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Complex and compelling, this estate-grown Syrah sends up smoky notes of cured meat, nougat and caramel. Black cherry fruit anchors the barrel notes, and it just gets more and more delicious as it winds its way across the palate. This demonstrates classy winemaking and perfect balance.
The fruit for this wine is grown at an elevation of 1310 feet on the grounds of the Winery. The higher elevation and the proximity to the Blue Mountains, gives this vineyard a longer, cooler ripening season than most other areas of the Walla Walla Appellation. The cooler site results in a style much like that of a classic Northern Rhone with complexity and balance without the concentration and higher alcohol levels of Syrah produced in warmer areas.
"(from the estate's Mill Creek Upland vineyard): Bright full ruby. Lively butt but subdued scents of cassis, blackberry, minerals, brown spices, violet and licorice; showing a distinctly dark side of Syrah. Intensely flavored, firm and juicy; not a particularly fleshy or pliant style but offers lovely inner-mouth violet lift and a dense weave to the flavors of dark berries and minerals. This serious Syrah boasts a firm spine of acids and tannins and finishes with sneaky persistence. Dry, laid-back and rather classic wine, in need of time in bottle to expand and gain in complexity. (14.7% alcohol) - Stephen Tanzer"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (November 2018), 92 pts
The Abeja Winery
The Abeja Winery sits at the base of the Washington Blue Mountains, just east of Walla Walla, on a farm estate over 100 years old.
Ken and Ginger Harrison spent 35 years in Portand, Oregon before their strategic move to Walla Walla. The growing climate was ideal for Cabernet Sauvignon, Ken’s preferred varietal, which made this the perfect location for Abeja Winery. Ken focused on growing and producing, while Ginger operated the Harrison’s Inn.
In 2002, Ken and Ginger met the perfect additions to their Abeja Winery team, John Abbott and Molly Galt. Hailing from the Napa Valley since college, John worked at Pine Ridge and Acacia Winery. He and Molly later began Canoe Ridge Vineyard in Walla Walla. Molly handled all of the marketing and public relations and John was the winemaker for almost ten years.
When choosing a name for their vineyard, they wanted to represent a period of farming that had respect for the environment and close connection to the earth. The word “Abeja” is Spanish for bee. The simplistic nature and beauty of the word complimented their “farm softly” style. The honeybee is the ultimate symbol for their way of life because honeybees are so impacted by how one farms and yet very important to an ample and robust style of agriculture. The Abeja Winery truly strives to make a difference by minimizing impact and nurturing the land. Abeja vineyards are certified sustainable farming by organizations such as LIVE, Salmon Safe, and Vinea.
Some wines from Abeja Winery:
Any Abeja wines we have in stock are listed below, if you don’t see the wine you are looking for please don’t hesitate to ask for it.
With our long history of making single site syrah's in Washington, it made sense for us to venture into the Rocks District of Milton Freewater in the Walla Walla Valley to bring you our newest syrah, "Domaine de Pierres."
The Rocks AVA produces syrah that shows a distinct character, separating it from any other site in Washington State. One thing in particular that has drawn people here is the gallet stones present throughout the valley. They are very similar to the pudding stones that are found in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and can be anywhere from golf ball size, to softball size or larger. Since we purchased the vineyard in 2014 we have been tilling the earth multiple times every season to expose these rocks. The gallet stones act like a heat sink, giving a little extra push to help ripen syrah in an area with marginal heat accumulation.
In the glass, Domaine de Pierres stands out from our other syrah's because of its incredibly savory profile. Notes of roasted meat, fresh herbs, olive tapenade, tobacco and graphite are supported by dark fruit, espresso, and lavendar. The wine has a lower acidity and higher PH than our other wines, which contributes to a velvety, full bodied mouthfeel. Even in the cellar, we immediately noticed a difference in the color, aromatics and flavor that these syrah grapes were able to express.
The other big reason that we are so excited about the wine from this particular AVA, is that the history of the Rocks is happening right now! Our vineyard, “Ancient Stones,” has only been planted there since 2007, and the beginning of the Rocks as a wine growing region only really started in the 1990's. There is a lot of energy and exploration going on, and it has been a fun experience for our team to be a part of it. We still have so much to learn about this region and it is very exciting to feel like we are on the upward swing!
"This has strident peppery notes with a layer of sappy whole-cluster fragrances and complexity as well as fresh charcuterie meats, smoky notes and graphite. Red plums and blackberries lurk beneath. The palate has deep chocolate and cherry fruits. Very suave, supple tannins carry dark plums, dark chocolate and energetic freshness to the finish. Give this 2-3 years to integrate."
- James Suckling (2018), 95 pts
Abeja Chardonnay Washington State 2013 is 100 percent Chardonnay
This Chardonnay has the essence of a freshly baked lemon meringue pie, green apple, and Bartlett pear. It is both dense and bright, with a hint of vanilla and cinnamon coming from its time in barrel. Aromas are so much related to experiences. It is a wine that is in the traditional Abeja style, with superb polish, complexity, and balance, yet with a light touch at 13.5 percent alcohol.
This one-hundred-percent Merlot has really nice, bright red fruit, rose petals, and a richness on the nose. Flavors of plum, mountain strawberry and mocha come together with a balanced mouth feel and a long finish. Though it was a cooler vintage, I feel we have still captured the powerfully elegant style for which we are known.
"The 2014 Columbia Valley Merlot (100% Merlot) is a ripe, black fruit, plum, leafy herbs and mineral-scented effort that has medium to full-bodied richness, moderate mid-palate depth and tons of upfront charm. It's going to drink nicely through 2024."
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #231, June 2017), 90 pts
"The aromas bring notes of dried herb, vanilla bean, wood spice and black cherry. The flavors are rich and luscious, supported by plump ripe tannins. The finish lingers."
- Wine Enthusiast (June 2017), 91 pts
No Syrah terroir in Sonoma County compares with Sonoma Mountain’s northwest crown—cool fog-affected mornings, sun-bathed afternoons, cooled by persistent coastal breezes, and temperate evenings. The soils in Steiner’s Syrah blocks — ashy and moondust-like, littered with decomposing sea bed — further contribute to the unique nature of this site. After a 3-vintage hiatus, I am thrilled to be back working with Steiner Vineyard’s Syrah. By its nature, this slow-to-ripen, cool-climate site produces fabulously deep, intense, structured wines. Now, raising a big, brawny Syrah is no rare act of alchemy. It is the wonder of Steiner’s terroir — a magical elegance and beauty, informing the inherent power, depth and intensity — that makes this bottling so special. 2016 produced a classic wine that deftly balances massive flavors and texture, while retaining vital freshness, and a palpable sense of cool. Production was low, so get it while you can. Simply a “WOW” wine, not to be missed.
VINEYARD: Steiner Vineyard. Located at 1,100 ft, on the northwest crown of Sonoma Mountain. CRUSH: Early morning harvest by hand, October 1st, cluster and berry sorted, destemmed and crushed. FERMENT: 5-day cold soaks, followed by 14 day native fermentation in open-top bins. AGING: 20 months, French oak, 100% new, mixture of 300L hogsheads and barrique shapes. Never racked prior to bottling. Bottled unfined, unfiltered.
"Refined and stylish, featuring a complex core wrapped in multilayered blackberry and blueberry flavors, laced with bitter chocolate, black licorice and smoky meat notes. Drink now through 2030.- Tim FISH"
- Wine Spectator Insider (January 15th 2020), 93 PTS
Sweet, savory aromas lead the way, sort of a mineral-laden black fruit---dark berries and plums. Smoke, dried herbs, violet, meat, wet stones and a hint of ironstone complete the package. It penetrates yet is a broad fragrant expression. I've always felt the aromatic range of this wine has its foundation in the four clones we use.
The black fruits continue on the palate, with black cherry, dark plum and spices echoing the aroma. While it's rich, almost luxurious, there's a tannic foundation and a structured acidity. Floral and earthy, the dried herbs and stones emerge here too, along with tobacco, thyme and lavender. This is a food-lover's Syrah, with weight, brightness and dimension.
(Clones 174, 383, 99 and Phelps) Vineyards: Ciel du Cheval Ranch at the End of the Road Classic Red Mountain character defines the Syrah La Côte Rousse, despite being the product of a cooler vintage. The warm site vineyards, Ciel du Cheval and Ranch at the End of the Road accumulated more heat than our other sites and ripened the four Syrah clones to a greater extent; we’ve never seen Red Mountain deliver less than full physiological maturity, every vintage. Nevertheless this vintage retains a vibrancy and energy that isn’t often found on Red Mountain.
"The 2016 Syrah La Cote Rousse is built around clone 99, all from Red Mountain, that saw 45% whole clusters in the fermentation. This cuvee, which is also moving more and more toward Ciel du Cheval, is 88% from this terrific site. It’s another inky purple colored red with a beautiful bouquet of black raspberries, toasted spice, dried herbs, and mineral aromas and flavors. This full-bodied, ripe, layered Syrah needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will keep for 15+ years." 95+ pts - Jeb Dunnuck
"The 2016 Syrah La Côte Rousse reveals notes of purple flowers, crunchy dark berry fruit and cracked pepper, followed by a medium-bodied, youthfully chewy but fine-grained palate that's bright and chalky. Taut and concentrated, it will require—and reward—some patience." 94+ - Robert Parkers Wine Advocate
"So much spice and mineral aromas here with hints of cloves and white pepper. Full body, ink and dark fruit and some black olives. A solid and chewy syrah with so much strength yet form." 94 pts - James Suckling
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
"The 2016 Syrah La Serenne saw plenty of whole clusters as well as 11 months in French oak, 40% new. It’s deep inky colored with a smoking bouquet of blueberries, spring flowers, gunpowder like minerality, and liquid violets. With classic gamey Syrah character, plenty of pepper, medium to full-bodied richness, and a heavenly, silky texture, this might just be the finest vintage of this cuvée to date." 96 pts - Jeb Dunnuck
"The 2016 Syrah La Serenne hails from two acres within the Boushey Vineyard and was fermented with between 66% and 100% whole clusters. The wine is already very complex, wafting from the glass with notes of grilled meat, dried lavender, pepper and candied peel. On the palate, it's medium to full-bodied, ample and lavish, with a layered mid-palate, fine-grained structuring tannins, sappy acids and a sapid, saline finish." 95 pts - Robert Parker
"Dark, brooding and modern, this has pepper, cherry liqueur and chocolate plus exotic spicy flavors that extend through to the palate. Assertive, forthright finish." 95 pts - James Suckling
This appellation springs from 4 plots, all classified premier cru: La Jeunelotte, La Pièce-sous-le-bois, Sous-le-dos-d’âne and Sous-Blagny : the Meursault-Blagny wine from our domain originates from 3 of these plots (or climats), Sous-le-dos-d’âne, La Pièce-sous-le-bois and Sous-Blagny.
This wine is distinguished for its fine, mineral sensation giving length in the mouth : in the first years, the aroma is rich and ranges from citrus fruit to white blossom moving towards honey, buttered toast and hazelnut.
After 2 or 3 years in the cellar it may be served before dinner with cubes of “jambon persillé” (pressed ham ) or “Comté” cheese; a little older it will be an ideal match for fish quenelles and with slightly more maturity, delicious with veal in cream sauce.
In a good cellar, Meursault-Blagny wine may be laid for 8/10 years.
This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon offers an incredible aroma of big black, rich fruit, spring flowers, graphite and toast. Full-bodied with stunning concentration and flavors of dark cherries, black plum, melted milk chocolate. Well integrated French oak, this well balanced wine has supple, but ripe tannins and a lengthy finish. From a single vineyard in Oakville. 14 months in 60% new French oak, Excellent value for Oakville-Napa Valley. Just 350 cases produced.