Monday, December 15, 2008

Lowden Hills - "See You There" Syrah!

When I first saw the label and even before the wine was bottled, I told Sonja and Jim Henderson, owners of Lowden Hills Winery, I had to have this wine! You see, the label is one of those great labels that tells a story - - in fact, a story about a strong woman. And one could say this label is about another Walla Walla Wine Woman.

Susanne Estes, Sonja's mom is on the label. The photo was taken back in the 1940's during World War II in Norway. Susanne is perched upon the Model A Ford and waving, "See you there!" During the war, if one was fortunate enough to have a vehicle, they had to hide them in the mountains from Hitler and his armies.

“See You There Syrah” is a tribute to Susanne and other strong women of character and charm like her. And just like women with strong character and charm, this wine is complex. The addition of Viognier makes this Syrah reminiscent of the traditional and fine Côte-Rôtie’s from the Rhone region of France.

This Syrah is produced from 100% Walla Walla Valley grapes from the Win Chester Vineyards, which is Lowden Hill's Estate Vineyard in the Lowden area about a mile northwest on Woodward Canyon Road. The land is family owned and named to honor Sonja’s mom, Susanne and Susanne's late husband Win Chester Estes. Win was a well respected wheat farmer with a true pioneering spirit, whose family homesteaded in the Clyde area of Walla Walla County in the 1860’s.

And how does the wine taste? Does it complete the story? Once the cork is removed, the aroma of caramelized sugar wafts from the bottle. In the glass this Syrah is inky, showing shades of black and dark purple. The nose is full and lush like a bowl of fresh picked blueberries. The flavor follows through with more blueberries and a hint of creamy espresso. These flavors continue and once again picks up juicy and mouth-watering dark berry flavors. It continues to linger leaving a spicy finish of cloves and nutmeg.

“See You There” Syrah is a memorable wine just like Susanne and other women like her.

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