Sangiovese is showing some promise in Washington state, and the extra care given this wine includes bleeding off 12% of the juice to intensify color and flavor. Violets and cranberries, cookie dough and hints of tobacco can be found, along with the puckery acids characteristic of the grape.
Kestrel remains one of the most enigmatic Washington wineries; brilliant at times, disappointing at others, possessed of excellent old-vine fruit and yet plagued with inconsistency. This Co-ferment Syrah was excellent in 2002 and even better in 2003, but falls a bit short in 2004. It’s got the purple-black color but not the density to match; the fruit flavors are…
There is just 9% Cabernet in the blend. Smooth and light, with lean flavors showing herb and bark. The tannins have a green edge to them, and perhaps as a result, the vanilla flavors seem to stick out rather awkwardly.
The Raptor Red, made in limited quantities, is Kestrel’s most expensive wine. It’s an interesting Bordeaux blend, and incorporates some old vine fruit. Subtle flavors include a rich mix of fresh herbs, earth and lightly-ripened berries, swathed in substantial new oak.
The winery held back releasing the wine until this spring, probably to give the tannins extra time to soften up. It’s got herbal flavors and the fruit seems to be fading. Drink up. —P.G.
Shows some pretty red berry and violet notes, but they’re slathered in vanilla, caramel and cinnamon toast. The lavish oaking gives it a smooth, attractive mouthfeel, but two of our reviewers found this wine too alcoholic.
A Bordeaux blend whose oaky nose is leavened with leather and tobacco scents. The cherry and plum fruit flavors are substantial enough to bring the wine into a briefly sweet pie cherry midpalate. Chewy and astringent on the finish.
Hard and tannic with scents of old leather. Very slowly the black cherry fruit emerges, along with moist earth, coconut and vanilla. Barrel flavors overpower the lightweight fruit, which is simply plowed under with oak. The hot, bitter tannins add a jarring note to the finish.