The team from the little schoolhouse west of Walla Walla made a two-day field trip on Sept. 16-17 to pick this lot from 230-acre Seven Hills Vineyard in Oregon. Four rackings over 18 months from a barrel program that included 40% new casks produced blackberry taffy, dusty minerality, black pepper and earthiness. Inside, there’s a tasty ride with dried blueberry and Marionberry flavors, backed by pomegranate acidity, tannins reminiscent of espresso grounds and a pinch of black pepper. Who knows at this point, but the pick for the 2016 Syrah could line up again on Sept. 16 – the day of the annual Harvest Celebration at L’Ecole.
Production: 1,040 cases