Syrah: The Slave Boy Tea Bowl of Its Medium

Syrah: The Slave Boy Tea Bowl of Its Medium

Before there was tupperware, there were Korean slave boys. And those slave boys would throw tea bowls. They would throw thousands upon thousands of tea bowls that would land anywhere from heirloom to trash. They would then throw thousands upon thousands more. There is a school of thought that eventually, these tea bowls were a pure extension of the soul. There was no symmetry, no contrived stress in attempting a taller or fatter bowl, there was simply thoughtless movement, a pure release. Beautiful, right? This is not to say that the ends justified the means.

So when was the last time you bought a crooked tea bowl? Well, if you’re a dorky potter, maybe recently. But if you are the general Williams-Sonoma public, maybe it’s been a while.

Syrah is pretty similar. It is such a raw, dusty and bleeding grape- shriveled in the vineyard and gnarly in the bottle. Dirty earth, blueberry, black olive tapenade, licorice and black currant- this variety is not your adorable chocolate and cherry libation. Nor is it the black pepper full-fisted punch to the eyes that you can get with a huge cabernet. It is, instead, so full of soul and nuance that it lacks “symmetry.” It is the slave boy Korean tea bowl. It is one of the grapes experts love to love.

Winemakers love to make syrah. It is so sensuous and indicative of its native plot- the wind, the soil, the rain. It shows every last ray of sun or drop perspired. The tea bowl pictured above is worth more than my house. And that is how winemakers often feel about a grape like syrah.

Come try one of our Waters’ syrahs in the tasting room this weekend or stop by Walla Walla for our “Celebrate Weekend” honoring, you guessed it: syrah.

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