2016 Lost Soul Reviews Vineyards Past Vintages

Vineyard Source

Red Willow, Yakima Valley


100% Syrah



Release Date

April 27, 2019


555 cases

Winemaking Notes

We are often asked by our customers if we would ever consider doing an extended barrel aging program on either of our Syrahs. During the blending trials for the 2016 wines we realized that the 2016 Lost Soul might be a candidate for such a program. The intensity of the aromatic and flavor profiles led us to believe that the wine had the depth and power to stand up to extended aging, without becoming nondescript and flat. We are very happy with the results. The Lost Soul is a single vineyard representation of Red Willow Syrah and embodies the cooler side of Syrah. It presents a darker, more savory quality. The wine is aged in thick staved 500L French oak barrels. The fruit was hand harvested on September 7th, 2016. The wine was aged for an extended period of 30 months in 20% new, 500 liter French oak barrels.



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Red Willow 

Red Willow vineyard is one of the oldest vineyards in the state, a true Washington pioneer. Owned and operated by Mike Sauer, his wife Karen, sons Jonathan and Daniel, and son-in-law Rick Willsey, Red Willow remains a family operation. The vineyard is located on the Yakama Indian Reservation, on steep south-facing slopes in the Cascade foothills, in the Yakima Valley AVA. The first wine grapes were planted in 1973 under the direction of Dr. Walt Clore. Red Willow represents classical non-fruit qualities with stunning balance and grace.


Wine Advocate

2012: 93 PointsMark's 2012 Lost Soul Syrah comes from one of the best terroirs on the western side of Yakima Valley. Very savory, with lots of umami qualities in its dark fruits, carmelized meats, toasted spice and peppery, earthy aromas and flavors, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, superb mid-palate concentration and building, finely polished tannin. It doesn't skimp on ripeness, yet the hourse purity and freshness are well represented. Drink it over the coming decade.

2010: 93 PointsStarting off the reds and coming all from the Red Willow Vineyard in Yakima Valley, the 2010 Syrah Lost Soul was harvested in mid-October and spent 20 months in 33% new Burgundy barrels. Inky colored, it offers up an elegant, yet meaty profile with notions of black raspberry extract, wood smoke, pepper, lavender and dark chocolate all emerging from the glass. Gaining additional freshness over the evening, with a sappy, spring flower-like quality adding lift, this full-bodied, serious Syrah has a stacked mid-palate, a layered, seamless texture and serious minerality that comes through on the finish. More than a little impressive, it should be given 2-3 years of bottle age and then followed over the coming decade.

2009: 92 PointsThe Mark Ryan 2009 Syrah Lost Soul is sourced from the geologically and microclimatically distinct annex to Red Willow Vineyard known as Les Vignes de Marcoux (and named in honor of proprietor Mike Sauer’s mother). Scents of bacon fat, violet, cassis, and cherry are sure to remind you of Cote Rotie even if, like me, you are reluctant to risk forcing New World wines into old conceptual skins. The feel here is firm but tingling with vivacity, inner-mouth floral perfume and fresh, tart-edged berries carrying into a finish mouthwateringly tinged with salt. As good as this is, I have a suspicion it will be even more interesting and alluring after a couple of years in bottle, and that it will be worth following for 6-8 years if not longer. 

2008: 92 PointsThe 2008 Lost Soul Syrah (100%) is sourced from the Marcoux block of the Red Willow Vineyard in Yakima Valley. The wine was fermented naturally and aged in 33% new French oak. Cigar box, smoked meat, game, Asian spices, and blueberry aromas compose the bouquet of this already complex effort. Plush on the palate with just enough structure to hold the wine together.

Wine Enthusiast

2012: 92 Points: Coming from one of the Washington's top Syrah vineyards, this wine offers an intruiging assortment of dark coffee, peppery spices, milk chocolate and dried flowers. It's rich and flavorful with notes of bittersweet chocolate and smoked meat leading to a warm finish.

2010: 93 PointsThis excellent Syrah is a vineyard designate that perfectly captures both vineyard and Yakima Valley terroir. It’s graceful and complex, lightly peppery, with plum and cherry flavors at the core. The balance and length are superb.

2009: 92 PointsNo one does a better job with the Syrah from this vineyard than Mark Ryan McNeilly. Here, the peppery, just-ripe fruit is washed in a caramel bath. The flavors are long, and despite all of the barrel influence, the grapes have the muscle and texture to stand out equally.

2008: 92 Points: Sourced from Mike Sauer’s Les Vignes de Marcoux Vineyard (near Red Willow), this sends up classic Yakima Valley Syrah scents––black tea, seaside funk, and umami, with drying tannins that seem soaked in ripe black cherry fruit. Juicy finish, with a streak of lemony acidity.

Wine Spectator

2010: 92 PointsA polished, supple style that lets its tarry blackberry and cream flavors cascade against silky tannins, lingering on the expressive finish.

2009: 90 PointsBright and zingy, with a violet-floral cast to the blackberry flavors, finishing with refinement.

2008: 93 PointsRipe and spicy, beautifully open in texture to let the blackberry, pomegranate and floral spice nuances come through vividly, finishing with fine tannins.