Hedges Family Estate Descendants Liegeois Dupont Syrah 2017
A beautiful Red Mountain Syrah. Classic characters of red tart fruits, blueberry pancakes, black pepper, fresh ground cumin seed, and hint of vanilla, dark cocoa powder and chili powder. The entry is tart with a lot of fruit and spice flavors. There is a slight aggression on the mid-palate which leads to a smooth and creamy finish. This Syrah has a rugged elegance to it. Smelling and tasting this wine reminds you of the Red Mountain landscape. Slightly savage, yet beautiful.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
It was 1986 when Washington native Tom Hedges found his first employment in the wine industry marketing American wines in Taiwan. From that humble beginning, Hedges Cellars, then a "virtual" winery, found its first customer: the government of Sweden. Tom and his wife Anne-Marie marketed their Cabernet/Merlot blend to foreign buyers exclusively for two years before going domestic and opening up North American distribution. Still without their own winery, they took a chance buying acreage on an obscure little hill called Red Mountain.
The Hedges have concentrated their efforts on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and the concept of terroir since their first vintage in 1987. With Anne-Marie Hedges' roots and childhood in the Champagne region of France, it was only natural that a French-style chateau would be built on the slopes of Red Mountain amongst their vines.
Their daughter, Sarah Goedhart, is the head winemaker and their son Christophe Hedges is the General Manager. Hedges Cellars transitioned to Hedges Family Estate, and farming practices became more focused towards being organic, vegan. The first two vineyards were certified Biodynamic by Demeter in 2011 and all five vineyards were certified in 2021. Robert Parker awarded Hedges the Green Emblem in 2022 in recognition of their long-term commitment to sustainability. Their future direction is clear: they will continue to work as a family to unite farming, winemaking, and the promotion of their wines and the Red Mountain AVA.
A coveted source of top quality red grapes among premier Washington producers, the Red Mountain AVA is actually the smallest appellation in the state. As its name might suggest, it is actually neither a mountain nor is it composed of red earth. Instead the appellation is an anticline of the Yakima fold belt, a series of geologic folds that define a number of viticultural regions in the surrounding area. It is on the eastern edge of Yakima Valley with slopes facing southwest towards the Yakima River, ideal for the ripening of grapes. The area’s springtime proliferation of cheatgrass, which has a reddish color, actually gives the area the name, "Red" Mountain.
Red Mountain produces some of the most mineral-driven, tannic and age-worthy red wines of Washington and there are a few reasons for this. It is just about the hottest appellation with normal growing season temperatures commonly reaching above 90F. The soil is particularly poor in nutrients and has a high pH, which results in significantly smaller berry sizes compared to varietal norms. The low juice to skin ratio in smaller berries combined with the strong, dry summer winds, leads to higher tannin levels in Red Mountain grapes.
The most common red grape varieties here are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, among others. Limited white varieties are grown, namely Sauvignon blanc.
The reds of the area tend to express dark black and blue fruit, deep concentration, complex textures, high levels of tannins and as previously noted, have good aging capabilities.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Rhône Blends of the south, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”