Cougar Crest Estate Syrah (3)

Cougar Crest Walla Walla Estate Syrah 3-Pack
$69.99 $̶1̶1̶8̶.̶0̶0̶ 41% off List Price
2007 Estate Grown Syrah, Walla Walla Valley
CT link above

Winery website

Previous offer:

Here are a couple reviews from the last offering:



Some thoughts after the last offering. First, recalling what I wrote about this wine from the last mixed pack:

After trying this bottle of the Estate Syrah, I think all the above held true. I found it to be the most characteristic of the pitch perfect cool but distinct Syrah. You could taste The Rocks on this wine, and it really surprised me how much it overdelivered. Lots of funk (good funk), smoked meats, cool berry, traces of leather and spice shop scents. It didn’t have quite the polish of the best wine Golden Estate, and I personally found the middle wine “Reserve Syrah” lacking (flabby). But this seemingly basic Estate Syrah was just stellar. Instabuy, fill up the cellar. SIWBM and SWMBO, this is the one to break the rules on.

Read more on “The Rocks” proposed AVA in this article by the one and only Sean Sullivan. It’s not in the AVA, but very close by.

Greetings from Walla Walla, all…

Cougar Crest is one of the true gems of the area. Their Syrahs are right up there among the best, and I’ve had quite a few. It’s the kind of wine I was hoping for when we moved here last year, and I’ve been loyal to them since. I’ve had this Estate Syrah and one of its coolest traits is how much it opens up the day after you uncork it. I’ve only experienced that with one other local wine (name escapes me at the moment - too many bottles under the bridge).

They’re down to their last 250 cases of this one and I’m definitely heading out there this week to snap up a few. Good now, better in 2014. The Estate vineyard also grows their Anniversary Cuvee which is always a must-have.

Nice folks, great wines - many land in WS’ 90+ column. Their other offerings from 2007 live there:

COUGAR CREST Cabernet Franc Walla Walla Valley 2007 93 $36
COUGAR CREST Anniversary Cuvée Walla Walla Valley 2007 92 $35
COUGAR CREST Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley Reserve 2007 92 $55
COUGAR CREST Viognier Walla Walla Valley 2007 91 $20
COUGAR CREST Dedication Four Walla Walla Valley 2007 90 $20
COUGAR CREST Merlot Walla Walla Valley 2007 90 $35

You’ll be happy with this one.

I recently had an opportunity to taste this, and here are my thoughts on Cougar Crest’s 2007 Syrah…

Quick Summary: Wonderful. Complex, interesting, & balanced. I haven’t been this excited about a possible woot wine in a very long time. I’m in for three (as soon as I hit “post” on this message).

Full Notes:

Pulled it out of the wine cooler at about 60 degrees – which is how I like to start out with reds (especially in the summer). I opted not to use the Venturi on it, but allowed it to naturally open up. I’m getting more and more shy around the Venturi, because on a lot of wines I appreciate the journey of opening up and often enjoy the wine more sometime in the middle…before it’s totally “aired out”. This syrah proved to be one of those.

Thoughts on first opening and then again in about 20-30 minutes:

Me – Mmmmm…smoke. Not bad smoke, but strong cooking meat type smoke. We have an electric smoker and the smell/taste reminded me of the way the charred wood bits smell when I’m breaking it down after using it. In the next 20 minutes, as it warmed and I swirled…I realized it was very well balanced. Smooth and velvety. Some red berries/fruit in there, but it’s hard for me to pick out which. Along with the smoke I also get some pepper (white or black pepper, not green). The wine is a complete package…nose and taste match and are both very enjoyable. It’s a typical syrah color (that violet/blue tinged red), if just a bit on the lighter side (just not as jet black inky as some).

I really enjoy Willamette Valley Pinot Noirs. There’s some hint of the complexity of those in this wine…something about the blend of red fruit/tobacco/leather. I don’t mean to imply that this is anything like a pinot noir, it has definitely got the heft of a Syrah…it just also has a nice complexity that reminds me of why I like a good Willamette Pinot.

Tasting Partner – This is really good. Red fruit…light red fruit. A hint of vanilla/caramel, but not overly strong. I don’t get any of the things I dislike in some reds…no “prune/raisin” flavor. No green pepper (note: we both like Ty Caton’s wine a lot, but we also both feel knocked over by green pepper in a lot of his reds…it’s not in this).

A few minutes later…ok, I kind of get the smoke you were talking about much more now. I still think it’s a great wine and well balanced. (I include that to underscore how the smoke was the first thing I noticed, and it took her awhile to notice it…reason I like to have two palates in a review!)

We continued to enjoy it with dinner, which was smoked salmon. Probably not a perfect pairing with the wine, but not bad. It handled itself well with food. I think given how much I really enjoyed the complexity and flavors of the wine though, I preferred it on its own because the food (at least smoked salmon) muted some of the subtle complexities of the wine. It’s a little on the light side for a syrah, and I wouldn’t hesitate to pull it out as a before dinner wine or with the right cheese/appetizer set.

For fun, I opened up a Wellington 2007 Syrah to taste next to it. Wellington is the one wine club I belong to, and it’s pretty much our house wine. Love everything Peter makes. I don’t think his Syrahs are his strongest wine, but I still enjoy them. Nevertheless, the Wellington came in a very distant second to this Cougar Crest. The cougar had all the complexity and the Wellington just came across like monotone fruit jam next to it…and it really hurts my feelings to say anything negative about Wellington.

For palate comparisons, here are some things I’ve had from Woot that I really enjoyed: (1) Wellington – all of it, but Victory is great and I think highly of his cabs, (2) Caton if the price point isn’t nuts…but I think it’s nuts lately, (3) Raised by Wolves (like their malbec and cab), (4) that Block 13 red along time ago…can we get more of that ever?, (5) Tallulah Syrah…think I only saw that once, too, but I really liked it.

For “pretty good” week day drinkers I have enjoyed the Lang Wines, the Gazzi Pinots, and the Nocetos.

Cougartown - Falcon Crest spinoff?

This sounds like a good wine and likely good for the price too.

That being said, this wine is listed ON AMAZON, direct from the winery for $25/ bottle with $10 shipping for a woot comparable price of $80 + $5 shipping. That makes this offer $10 off rather than $40+ off. I again note that in BOTH cases (here and there) the winery is the seller.

I’d love to see the “list price” modified to reflect this. The current list is misleading.

It does indeed still sound like a tasty wine.

I was sitting out on the deck, and this hummingbird was really struggling to stay afloat, and it looked like it was carrying something. I was able to walk up to it, and found this bottle attached. Much to the relief of the hummingbird (who thanked me later), I was able to remove it, and we sat down and tasted it together. I had a hard time deciphering his notes, so will just include mine below. :slight_smile: He also told me that it would be up a couple Wednesdays ago, then on 6/12, and then 6/5 (he then muttered some sort of expletive about that Neil character getting confused all the time :wink:)…

Tasting Notes:
2007 Cougar Crest Winery, Estate Grown Syrah

This was tasted blindly. Label was covered, but I did see Cougar Crest on the foil. Had never heard of them. From the shape of the bottle, I had expected it to be a syrah/gsm/pinot. Of note, all the tasting was swish and spit. The last glass of the bottle, however, I enjoyed.

PnP: Wine was brought out of the cellar, starting at a temp of 57. On initial pour, I thought syrah. Deep/garnet red color, clear, nice legs
Nose: Dark berry/strawberries, maybe some cedar/pepper. No alcohol. Nice first impression
Palate: Med to full-bodied wine. More of the dark berries, peppery, cedar, strawberry combo. No heat or alcohol. Well integrated. Medium finish.
First impression: really liked it.

An hour later:
Nose: Fruit has faded. More cedar, “tannic”/astringent, pepper, a slight petrol, and slight alcohol noted
Palate: Tannins are showing through, a little more bite to it, and I can taste some alcohol. Still med to full bodied with a medium finish. It isn’t fading, and still has quite a bit of structure to it, but it certainly has changed from initial PnP.
Impression: I’m left feeling this wine will go well with (almost) anything off the grill—burgers/ribs/brats. It didn’t go so hot with the soft shell crabs and monkfish that we were having for dinner. In fairness, if I knew what this was, I wouldn’t have grabbed it for dinner tonight, so I didn’t drink it with dinner. We had an awesome German beer instead.

2 to 2-1/2 hours later:
Nose: more etoh, no fruit
Palate: A little more tannic, but not as biting, with a small amount of heat. Similar to the first hour, for the most part.

Overall, I liked it. I think this would be a great wine for a bbq during the summer. Drinking well now, and should for this summer and the next, I would think.

As a fan of the Anniversary Cuvée you will be pleased to know the newest vintage just rated 91 points with Wine Spectator. Look for it in the June 30 issue.

When digging our reservoir at Cougar Hills vineyard we dug 40 feet down and still didn’t hit the bottom of the river rock layer at the site.

The Amazon price you saw is a sale price.

Which is perfectly fine. Cmaldoon’s problem is that wine.woot is artificially inflating how good of a deal this is. Issue with W.W., not you guys.

Thanks for joining us! I am buying NO wine but this sounds right up my alley if I were.

While you are here… slight thread hijack…

How is the 2005 Cabernet Franc drinking lately? I only have 1 bottle remaining and am trying to time it right.

Question for the wine rep:

I found the estate showed a little too much malo (or what I perceived as malo) for me. Is the acid profile in the estate similar to the reserve and Golden?

Still a delicious wine, thanks in advance.

Love me some syrah, and have been waiting for Cougar Crest to come back. It’s too bad it’s not the mixed package again, but I’ll still bite.

In for two.

Aha! So there IS such a thing as Cougar Juice. :slight_smile:

Are you purchasing any? On the tour we found that we had similar palates, so I’m following your lead on this one.

2005 was a good, ripe vintage in Walla Walla but your wine should be losing its youthful red raspberry and cherry flavor while preserving a wet forest floor undertone. Advise you to drink this year or next with roast leg of lamb or your favorite barbeque. And be sure to let us know how it was holding up.

I remember having a similar palate as you as well.

I am under strict direction of my lovely wife that I can no longer buy any wine…something about having too much…so, unfortunately, not buying, but I think you’ll like it if you do. :slight_smile: