Di Stefano still delicious

When we first moved to Seattle in 1999, one of the first Woodinville tasting rooms that we visited was Di Stefano Winery. It also was the first time that we ever tasted Cab Franc, and we became big fans of both the wine and the winery.

We went back on the weekend and tried several wines on Di Stefano’s current tasting menu. While we enjoyed the 2002 Merlot and 2003 Domenica, my preference was the 2004 Meritage and Dave’s was the 2003 Syrah R.

As regular readers of this blog know, my palate is all about Washington state Bordeaux-style blends (although I’m back to favoring Cabs these days too). Di Stefano’s 2004 Meritage blends 40% Cab Sauv, 40% Merlot and 20% Cab Franc into layers of smooth flavors of berries and spice. It’s ready for drinking now, through 2011.

We tasted Syrahs from numerous wineries during St. Nick’s weekend in Woodinville earlier this month, and decided we were starting to favor its smoky, peppery rich depths. But Di Stefano’s 2003 Syrah is unique – -perhaps because of the addition of 4% Viognier and 2% Cab Sauv. It had a bit of a kick to it that we’ve never noticed in other wineries’ Syrahs.

We recommend both the Meritage and the Syrah … and suggest a Saturday visit to Di Stefano’s tasting room too.