A syrah from Walla Walla beat out some heavy hitters from Bordeaux and other prestigious wine regions. Three other Washington wines also made the Top 100 list.

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Check out which Washington wine just landed at No. 2 on Wine Spectator’s prestigious Top 100 list for  2017 —  Syrah Walla Walla Valley Powerline Estate 2014 ($45)

In anointing it the second best wine its panel sampled this year, the magazine called it “a knockout Syrah, precise and impeccably built but explosive with personality. Smoky roasted meat and floral blackberry aromas combine with bold, supple flavors of dark plum, pepper and licorice. The tannins are big but polished.”

Take a bow, Charles Smith. He’s the superstar winemaker behind this masterpiece. Not only that, Smith’s Sixto Chardonnay 2014 also landed at number 13 in the Top 100 ranking.

Two other Washington wines cracked the list:

#39. Frederick Walla Walla Valley (2014)

#68. Gorman Zachary’s Ladder Red Mountain (2014)

No. 1 was Duckhorn Merlot Napa Valley Three Palms Vineyard (2014).

Here’s more from Wine Spectator on the syrah that beat out many wines from Bordeaux and other prestigious regions:

“The first Syrah release from a new vineyard, Powerline is a bold statement from winemaker Charles Smith. But what do you expect from the bad boy of Washington wine? Located just south of Walla Walla at an elevation of 1,200 feet, the 30-acre vineyard was planted by Smith in 2012. The site is an ancient riverbed containing well-drained soils, thick with cobblestones, sand and gravel, that produce about 2.5 tons per acre. Smith fermented the 2014 with native yeast and soaked it on the skins for 41 days before aging the wine 27 months in French puncheons, 53 percent of them new oak.”


As a side note, a wine from Booker’s in Paso Robles, Calif. also cracked the top 10. Have you been to Paso Robles? You should. Alaska Airlines recently started direct flights from Seattle to Paso. The flight is shorter than two hours and the wines there are cheaper than in Napa and Sonoma. My trip cost about $1,000 less than one to other California wine tourism areas, when you take air fare, lodging and restaurants into consideration. Here’s the story.