The 2018 growing season, my 41st in Washington, was defined by a very early and very warm and dry spring giving the vines an essential head start. Temperatures moderated and our average heat summations settled in to a pattern which showed us ahead of historical averages by a week to ten days. A gentle spring and early summer evolved into a scorcher of epic proportions later in July and into August. Our fears for an overripe harvest were mitigated, oddly enough, by extensive atmospheric smoke from Northern British Columbia.
This effectively blocked the sun for several weeks and, while the temperatures were hot, the vines lacked sunlight for essential photosynthesis and ripening was shifted into a state of, if you will, suspended animation. Early varieties like Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc were indeed quite early with harvest commencing in late August.
Moderating temperatures and a generally welcome cooling trend delayed reds to a more normal harvest schedule and allowed for proper flavor development and an almost optimal sugar acid balance. Moderate comfortable and dry weather extended without major incident to the end of harvest in late October.
All in all, a season yielding crisp fruit-driven whites and generously balanced reds of large dimension. Appealing for its distinctive cherry, black currant and plum flavors. Subtle vanilla and discreet earthy notes are woven into a dense core of spicy elements. Choose this smooth, approachable Syrah to accompany prime rib or roast pork.