96 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A perfumed, incredibly complex bouquet of framboise, wild strawberries, olive tapenade, spring flowers, and spiced game. Finesse-driven, medium to full-bodied, and seamless on the palate, it has wonderful purity of fruit, ripe, polished tannins, and a great finish. This is another beautiful, singular wine from this estate that can be drunk today or cellared for 15 years or so."
96 points Decanter: "A silky smooth effort. Layers of pretty red fruits greet you, with shades of rose water, umami, bulls blood beetroot, white truffle shaving and Mandarin orange rind flavors, with plenty of finesse."
We’re excited for our first feature of Delmas SJR VIneyard Syrah, from the fabulous 2018 vintage! Tasted twice recently, it shows a gorgeous, supple and rich texture and a melange of fascinating aromas and flavors–sometimes you smell them, sometimes you taste them. I find plenty of agreement with the two reviews above in what each critic describes–all shades of berries, kirsch, quality bacon, truffle, cured olive, flowers, five-spice powder, and the classic Rocks salinity are what I found mesmerizing. That each review includes finesse is spot on; this is an undoubtedly broad-shouldered and generous wine which remains graceful and never heavy-handed. Welcome to Rocks Syrah as conceived through SJR Vineyard–I think you’re in for a thrill.
This place ROCKS.
”The most distinctive AVA in the United States….making some of the greatest wines in America.” -Harvey Steiman, Wine Spectator
“This incredible terroir produces an exotic, perfumed, and textured style of wine that’s one of the most unique - and identifiable – in the world.” -Jeb Dunnuck
I recently spent an intense and intensive couple days in Walla Walla, much of which was kicking around cobblestones. Really. Walla Walla’s most famous growing district and set of vineyards, “The Rocks” is a special, small (only 472 acres planted in 20201!) swath of earth--the only AVA in the country whose boundaries have been fixed by virtue of a single soil series (Freewater Series) and a single land form (alluvial fan).
Basalt cobblestones deposited by the Walla Walla River play HEAVY in the soil composition; closer to the mouth of the river, the top six feet of soil is mostly rocks and as you travel further out, it’s a mix of rocks and loam (Freewater cobbly loam, as it’s known).
In addition to some of the household-name Rocks properties, I visited SJR Vineyard, a fabulous 13-acre parcel planted in 2007, lovingly tended by the Robertson family: founders Mary and Steve and their daughter Brooke, who charts the course forward. With the winemaking help of Master of Wine Billo Naravane (who you may recognize from his Rasa wines), the Robertsons release a few hundred cases a year of distinct and exceptional Syrah.