Seattle Magazine ~ Best Wines from the Rocks District

Steve Robertson, and wife Mary, who own Delmas and its estate SJR Vineyard, is credited with spearheading the AVA approval campaign, building a remarkable level of consensus among a broad range of stakeholders.

Paul Zitarelli wrote a great article on the Rocks District AVA which includes his top wine picks from that region. Delmas Syrah is one of the wines featured amongst some very lofty company. Below is an excerpt and the Delmas Syrah review from the full article.  

"In addition to this soil type being favorable for growing grapes, wines from The Rocks District just taste different (and some say better) than wines grown in any other place. Syrah, widely planted in The Rocks District, is known to be especially expressive here, with a signature variously described as funky, earthy, umami, meaty, bloody, savory and briny. Fruity is never the first adjective used. Its flavor profile is not for everyone, but its devotees are steadfast in their adoration of The Rocks’ District “funk.”

One of the most exciting trends in Northwest wine today is the “democratization” of The Rocks District. After a decade of only being able to source wines from The Rocks District via high-end wineries with closed mailing lists (Cayuse, Reynvaan), consumers have in recent years gained access to a bevy of new wines from Rocks District vineyards, as a host of valley wineries are now producing the kind of funky yet beautiful Syrahs that can only come from this singular patch of land."

2012 Delmas Syrah
SJR Vineyard Walla Walla Valley

"Steve Robertson, who owns (with his wife, Mary) Delmas in Walla Walla and its estate SJR Vineyard, is broadly credited with spearheading the AVA approval campaign, building a remarkable level of consensus among a broad range of stakeholders. This wine, which includes 7.5 percent cofermented Viognier, reveals an only-in–The Rocks District core of grilled meat, truffle, black olive, black pepper and, oh yeah, some lovely blue fruit as well. PAIRS WITH: Carnitas, braised in equal parts water and freshly squeezed orange juice (and don’t forget the garlic) until spoon tender, then shredded and cooked until brown with a splash of good brandy. Note: Just a few 2012 bottles are in circulation, but the 2013 vintage will be released in July 2015."