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Grand Reve Collaboration Series III Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Syrah 2008

Syrah/Shiraz from Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Washington
  • RP94
  • WS92
0% ABV
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine is rooted in the spirit of Collaboration, beginning in 2004 with a partnership between viticulturist Ryan Johnson, owners Paul and Susan McBride and seven specially selected winemakers, each chosen for their proficiency with various grape varietals and styles.

Producing small quantities of Bordeaux- and Rhone-inspired wines from Ciel du Cheval Vineyard from 2004 to 2013, the "Collaboration Series" garnered many accolades and permitted the release of exceptional single-vineyard wines.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Collaboration III was made by Mark McNeilly. It is 100% Ciel du Cheval Syrah aged in 34% new oak for 15 months. Earthy minerals, smoked meat, game, lavender, plum, and blueberry notes are followed by a dense, succulent, plush wine that marries power and elegance.
WS 92
Wine Spectator
Firm in texture, with gritty tannins around a pulsing core of blackberry, currant, floral and white pepper flavors, lingering on the expressive, meaty finish.
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Red Mountain

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A coveted source of top quality red grapes among premier Washington producers, the Red Mountain AVA is actually the smallest appellation in the state. As its name might suggest, it is actually neither a mountain nor is it composed of red earth. Instead the appellation is an anticline of the Yakima fold belt, a series of geologic folds that define a number of viticultural regions in the surrounding area. It is on the eastern edge of Yakima Valley with slopes facing southwest towards the Yakima River, ideal for the ripening of grapes. The area’s springtime proliferation of cheatgrass, which has a reddish color, actually gives the area the name, "Red" Mountain.

Red Mountain produces some of the most mineral-driven, tannic and age-worthy red wines of Washington and there are a few reasons for this. It is just about the hottest appellation with normal growing season temperatures commonly reaching above 90F. The soil is particularly poor in nutrients and has a high pH, which results in significantly smaller berry sizes compared to varietal norms. The low juice to skin ratio in smaller berries combined with the strong, dry summer winds, leads to higher tannin levels in Red Mountain grapes.

The most common red grape varieties here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, among others. Limited white varieties are grown, namely Sauvignon blanc.

The reds of the area tend to express dark black and blue fruit, deep concentration, complex textures, high levels of tannins and as previously noted, have good aging capabilities.

Syrah/Shiraz

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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.

Perfect Pairings

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.

Sommelier Secret

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.

LSB209416_2008 Item# 209416