Corliss Syrah 2007
Syrah/Shiraz from Columbia Valley, Washington
The 2007 Corliss Syrah shows of aromas of black fig, plum, tar and cassis on the nose with underlying exotic spices, dried cherry, violet and jasmine. A soft entry to the palate immediately leads to density and opulence with juicy black fruit flavors, dried cherry and rhubarb, plum and cocoa. Fine, mouth-filling tannins continually build, drawing out the palate to a long, lingering finish.
Wine Enthusiast - "This winery gives its wines extra years in bottle prior to release, and it pays off with powerful, muscular, densely structured that have been polished to a fine luster. This Syrah emphasizes fruit, not funk, with opulent flavors of black fruit, dried cherry, fig and plum. The 30 months it spent in two-thirds new French oak adds dark streaks of coffee and cocoa. Editors' Choice "
International Wine Cellar - "Bright, full ruby-red. Blackberry, black cherry, pepper and licorice on the nose, with a distinctly wild quality and a hint of white fruits; more Old World in style than the 2006 version, which included 17% grenache. Juicy, penetrating and precise, with lovely floral lift to the dark berry and pepper flavors. This boasts terrific cut and life, as well as a serious tannic spine for aging. Finishes long and perfumed."
The Wine Advocate - "Sourced from Stillwater Creek (for a bit more about which see the introduction to this report) and seven year old vines, the Corliss 2007 Syrah incorporated a couple of rows’ worth of co-fermented Viognier and spent 30 months in nearly two-thirds new barriques. Creme de cassis, blueberry preserves and maple syrup capture closely the combination of confectionary fruit ripeness and caramelization of resin on exhibit in this sweetly scented and plush rendition of its cepage. A hint of candied violet emerges as this takes on air. Fortunately, primary fruit juiciness as well at least a hint of salinity (if no particularly saliva-inducing savor) offer welcome counterpoint, while tar and smoke add notes of typicity to a soothingly and sweetly lingering finish. Like the other wines in its collection, this is definitely for those with a saccharine tooth. What will become of it when it sheds its baby fat and how long that will take I am for now at least in no position to assess"
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There is a saying that, "one makes a thousand decisions from vine to bottle." At Corliss, we exercise the discipline to make the highest quality decisions at each stage. From sustainable, meticulous viticulture in our four Estate Vineyards, to individual berry sorting at harvest, to slow native yeast fermentations in micro-scale custom oak fermenters. We follow this with extended elevage of two and one half years in barrel, rigorous selection of the best lots for blending, and over two years of additional aging in bottle before the wines are finally labeled and available for enjoyment.
Our winemaking is the result of teamwork and patience. Michael Corliss has, from the beginning, been at the center. He is engrossed in every detail and has guided our winemaking philosophy. He is our barometer of consistency for developing the Corliss style. Surrounding Michael is a talented staff of winemaking professionals including our on-site winemaking team of Andrew Trio and Griffin Frey (who bring experience and perspective from Napa, Europe, and Australia) as well as Philippe Melka, one of the world's most highly regarded winemaking consultants. Together, we strive to achieve the highest actualization of Michael's vision that this collection of talent enables. View all Corliss Wines
About Columbia Valley
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
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.