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Efeste Syrah Red Mountain Ceidleigh 2008
Inky with dark plum and black cherries balanced around aromas of smokiness, floral notes, and dark chocolate. It has big bracing tannins, yet wonderful elegant acid that gives focus to the wine.
We make this wine with indigenous yeast and malolactic cultures to showcase the identity of the wine through the unique place and time of the fruit's growth.
--Brennon Leighton, Winemaker
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Efestç, pronounced F-S-T is an acronym for Daniel & Helen Ferrelli – Patrick Smith – and Kevin & Angela Taylor. Daniel, a second generation Italian had been making wine in his garage forever,passing on the tradition of his family to his son-in-law Kevin Taylor. Daniel and Patrick met through business and their friendship blossomed through sharing their passion for wine. One evening Daniel was making dinner for his family at the Taylor house and invited Patrick too. A discussion of Kevin and Daniel’s wine making hobby came up. Patrick knew of some people in the wine industry and, why not start a project together!
They met with Chris Upchurch and Jay Soloff of DeLille Cellars and both decided to come on as consultants and Efestç was born. With a love for all wines but strong interest in Australian wines they took a trip there to discover what made the wine so unique. The Spirit of Australia was discovered and returned were three friends and the idea, not to take yourself too seriously, enjoy your family, friends and anyone else that would like to join you in a glass of wine, breaking of bread and a good laugh
An important winegrowing state increasingly recognized for its high-quality reds and whites, Washington is just below California in production numbers but lags behind Oregon in popularity. This has recently begun to change as Washington’s wines continue to garner high praise from critics and consumers alike. Winemakers draw inspiration from the Napa Valley, Bordeaux, and the Rhône, but because it is such a young industry, even the very best bottles are still relatively affordable. Most viticulture takes place on the eastern side of the state—an arid desert in the rain shadow of the Cascade mountains. Irrigation is made possible by the Columbia River. Temperatures are extreme, with hot and dry summers and cold winters, during which frost can be a risk.
Washington’s wine industry was initially built on Merlot, which remains an important variety to this day, despite being overtaken in acreage planted by Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Bordeaux blends and Rhône blends are common, and red wines in general tend to have ripe fruit balanced with earthy flavors and a leaner structure than most Californian equivalents. In terms of white wine, Riesling is the state’s major success story, producing crisp, aromatic examples with plenty of stone fruit that range from bone dry to lusciously sweet. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc perform nicely here as well, and Viognier is beginning to pick up steam.
Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.
In the Glass
At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.
Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.
Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.