Sparkman Cellars 2013 Ruckus Syrah, Red Mountain, $52
Woodinville vintner Christian Sparkman deepens his reputation with Ruckus, a Côte Rôtie style of Syrah he began courting in 2006. The focus is on Ciel du Cheval on Red Mountain with Boushey Vineyard (8%) contributing the Viognier. Despite the 25 miles apart, both sites were harvested the same day — Sept. 13 — and his Sparkman’s program of 33% new French oak makes for enticing aromas of caramel corn with sweet plums, leather, cocoa and toast. Its structure is suave as Marionberry and blueberry flavors are framed by fine-grained tannins and polished by a layer of bittersweet chocolate in the finish. Sparkman operates two Woodinville tasting rooms — the Warehouse District and at the base of Hollywood Hills.
Production: 421 cases