Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – 2012 Washington Syrah

The May Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2012 Washington Syrah. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Saturday and a Bottle Note will be published next week.

2012 was an exceptional vintage in Washington. The growing conditions were ideal. From my experience the wines are supple and well balanced. The best wines should be very long lived.

The Contenders:

  • 2012 Betz Family Syrah La Serenne – The 2012 Syrah La Serenne is a 100% Syrah that was aged in 50% new French oak prior to bottling. I think the greatest vintage of this cuvee to date, it boasts an incredibly inky purple color to go with notions of creme de cassis, damp earth, graphite, smoke and licorice that flow to a full-bodied, voluptuously textured profile on the palate. Despite all of the richness, it stays thrillingly focused and shows the purity and elegance of the site. Enjoy it anytime over the coming 10-15 years. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2012 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Vineyard – The only Syrah to be cofermented with Viognier, the 2012 Syrah Cailloux Vineyard (which sees mostly second-fill barrels) is one of the more serious, age-worthy examples of this cuvee I’ve tasted. Offering up lots of black raspberry, orange blossom, peach pit (these are no doubt due to the Viognier) and violet notes to go with almost searing minerality, this fabulous Syrah hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a layered, concentrated, tannic mouth feel and a great finish. Give it 2-3 years and enjoy over the following decade or so. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2012 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah Foothills Reserve – Another Cote Rotie look alike, the 2012 Syrah Foothills Reserve comes all from the Foothills in the Sun vineyard (which is planted around the estate) and is an incredible Syrah that is up with the top efforts from this great vintage. Pure, full-bodied, utterly seamless and with sweet tannin, it offers a kaleidoscope of black raspberry, olive, mint, game and peppery herbs aromas and flavors. Youthful, fresh and lively, it already offers tons of pleasure, but should evolve gracefully for 15 years or more. 97 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which 2012 Washington Syrah Should I Open?

  • 2012 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah Foothills Reserve (57%, 13 Votes)
  • 2012 Cayuse Syrah Cailloux Vineyard (30%, 7 Votes)
  • 2012 Betz Family Winery Syrah La Serenne (13%, 3 Votes)

Total Voters: 23

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the June installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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6 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – 2012 Washington Syrah

    1. Thanks Peter! I really like their wines. Not too far afield of Cayuse as one would expect. I have not tried this reserve bottling though.

  1. Have only popped a couple Reynvaan’s to date (both 2013 Syrahs) and each needed 24-36 hours of ‘air’ before opening up. Would be really interested to learn whether my experience was the exception or possibly more common in practice. Thanks.

    1. That is a long decant. My experience is a little bit different with some of the older vintages which I guess is to be expected. I’ll decant the Foothills Reserve for a couple hours tops and see how it shows.

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