Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 98pts:
The 2013 Syrah Cattle King is a smokin', layered, sexy, voluptuous Syrah that does everything right. Coming from the River Rock Vineyard in Walla Walla and the Upland Vineyard in Snipes Mountain, not destemmed and brought up all in larger barrels, this beauty offers a sensational perfume of smoked meats, pepper, licorice, black olives and assorted ripe black fruits. Deep, layered and concentrated, yet always light on its feet and elegant, this fabulous Syrah has a terrific mid-palate, a core of sweet fruit and blockbuster length. It's a tour de force in vintage and certainly one of the top wines. It needs a decant if drinking anytime soon, but should be at its best from 2020 to 2038.
From the winemaker:
The warmest vintage since 2003 cooled off just in time for harvest. The resulting wines were less likely to tip over into overripe favors or high alcohol levels, and picking proceeded at a normal pace. Total tonnage was up about 5 percent over 2012, a record for the state. 2013 made us thank Sweet Baby Jesus that our white wine vineyards are cool sites at higher elevation. The very warm vintage cooled down in mid- September allowing us to pick at the perfect moment in the first week of October. This gave us generous full favored wine while still keeping focus.
The Upland Vineyard is located in the Snipes Mountain AVA in the heart of the Yakima Valley. With slopes facing in all four cardinal directions and an elevation that ranges from 750 to 1300 feet, Upland is some of the oldest and most diverse soils in the state - ancient, rocky soils mostly un-touched by the Missoula Floods.
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