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To say our K Vintners Royal City Syrah made history right from its inaugural bottling in 2006 would be an understatement.
The real story starts back in 2005, when Charles released not one but three high end Syrah Wines sourced from Stoneridge Vineyard. All were well received. But then, in 2006, he chose to combine them into one singular juggernaut of a wine. Named for the nearest town Royal City was born, the crown stamped upon its label telling you everything you need to know about what’s bottled inside.
What other wine’s first vintage can claim Wine Enthusiast declared it “had nothing missing” and awarded it 100 points – the first triple digit score ever bestowed upon a Washington wine by the venerable magazine? Ever since that auspicious inception Royal City Syrah has been the darling of collectors and critics alike, an immediate and enduring icon.
Born from the extremely isolated and wildly celebrated Stoneridge Vineyardin Washington’s 30-mile-long Royal Slope AVA, Royal City’s excellence doesn’t come easily. House of Smith fans will recognize the Stoneridge name, where at elevations between 760-814 feet, a hot, sunny growing season forces vines to dig through sandy, rocky topsoil into particulates held together by calcium carbonate and basalt called ‘caliche.’ This forces grapes to struggle to survive – and that struggle makes for sophisticated wine.
Nothing about Stoneridge is simple. Even as the vineyard’s chunky soil beguiles farming attempts, a shallow underground creek dissecting the vineyard must be reckoned with. This creek grabs the roots of some vines, over-watering them and leaving their fruit less desirable for winemaking. But these challenges aside, somewhere in this remote, feast-or-famine confluence of potential agricultural heartache, real magic resides.