Rhone Duo – Inception of Northern and Southern Rhone Wines in the Lake Chelan AVA
The Rhone Valley of southern France holds one of the deepest histories of winemaking and grape growing in the entirety of the country. Records of plantings within the valley have been traced to as far back as 600 B.C.; believed to have been established by the sea fairing peoples of Ancient Greece. The expansive and diverse geography and growing conditions seen from north to south in the Rhone makes for a very dynamic comparison in the wines being produced from there. Upon our estate here in the Lake Chelan AVA, we are excited and proud to bring to you a piece of Rhone viticulture and winemaking styles in our own winemaking pursuits with our 2015 Syrah and Syrah-Grenache.
In the Northern Rhone, the varietal Syrah dominates the red winemaking programs of the region. Appellations there such as Hermitage and Cote Rotie produce some of the most famous examples of Syrah, and provide the benchmark for all Syrah winemaking styles seen throughout the world. One component of these appellations that set them apart as the premier locations for producing the varietal are the steep slope aspects of their vineyard plantings. The slope of these vineyards aid in stressing the vines to yield berries of deep color and richness in flavor, seen both in the profiles of the fruit and the resulting wines. Here at Tsillan Cellars, the layout of the estate granted us the ability to match this same viticultural attribute by planting our 2001 Syrah block upon a wonderful slope aspect directly behind the main winery facility. That vineyard and the wines produced from it has proven to dominate our Syrah program in reaping the highest awards and acclaim from our customers year after year. The 2015 Syrah showcases the efforts of our pursuits to impress just how incredible this varietal grows here on our Lake Chelan AVA estate.
With the North Rhone holding focus on Syrah, the Southern Rhone possess a much greater variety in the number of grape varietals growing in the region. Of all the varietals produced however, the two that hold the most influence are Grenache and Syrah. Both varietals hold a very deep history in the region, and together have been united in blending to produce the most influential wines from the area for millennia. The deep and brooding aroma and flavor profile of Syrah marries with the more delicate raspberry and baking spice attributes of Grenache to produce a wine of incredible complexity. With Syrah having flourished on our estate for so many vintages, the decision was made in 2010 to include its companion Grenache in our vineyard plantings. Since the vines came to yield in the 2013 vintage, we have accomplished to bring to you our own take on the classic Southern Rhone with our Syrah-Grenache blend. The 2015 Syrah-Grenache is a wonderful example of why the two varietals possess such an enduring bond together, and allows you to experience their acclaimed and dynamic marriage in each sip.