Tag Archives: Syrah

Kevin White Yakima Valley Red Blend

Kevin White Impulse

Kevin White 2015 Yakima Valley Red Wine

Fellow wine lovers, a blockbuster wine from last year is back its second vintage today. Kevin White’s wines have been an Impulse favorite since we first featured them a few years ago, and last year he came out with a new wine, a declassified red made in the same style as his flagship Rhone style wines. The new vintage was just release and has already sold out on his website, disappearing in a flash, but we are lucky enough to have a bit to feature on Impulse today.

Kevin White 2015 Yakima Valley Red Wine $17.99

 If you like Rhone style reds from Washington State, Kevin White’s are not to be missed. This one in particular will be gone in a hurry, as there is so little of it made and the value is tremendous. It’s made using the same fruit from the same vineyards as is earth shattering La Fraternité and En Hommage wines, with Kevin assembling those two blends first, then everything else that’s still worthy goes into this Red Wine.

Simply put, the wine is really good! It’s beautiful, smooth, and spicy. It’s soft and medium bodied on the palate, very easy drinking, and ready now with the ability to lay down for a few years. It has a lovely nose of delicate red berries, with hints of pepper, herb, and rose petals. There are flavors of strawberry, cherry, and raspberry. A perfect every day drinker.

Kevin White Red Wine

Kevin White Winery Red Wine

Click here to order the Kevin White Red Blend

 Region: Yakima Valley

Grape(s): 44% Syrah, 31% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre

Drinkability: Now through 2021

Body: Medium

Alcohol: 14.9% by volume

Drink This if you Like: La Fraternité, En Hommage, W.T. Vintners, Savage Grace,

Food Pairing: Lamb Chops

Production: 466 cases


Damsel Cellars Stillwater Creek Syrah

Damsel Impulse

Damsel Cellars 2013 Syrah, Stillwater Creek Vineyard, Columbia Valley, WA

Fellow wine lovers, not every Damsel is in distress. In fact, today’s Damsel seems to have things pretty well in order. Damsel Cellars is a new winery started by owner and winemaker Mari Womack. She spent a several years working and volunteering at boutique Washington wineries such as Obelisco, Bear, and Darby, before having the gumption to start her own project. Now into her second vintage, she’s making some wines worth sharing on Impulse.

Damsel Cellars 2013 Columbia Valley Syrah $34.99

Mari Womack is focusing on making all 100% single varietal wines, such as this Syrah, which is also a single vineyard Syrah, all from Stillwater Creek Vineyard in the Columbia Valley. Over the past 10 or so years, Stillwater Creek has become a favored site for Syrah, and other varieties, among boutique winemakers in Washington. I myself had the pleasure of working with their Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and other grapes, when I was making wine at Matthews back in the day. It’s a very well managed vineyard, growing excellent wine grapes.

The Damsel Cellars 2013 Columbia Valley Syrah is aged for 14 months in 25% new French oak barrels. Mari Womack also included 25% stems in the fermentation, which bring a bit of earth tones to the profile, as well as adding texture and a bit of tannin. It’s a smooth wine, but does have a bit of grip to the palate, and those extra tannins will go a long in making this an ageable and food friendly wine, especially with a fatty meat dish. The nose reminds me of the sweet smoky essence of a barbecue pit, with notes of black raspberry, cured olives, and hints of tobacco and dried leaves. The color is deep and dark, and the palate is full bodied, with flavors of vanilla, cherries, blueberries, and hints of toast. It finishes with a hint of game and palate cleansing acidity.

Click here to order the Damsel Cellars Syrah

Damsel Cellars 2013 Syrah

Damsel Cellars 2013 Syrah

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine

Vineyard(s): Stillwater Creek Vineyard

Grape(s): 100% Syrah

Aging: 14 Months in 25% New French, 25% Stem Inclusion

Drinkability: Now through 2021

Body: Full body

Alcohol: 14.5% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Darby Cellars, Mark Ryan, DeLille Doyenne

Food Pairing: Burgers, Steaks, Summer Sausage

Production: 104 cases

Force Majeure “Parabellum” Syrah

Major Impulse

Force Majeure 2013 “Parabellum” Syrah, Red Mountain, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, you may have heard of a cult winery in Washington’s Red Mountain region, called Force Majeure Vineyards- formerly known as Grand Reve. They’re known for having the highest elevation vineyard currently producing wine on Red Mountain. They’re also known for turning out big, highly-sought-after, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah from their estate vineyard. Force Majeure’s flagship wines can go for as much as $90 upon release. Luckily for us, today we’re able to debut their brand new second label, Parabellum, which comes at a much more approachable price of entry. This inaugural vintage features very small quantities, as only 120 cases have been produced, of which they’re offering us just about a handful.

Being new, the Parabellum wines aren’t yet review by any major wine critics, however Jeb Dunnuck of Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate has been quoted as saying the following about Force Majeure’s wines in general, “I’ve raved about this producer in the past, and I continue to do so… I urge you to taste through this lineup as the quality of the fruit shows in each wine…I’ve put these wines in numerous blind tastings with the best wines in the world and they always hold their own.”

Force Majeure 2013 “Parabellum” Syrah $44.99

Interesting story about how the folks at Force Majeure came to choose the name for their new wine. Purportedly they found the word “Parabellum” stamped on some shell casings which they discovered at the vineyard site during excavation and planting of the vines. I did a bit of research myself, and learned that Parabellum is the name of a German firearms manufacturer. Hence the crosshair style imagery on the wine’s label.

The wine itself is 100% Syrah sourced from Force Majeure’s estate vineyard, high atop Red Mountain. It’s aged for 18 months in 30% new French oak barrels, is a bright fuchsia color in the glass, and medium-full bodied on the palate. It has an enticing nose, with hints of vanilla, ripe and berries, and notes of smoke. The palate is very gratifying, with velvety texture and delectable flavors of cookie dough, bright raspberry and blueberry, and hints of that signature Syrah meatiness. Overall, a very satisfying wine right out the gate, and I think it will development in complexity with another year or two in the bottle, can keep for several.

Force Majeure "Parabellum" 2013 Syrah

Force Majeure “Parabellum” 2013 Syrah

Click here to order the Force Majeure “Parabellum” Syrah

Region: Red Mountain AVA, Washington State Wine
Vineyard(s): Force Majeure Estate Vineyard
Grape(s):100% Syrah
Aging: 18 Months in 30% New French Oak Barrels
Drinkability: Now through 2020
Body: Medium-Full
Alcohol: 14.6% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Force Majeure, DeLille Cellars, Mark Ryan
Production: 120 case
Availability: 6 cases



Kevin White 2014 Red Wine

Kevin White Impulse

Kevin White 2014 Red Wine, Yakima Valley, WA

Fellow wine lovers, Kevin White Winery is on fire! White hot, if you will… Last year Kevin White was named “Winemaker to Watch” by Seattle Magazine’s Washington Wine Awards, and for those of you who have ordered his wine from me in the past, you have already discovered why. He’s just now launching a brand new Red Wine, and for only $17.99 – as if his previous wines were not already a killer deal, at around or under $30. His main line of wines are so small in production that you’ll recall we’ve typically only had 1 or 2 cases to offer on Impulse. Today’s new Red Wine is still only produced in finite quantity, 388 cases, but at least we’re able to get enough to let everyone stock up on this perfect everyday drinker

Kevin White Winery 2014 Red Wine $17.99

Seattle Magazine referred to his wines as being, “remarkable for their purity and freshness,” and called Kevin White himself a, “winemaker on the ascendancy”. This is undoubtedly a winery on the rise, but for now Kevin White is operating at a near microscopic production level. He makes so little wine, that it’s hard to find any around town. If you’ve had Kevin White’s other wines, you know his style to be delicate and very smooth, and this Red Wine is right in line with that. It showcases beautiful, clean, bright fruit, with hints of spice, and very little oak. It’s a blend of 54% Syrah, 23% Grenache, and 23% Mourvèdre, aged for 16 months in only 10% new French oak barrels.

It’s medium bodied, well balanced, and very easy drinking. Packed with plenty of complexity, especially considering the price, and is also very food friendly. The nose is full of bright berry notes and hints of tobacco. The palate shows blueberries, black plums, vanilla bean, a bit of cigar box, and preserved bing cherry. If you prefer your wines to not be heavy, with little to no oak, and no aggressive tannins, you’ll certainly love the Kevin White Red Wine.

Kevin White 2014 Red Wine

Kevin White Winery 2014 Red Wine

Click here to order the Kevin White Red Wine

Region: Yakima Valley AVA, Washington State Wine
Grape(s): 54% Syrah, 23% Grenache, and 23% Mourvèdre
Aging: 16 Months in 10% New French Oak Barrels
Drinkability: Now through 2020
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Côtes du Rhône, Perrin Family Wines, En Hommage, La Fraternité
Press: Kevin White name “Winemaker to Watch” by Seattle Magazine
Food Pairings: Very versatile, Duck, Red Meat, Grilled or Roasted Veg
Production: 388 cases



Les Trouvés Red Wine

Trove Impulse

Les Trouvés 2013 Red Wine by Avennia

Fellow wine lovers, the wine industry has a-buzz this week with everyone raving about a brand new offshoot label by the good people of Avennia Winery – winemaker Chris Peterson and business partner Marty Taucher. They’re introducing a completely new set of wines called “Les Trouvés”, named for a French expression meaning found or discovered. They’ve been giving some some sneak previews of the wines, ahead of its official release, and we are among the first to have the pleasure of trying it.

Les Trouvés (by Avennia) 2013 Red Wine $24.99

The idea with this new wine is to keep things simple and easy drinking, modeling it after the wines of Southern France, specifically Provence. There, the the warm Mediterranean climate (not unlike our current climate here in Seattle) calls for a more refreshing style of red, with less oak and a more relaxed disposition. This is a traditional Provencal style blend of Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah, about half of which comes from declassified Avennia juice, while the rest is source by Chris Peterson, négociant style, from the Rocks in Walla Walla, Red Mountain, and the Horse Heaven Hills.

It’s a completely different style than what we’ve seen from Chris Peterson in his Avennia and Passing Time wines, but still holds the same high standards in quality and value. The nose is aromatic with hints of flowers, juicy red fruits, and a touch of bubblegum-like character. The palate is easy, medium-bodied, and holds flavors of brandied cherries and herbes de Provence, backed by a bit of meaty gamey quality and hints of lavender. This is a perfect wine to enjoy at a bistro in Provence, or in the comfort of your own patio on a beautiful day.

Les Trouvés 2013 Red Wine

Les Trouvés 2013 Red Wine

Click here to order the Les Trouvés Red wine

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State
Grapes: Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah
Drinkability: Now through 2018
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Southern Rhone, Provence, Côtes du Rhône
Press: Seattle Metropolitan Magazine Weekly Wine Pick by Sean Sullivan
Food Pairings: Antipasti on the patio
Production: 400 cases



Nicolas Perrin 2012 Saint-Joseph

Collaborative Impulse

Maison Nicolas Perrin 2012 Saint-Joseph

Fellow wine lovers, I don’t think we’ve featured any wines from the Rhone Valley of France yet. No worries, I found a really good one for, just right for today. It’s a new collaborative project, done by two well known wine producers in the Rhone Valley. One partner is the Perrin Family, the people who own Chateau de Beaucastel in the Southern Rhone, perhaps the most famous of all Châteauneuf-du-Pape – also it’s a member of the Perrin Family who is in charge of making the Chateau Miraval Rosé from Provence, the one owned by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie (aka Brangelina). The Perrin family has teamed up with the likes of Nicolas Jaboulet of the Northern Rhone, a highly respected producer of Syrah from the villages of Hermitage and Crozes-Hermitage.

Maison Nicolas Perrin 2012 Saint-Joseph $29.99 (Regularly $37)

Saint-Joseph is a village in the Northern Rhone Valley of France, where Syrah in King, near other village such as Croze-Hermitage, Cote-Rotie, and Hermitage. Here they only do Syrah, and virtually nothing else – just sticking to what they’re good at.

This is a big, chewy, chunky wine that goes on, and on… and on. I shared a bottle of it with a few friends, and we agreed that it was only just starting to open up after several hours. It shows lot’s of concentration, with deep, dark, ruby red color. It’s juicy, with lots of red berries, cherries, and blackberry pepper compote. It hints at a barnyard and leathery quality, with a tannic grip in the finish that helps it pair very well with fatty meats – I had it with Rib Eye Steak. Over time, it opens up with more ripe fruits, more than your average French red wine, but still remains distinctly Rhone, exhibiting a certain sense of place. It’s bright up front, lush and silky in the mid-palate, and has a firm finish which softens up with time. There are notes of wild black raspberry bush, and hints of red currant. After several hours, it becomes meaty and savory, with hints of strawberry jam, tobacco, dried figs, and raisins.

Nicolas Perrin 2012 Saint Joseph

Nicolas Perrin 2012 Saint Joseph

We have just 2 cases available, first come first serve.

Click here to order the Nicolas Perrin Saint-Joseph

Region: Saint-Joseph, Northern Rhone Valley, France
Grape: 100% Syrah
Aging: In 1 and 2 year old French Oak Barrels for 10 Months
Drinkability: Now through 2019
Body: Full Bodied
Alcohol: 13.5% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Rhone, Syrah, Valpolicella, Amarone, Hermitage
Press: 91 Points Wine Spectator, 90 Points Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Food Pairings: Roast Beef, Cigars, Rib Eye
Availability: 2 cases



Purple Star Syrah & Sauvignon Blanc

Starry impulse

Purple Star 2012 Sauvignon Blanc & 2011 Syrah

Fellow wine lovers, I have big news! Monday I attended the ceremonies for the 2015 Washington State Wine Awards where Impulse Wine was named RETAILER OF THE YEAR. This is incredibly exciting, for this tiny one person business to take home such an award after only a year and 8 months, and I just want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your continued support. It’s great getting to know you as I deliver bottles to your door, and I hope you’re enjoying the wines as much as I am! You can view the Retailer of the Year certificate by clicking here.

Now back to our regularly scheduled wine…

Kyle and Amy Johnson are 10 year veterans of the wine industry, launching their own label of small boutique wines in 2008, called Purple Star. Feeling blessed that they and their there children are all endowed with good health, they decided to pay it forward by allocating 15% of proceeds from all Purple Star Wines toward benefiting the Uncompensated Care Ward at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

The goal of Purple Star is to make really approachable single varietal wines at outstanding values, many of them even sourced from single vineyards. When I saw how low their prices are, at first I was a little skeptical at just how good they could be, but I’m pleased to say that I was wrong, these wine are very good. You just don’t see too many well made boutique Washington Wines at this

Purple Star 2012 Sauvignon Blanc $10.99

The Purple Star Sauvignon Blanc is really impressive, an outstanding value, and a well made wine. It’s sourced from a single vineyard, Caliche Lake Vineyard in the Ancient Lakes region of Washington State. This is a very unique area, surrounded by the Cascade Foothills and the Columbia River to the west, and craggley shaped series of lakes to the north – hence the name Ancient Lakes. You can see these distinct land formations on google earth by clicking here. This unique convergence of geological conditions produces a region which is consistently cooler than most, making it one of the best places for growing white wine grapes. Some of the most beautiful Chardonnay, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc from Washington State originate here, in Ancient Lakes region.

This Sauvignon Blanc shows nice ripe fruit notes of lemon, lime, starfruit and hints of yellow grapefruit with cucumber skins and honeydew rind. It’s also a touch tropical with a bit of guava and ripe pineapple. It’s crisp, very refreshing, with some slight richness and custard-like undertones coming from the 3 months aging on lees in stainless steel. It’s not grassy like many of the Sauvignon Blancs of France, and it doesn’t taste like green peppers, like the Sauvignon Blancs of New Zealand.

It looks like spring is coming early this year, so there is bound to be a sunny day to enjoy this wine soon.

Purple Star 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Purple Star 2012 Sauvignon Blanc

Click here to order the Purple Star Sauvignon Blanc

Region: Ancient Lakes AVA, Washington State
Vineyard: Caliche Lake Vineyard
Grape: Sauvignon Blanc
Aging: 100% stainless steel, with lees stirring, for 3 months
Drinkability: Drink it this year
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 13.2% by volume
Food Pairings: Halibut, Lemon Herb Chicken

Purple Star 2011 Syrah $16.99

Again, the Purple Star Syrah is surprisingly well made and complex for the price. It’s tasty and layered, and continues to open up over a few hours with even more flavor and smooth texture. It showcases lots of juicy blueberry and blackberry, with hints of smoke, black pepper, and dark chocolate. Deep down, there is a hint of black plum preserve spread over toasted dark rye.

The Syrah is sourced from some top vineyards – 71% Weinbau, 14% Red Heaven, 12% Olsen, 3% Emory – and fermented with 60% whole berries for more aromatics, the other 40% crushed. Then it’s aged for 17 months in 100% French Oak to soften it up and instill it with complexities.

It’s a great wine for everyday drinking, perfect for parties, and makes a great gift with it’s eye pleasing packaging.

Purple Star 2011 Syrah

Purple Star 2011 Syrah

Click here to order the Purple Star Syrah

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State
Vineyard: 71% Weinbau, 14% Red Heaven, 12% Olsen, 3% Emory
Grape: 100% Syrah
Aging: Aged for 17 months in 100% French Oak barrels, 3% New
Drinkability: Drink it through the next 18 months
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 14.7% by volume
Food Pairings: Cured Meats, Grilled & Smoked Pork