Rush Lattin Cellars is a Washington state winery located at the Maltby Wine Vault in Snohomish. The winery focuses on Syrah and Grenache, and I have no idea why we’ve never tasted their wines before. So when owners Larry and Michelle Ransom recently sent us Syrah samples, we welcomed the introduction. We discovered they opened the winery in 2017, with a goal to make some of Washington’s finest Syrahs, using grapes from Red Mountain and Horse Heaven Hills. Subsequently, Seattle Wine Awards 2022 gave Rush Lattin Cellars a double-gold as well as a gold for two of their Syrahs. We tasted both of them and understand why.
Rush Lattin Story
In 2017, Larry and Michelle Ransom launched Rush Lattin Cellars with David and Lisa Flesher. Larry, who is also the winemaker, has a self-acclaimed obsession with details and a passion to craft one of Washington’s finest Syrahs.
“Although this may be a difficult pursuit, we choose to boldly declare our intentions to dream and live dangerously, and to make a wine that brings a pause, a different thought, or a smile, and to be a worthy option to share with someone special.”
Larry fondly remembers that pivotal moment when he decided to begin this pursuit. “I remember well the moment a close friend shared with me an unlabeled bottle of wine given to him by one of his clients. He opened it. I tasted it. I fell in love! This was the beginning of my pursuit of exploring and following my passion for drinking wine.”
Along with his son Jake, the assistant winemaker, Larry pursues that passion in the spirit of his ancestor, Rush Lattin, an artist, pioneer and winery namesake, “who set out alone on a mule in the late 1800s with a dangerous dream to capture [his special place in time] the magnificent Yosemite Valley on canvas.”
Larry’s special place in time is the terroir of the Columbia Valley, specifically Red Heaven Vineyard on Red Mountain and Wallula Vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills. Moreover, Rush Lattin’s recent wins for two Syrahs at Seattle Wine Awards is particularly sweet. It is the largest and most prestigious wine recognition program in the state.
Rush Lattin 2019 Fiddler’s Bluff Syrah ($37)
We took Fiddler’s Bluff Syrah to a happy hour with friends, who quickly emptied the bottle. It was the first to go of several that night. I’d say it was a hit! Seattle Wine Awards 2022 gave it a gold, as did Cascadia International Wine Competition 2022. Consequently, we agreed. On the nose, we found aromas of black pepper, grilled meats and baked bread. On the palate, we enjoyed dense flavors of plums, cola, licorice and spices. Larry named the wine after the location of their family home, on a hill referred to as Fiddler’s Bluff, overlooking the Snohomish River Valley.
Rush Lattin 2019 Syrah ($50 – $35 for wine club members)
This is a double-gold-winning Syrah from Seattle WIne Awards 2022. And we understand why some wine enthusiasts love it, although our palates prefer Syrahs that are more peppery and spicy. Aromas of smoked meat, and a hint of brioche echo on the palate, along with blackberries, black currants and black licorice. This substantial Syrah pairs with flank steak, short ribs, spaghetti and barbecued meats. However, it’s still young, so decant it before serving.
In conclusion, we congratulate Larry and Michelle Ransom for their recent Syrah recognition. Thank you for the samples. These wines are available at Compass Wines in nearby Anacortes, and online for wine club members. (Their wine club list is open now for a limited time.)
Margot and Dave