What: Eight Bells Winery 8 Clone Syrah Red Willow Vineyard Yakima Valley 2012 $32
Why: Seattle’s Eight Bells Winery is a prototype of a small urban winery. The production facility is shoehorned into an alleyway off Roosevelt Way Northeast in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle (whenever I walk down the alley, I can’t help but think of this scene from the movie Goodfellas). The winemaking trio of Tim Bates, Andy Shepherd, and Frank Michiels creatively utilizes every square inch of space at the winery, which is a must-visit for any wine lover in Seattle.
Eight Bells focuses on selling direct from the winery and works to keep costs low, subsequently passing on some of these savings to consumers. The results are well-priced wines that consistently overdeliver.
One such example is the Eight Bells Winery 2012 8 Clone Syrah Red Willow Vineyard Yakima Valley ($32). Syrah from this esteemed vineyard typically clocks in at $40 to $50-plus. This one delivers the goods well below that with aromas of fresh flowers, olive, and huckleberry leading to ripe fruit flavors. Give it plenty of time to open up.