winery truly grew legs after Brian’s wine epiphany in 2007, which came from a visit to Walter Dacon Cellars after winning a wine sales contest at the restaurant he worked at. Once Brian was hooked, there was no turning back. While Brian cut his teeth at Washington favorites such as Darby, Baer, and Sparkman, the duo always pursued their own projects. The first barrel they made was the 2008 Destiny Ridge Syrah. It was created and meticulously tended in a friend’s garage. The couple’s first official winery location was in the bottom of their first house as a married couple—a real fixer upper, as described by Brandee, in Ballard.
Structure Cellars was truly born out of this house; a house that had more in common with the wine they were making in its basement than either could ever imagine. The two jumped into a life of making wine and fixing up their house—which if you’ve ever embarked down either of these paths, you know that just one can be an arduous task. On one particularly overwhelming night, Brian gave Brandee a tumbler full of red wine (we like to call this an “industry pour”) to calm her down. The wine was the first they had ever made together, the 2008 Destiny Ridge Syrah, and as she gulped, he told her, “You know, this house is a lot like this wine. It’s got good bones…great structure.” From that moment, Structure Cellars was truly alive.
The large majority of Structure’s wines are usually reserved for their beloved wine club. That means that we’ve never really had the right fit or opportunity to offer any of the wines —until today.
2014 Structure Cellars Foundation Syrah
Syrah holds a special place for Structure—and it is safe to say that it’s the varietal they have become most known for. While Brandee’s choice is always Cab Franc, Brian truly loves Syrah. It was the first barrel the team ever made—and it seems fitting that a Syrah be the first wine we ever offer from them.
Wine Enthusiast (Sean Sullivan): “[REVIEW TEXT WITHHELD] 91 pts.”
This Syrah is sourced primarily from two outstanding sites—Wallula and Upland—and clocks in at 14.5% listed alcohol. The nose is straight Syrah—richly peppered with a back bone of blackberry, blueberry, and cherry. On the palate, it boasts rich fruit flavors upfront that are balanced out perfectly by a finish that’s spicy and earthy. Touches of green olive, anise, and tobacco all come through—with none of them overpowering the others. Three years past vintage, and this wine is drinking delightfully, but you could enjoy it for the next five to seven years. Think about pairing this with the other flavors you usually love in Washington Syrah—smoky barbeque pork, cured meats and stinky, soft cheeses, a BLT with thick cut bacon, or roasted rosemary potatoes.
We grabbed the last handful of cases remaining of this wine, so this is likely a one-and-done offer. Please limit order requests to 12 bottles, and we’ll do our best to fulfill all requests. The wine is in the warehouse and ready for immediate pickup or shipping during the next temperature-appropriate shipping window.