K Vintners Cougar Hills Syrah 2009
Syrah/Shiraz from Walla Walla Valley, Washington
Cured meat, game, and warm earth. Fresh violets, sea salt, oyster shells. Absolutely Killer!….THE BIG CAT IS BACK!
The Wine Advocate - "From a higher-altitude section than informed the corresponding Syrah nicknamed "The Beautiful, K Vintners' 2009 Syrah Cougar Hills is scented with cassis, black raspberry, hickory smoke, black tea, juniper berry, walnut oil and black olive, making for a dramatically different impression than that conveyed by any of the other wines in this line-up including the aforementioned "Beautiful" sourced from the same vineyard. Suggestions of salt, alkali, peat, chalk and iodine, though, are familiar refrains by now, and help convey intrigue as well as mouthwatering savor to the long finish of this firm, dense, but persistently juicy Syrah. I began imagining that a bit of Tempranillo got loose in here – then I wondered whether the ashen notes were mere power of suggestion given the signature feature of this volcanic site. This formidably complex and concentrated libation – which gained in clarity and textural refinement overnight – ought to be worth following for at least a decade."
Wine Spectator - "Rich, complex, powerful and compelling, densely packed with ripe blackberry, black cherry, licorice and tar flavors that keep pumping through the rock-solid finish. Best from 2014 through 2020."
K Vintners Winery
Located at the base of the Blue Mountains in Walla Walla Washington, K Vintners opened its doors to the public on December 3rd, 2001. The property at 820 Mill Creek Road where the winery sits was homesteaded in 1853 with the adjacent farmhouse built in 1872. The winery grounds with Titus Creek flowing through the lawn and the old pioneer planted trees, is a little slice of heartland Americana.
The Winemaker: He loves to drink wine! Charles Smith, proprietor and winemaker, comes to Walla Walla after 11 years in Scandanavia. Originally from northern California, he has been involved with wine personally and professionally his whole life. And did we forget to mention... he loves to drink wine!
The Vineyards: K Vintners is producing wines from 2 distinctive viticultural zones: Wahluke Slope and Walla Walla Valley. Each of these areas are unique and awesome for Syrah and the Field Blends produced.
In April '02 two seperate blocks of vineyards were planted to Syrah adjacent to the winery in the rocky dry creek beds that run through K Vintners property. View all K Vintners Wines
About Walla Walla ValleyView a map of Walla Walla Valley wineries
Sharing part of the valley with Oregon, Walla Walla is on the southeast side of the Columbia Valley. It is primarily red grape land, with Cabernet Sauvignon leading in the vineyards, followed by Merlot and the ever-growing and very popular, Syrah.In the 1990's, as Washington State was gaining more acclaim for its red wines, Walla Walla was hailed by wine critics for its quality and sense of place. That has not changed. Many red wines from Walla Walla show not only great complexity and elegance, but ageability. Though the region is known for the red wines, the most planted white grape here is Chardonnay.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.