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Efeste - Tasting Apr 2023

Efeste has an incredible family history of winemaking dating back to the 1940's (the names "Big Papa" & "Eleni" are derived from the family). Current winemakers Mark Fiore, and Michael Frank are doing a phenomenal job producing a solid line of single varietals, and noteworthy blends as well. I was completely blown away by this tasting, particularly with their Syrahs.



2021 Feral Sauvignon Blanc Slightly cloudy in the glass. Tropical nose, citrus. Round, medium mouthfeel, slightly creamy and heavier than typical. Smooth citrus acidity balanced with nice minerality from concrete fermentation. $24. Score 90. 2020 Lola Chardonnay White Bluffs, AVA. Light nose of mostly citrus, hint of butterscotch. Silky smooth mouthfeel, coating the palate with stone fruit, and notes of lemon. Finish is lengthy, with pleasant hint of vanilla and sweet spice. $38. Score 94. 2019 Upright Merlot Taylor Mag Vineyard, Red Mountain AVA. Bold and enticing nose of red cherries, violets, toffee, sweet spice and white pepper. Bold body of the same, especially rainier cherries, with firm tannins and structure. Finish is smooth and chocolatey. $50. Score 94. 2020 Cabernet Franc Angelas Vineyard, Red Mountain, AVA. Dark plums, prune aromas. Bold on the palate with plums, dark cherries, vanilla. Overall a hefty cab franc with heavy tannins. Starting to show, and will improve with time. $55. Score 93. 2019 Jolie Bouche Syrah Oldfield Estate, Yakima Valley AVA. 100% whole cluster. Aromas of wet stone, forest floor, candied cherries, black pepper and hint of smoke. Incredible on the palate, silky smooth initially followed by bursting cherries, notes of tea leaves. The structure evolves with sticky leathery tannins nice long finish. An incredibly well balanced Syrah showing extremely well. In their lineup, this is a great price! $50. Score 95. 2019 Eleni Syrah Oak and plum aromas. Very bold and fruit forward, with juicy dark fruits, blackberry jam. Sweet spice, vanilla and tobacco. Leathery tannins and with a long, complex slightly floral bouquet finish. $60. Score 94. 2019 Knight Commander 95 % Syrah 5% Viognier, co-ferment. 50% Whole cluster. Ciel du Cheval, Red Mountain, AVA. Beautiful and intriguing bouquet nose, dried nectarines, with subdued red fruit. Very well balanced and floral Syrah, with blackberries, blueberries, licorice and leather, vanilla. Gratifying, chewy Syrah, finishing with lingering drying tannins. Showing well, and will improve with age. $60. Score 96. 2020 Taylor Mag Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain. Aromas of plum and cassis, and oak. Medium body of the same, cola and vanilla with heavy tannins. An approachable, everyday cab. Decant well. $39. Score 91. 2020 Big Papa Cabernet Sauvignon Dionysus & Sagemoor Vineyards. White Bluffs, AVA. Enticing nose of dark fruit, cocoa, and black pepper. Juicy blueberries, chocolate, and coffee, velvety on the palate. Nicely balanced with soft tannins, and lingering finish. $70. Score 95.

The Efeste Syrah lineup caught my eye, with the three providing very different experiences - something for everyone. The 2019 Knight Commander was an incredibly unique Syrah, with beautiful floral expressions. On the other spectrum, the 2019 Jolie Bouche offered a more earthy, and savory body. In contrast, the 2019 Eleni Syrah was juicy, and fruit forward. The 2019 Upright Merlot delivered a sturdy, robust, and gratifying Merlot. Finally, the 2020 Big Papa delivered a "bigger" style, and satiating cab, but with good balance.

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