“Sexy Syrah” at Salty’s on Alki, 4/22/10: A Judge’s Perspective
May 3, 2010 by Dave Bender
For the 10th consecutive year “Sexy Syrah” has been hosted by David LeClaire of Seattle Uncorked. The beneficiary of this fundraiser was FareStart, a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. With the participation of Salty’s restaurant on Alki Beach, one amazing Seattle city view and fifty Washington wineries—the event was quick to sell out. If you missed it, it will be back next year. If you want to know the wines that stood out, read on.
Sadly for you this event is now over, however I’d like to offer you the names of the wines that I enjoyed most. To preface, I was invited to be a guest judge at this event; there was twenty of us. We began tasting at 5pm and we had one hour before the event of 300, officially opened its doors. My mission was to taste roughly 80 wines throughout the evening, which included both Syrah blends; and single varietal Syrah bottlings. I was to ultimately pick three wines for each category and give them medals of gold, silver and bronze. This was a casual judging, in which we knew full well whose wine we were tasting, due to the fact that this was not a blind tasting. This feature did however create its own challenges when rating the wines, because each winery had their own sales techniques. However for some wineries, there was little that could be done to alter my judgment—thank you spit bucket. Here is a list of wines that I couldn’t help but swallow.
Bunnell Family Cellar – 2007 Boushey-McPherson Syrah, $43
Had it all going on, classic, complex, balanced
Gamache Vintners – 2005 Estate Syrah, $28
Full throttle typicity, super meaty, glycerin, great Syrah producer
Gilbert Cellars – 2007 Syrah, $26
Biggest, most structured, young, nuanced
Kerloo Cellars – 2007 Les Collines Syrah, $32
Not overdone, dark, winery to watch
Smasne Cellars – 2007 Block #3 Lawrence Vineyard Syrah, $35
Delicious, crowd pleaser, vanilla
Bunnell Family Cellar- 2007 À Pic, $32
Good composition, balance, safe
Forgeron Cellars- Walldeaux Smithie, $16
Yum, juicy, thick, tasty, value
Rotie Cellars- 2008 Northern Blend, $35
Fantastic, firm acid, focused, fruit purity, cult wine in the making
Taste them, drink them, buy them, love them and read WINOMAGAZINE.COM on the regular.