Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard

Produced: 2012-present

Professional reviews and tasting notes from prior vintages added as published. Scores within parentheses indicate barrel samples:

2017 Horsepower Vineyards Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard

98 Points

Stony, complex and utterly sensational, the 2017 Horsepower vineyards ‘Sur Echalas Vineyard’ Syrah borders on perfection. It is not surprising that this shows a darker aromatic profile than the Grenache with wild blackberry compote, smoked brisket, creosote and Kalamata olive tapenade that all march in unison. The palate is fresh, vibrant and full of mouth-watering acidity. Umami tones are woven together with menthol, charcuterie, smoldering stones and Hoisin sauce. With a seamless texture, good sense of richness, yet very elegant, the 2017 ‘Sur Echalas Vineyard’ Syrah is impossible to resist in its youth but will cellar well for at least another decade. —Owen Bargreen,

96 Points

Intensely dark in color with a purple edge, the 2017 Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard wafts from the glass with aromas of ripe blackberries and plums compounded by elegant tones of smoked strawberry and black cherry, followed by a spicy and mineral edge. Elements of hung meat and black pepper flutter effortlessly with perfumed resinous purple flowers. Like a welterweight champ, the wine is medium-bodied and chock-full of dark berry tones, with a velvety texture and harmoniously generous expression that packs a serious punch with a smaller frame. The mid-palate explodes with power and finesse, revealing layers of complexity, a rich mouthfeel and energetic acidity that frames the supporting tannins. The wine slides into a long-winding finish that continues to evolve for more than a minute after the wine has left the palate. Currently, production stands at 300 cases and is nothing short of impressive. If you can find it, buy it! —Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate

96 Points

…This beauty is just about overflowing with dark, meaty plum and blackberry fruits intermixed with lots of mulch, bacon fat, violets, and leafy herbs aromas and flavors. Rich, medium to full-bodied and textured, its core of sweet fruit emerges with time in the glass, and it has ripe, polished tannins, no hard edges, and a great finish… –Jeb Dunnuck,

94 Points

Decadent aromas of berries and spices with notes of smoked and grilled meat. Full body. Round, velvety tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Shows plenty of richness and balance at the same time. —James Suckling,

2016 Horsepower Vineyards Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard

98+ Points

The 2016 Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard is a more meaty, savory effort that just jumps out of the glass with its ground black pepper, peat moss, cured meat, and smoky red and black raspberry fruits. Meaty, rich, concentrated, medium to full-bodied, with a tight, backward vibe, hide this in the cellar for 3-5 years and it will have two decades of longevity. –Jeb Dunnuck,

97 Points

From the first sniff, you know this is a special wine. The 2016 Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard pops with a blackberry-scented nose and impressive, seductive Syrah tones reticent of the Northern Rhône, with a soft smokiness and mineral edge, warn leather and soft ashiness that lingers on with aromas of crushed violets. There are a noticeable stemmy and black pepper tones on the nose and palate that command my attention. This is a beautifully balanced expression that manages to focus on the elegant side of Syrah, without over-extracting, over-oaking or possessing screaming high alcohol, and the finish is long and contemplative with balanced tannins and structuring acidity—this will age beautifully for decades to come! There is a reason why Christophe Baron and crew are captivating the world's attention when it comes to the Rhône varietals… –Anthony Mueller, The Wine Advocate

94 Points

Plump with personality, yet focused and structured, with expressive huckleberry, violet, pepper and grilled beef accents that take on speed toward fine-grained tannins. Drink now through 2027. –Tim Fish, Wine Spectator

2015 Horsepower Vineyards Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard

98 Points

The 2015 Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard is just as striking as its Grenache sibling, unfurling with an equally complex nose of sweet cassis, beef blood, bitter cocoa, peony and violets, with notions of grilled meat and truffle emerging with time. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied and amazingly intense, with a deep and multidimensional core framed by remarkably satiny, layered tannins, concluding with a long, saline finish. –William Kelley, The Wine Advocate

96 Points

The aromas provide brooding notes of brown stem, soot, freshly ground black pepper, wet rock, tar, grilled asparagus and smoked ham. The flavors are intense and wound up, showing layer upon layer of fruit and savory flavors. A supremely long, savory and floral finish caps it off. It's a complete “wow” wine. Best from 2026 to 2032. –Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast

95 Points

Beautiful dried-rose florals here with very fragrant redder-tinged berry fruits, crushed stones and brown pepper. The palate has an elegant, supple and really lacy feel; smooth, pastry-like tannins and an elegant, sappy cherry-pip finish. Drink or hold. –James Suckling,

93+ Points

The 2015 Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard is a savory, tertiary effort that’s reminiscent of red wine filtered through a rocky riverbed. Earth, chalky minerality, wood smoke, and sous bois notes, as well as both red and black fruits, give way to a medium to full-bodied, seamless Syrah that has light tannin, no hard edges, and a singular, transparent character. It’s going to gain weight with 2-3 years in bottle and drink well for a decade. –Jeb Dunnuck,

2014 Horsepower Vineyards Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard

98 Points

A captivating mix of ripe red plums with plenty of peppers, perfume, violets and spices, leading to a palate that has a stalky, sappy spine of pepper-dusted plums and savory meaty notes to close. Drink or hold. –James Suckling,

97 Points

Another soot, tar, mineral, bacon fat and smoked dark fruit driven beauty is the 2014 Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard. Made from 100% Syrah, this peppery, bloody, iodine, full-bodied, concentrated effort has building tannin, a great mid-palate and a salt-laced finish. It's another unique, singular beauty that's going to benefit from short term cellaring and keep for two decades. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

2013 Horsepower Vineyards Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard

97 Points

Up with the top three or four Syrahs in the vintage, the 2013 Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard, which was bottled in August of last year, offers a complex, savory, mineral-laced style to go with a complex bouquet of ground herbs, pepper, beef blood, dried flower and cured meats. This is a full-bodied Syrah that has considerable mid-palate density, fine tannin and good overall freshness….Like the 2012, it needs 2-3 years of bottle age and will drink well for 15 years or more. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate

2012 Horsepower Vineyards Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard

(97-100 Points)

A new wine for 2012, the 2012 Syrah Sur Echalas Vineyard (same vineyard as the Grenache, and located just beside the Cayuse estate and the Armada Vineyard) is a stunning example of the quality coming from these rocky soils around Milton Freewater. Offering incredible notes of pepper, bacon fat, steak tartare, olive paste and deep, savory dark fruit, this full-bodied barrel sample has fabulous concentration, beautiful purity and a blockbuster finish. It too will have an easy 15 years or more of ultimate longevity. –Jeb Dunnuck, The Wine Advocate