A friend came visiting from Washington, and she brought a bottle of Gorman Syrah from Red Mountain, a real treat since only 250 cases were made and the wine is rare on the East Coast.
Chris Gorman's career in wine began with an importer of Italian wines in Seattle; he started making his own wine, and went "pro" in 2002. Now he buys small batches of grapes from vineyards in eastern Washington and vinifies about 1,500 cases per year.
The Syrah, called "The Pixie," is sourced from Kiona Vineyard in Washington's hot, dry Red Mountain appellation. The wine sees about 60 percent new oak and the alcohol is a hefty 15.2 degrees. Yet though the oak and alcohol are manifest now in the 2006, the wine is not heavy, but more rich and deep. It shows blackberry, espresso and cola flavors with firm, well-integrated tannins and a spicy, black pepper finish. It still needs time to come together; I recommend cellaring until 2010. For me, 91 points, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Get the original blind-tasting review for Gorman Syrah Red Mountain The Pixie 2006 (92, $40)