Had a Glass: 2007 Waters Pepper Bridge Syrah

Vintage: 2007
Producer: Waters
Variety: Syrah
Designation: Pepper Bridge
Region: USA
Sub-region: Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
ABV: 14.1%
Price: $41 USD (Esquin)

He says: We had a first introduction to Waters at the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar in Seattle, after a late evening drive from Vancouver. We ordered a bottle of the ‘Forgotten Hills’ designation by the same producer and enjoyed the Old World, traditional French style. Unfortunately, when we got to the bottle shop, we went for the more expensive ‘Pepper Bridge’ which received high marks from Wine Spectator. How foolish of us. This bottle has little of the elegance we found in their cheaper designation, the fruit sweet and syrupy, and the pepper hidden until the finish. A bit disappointing.

She says: Having previously tried the Waters ‘Forgotten Hills’ 2007 Syrah, I was somewhat disappointed with the ‘Pepper Bridge’. That being said, this was in part due to my expectations. After tasting the ‘Forgotten Hills’ and knowing little about the ‘Pepper Bridge’, I was expecting an elegant Old World style Syrah. Instead, this was definitely a New World style with concentrated, ripe black fruit, vanilla, liquorice and pepper. Beside the Cornas, the ‘Pepper Bridge’ lacked complexity and a little elegance. A solid wine but I can’t help but wonder if the ‘Forgotten Hills’ would have fared better.

Tasting note

Looks like: Clear, med+ purple ruby, concentrated
Smells like: Clean, med+ intensity, youthful, stewed ripe black fruit, gamey, mint, medicinal
Tastes like: Dry, med- acidity, med+ body, med+ intensity, med- tannin, ripe sweet black fruit, syrupy, vanilla, liquorice, strong pepper finish, med alcohol, med+ finish
Summary: Good, Could develop further

3 comments to Had a Glass: 2007 Waters Pepper Bridge Syrah

  • The Forgotten Hills is less syrupy, but I’m with you that this winery does not live up to the hype. I’ll take a Northern Rhone Syrah over this in a second. That said, there are great syrahs from WA – just not from Waters. Try Betz and Cayuse.

  • Erachi

    Your tasting note is confusing. So, is it too new world or is not? Sounds like it is not a very good wine but then your tasting note says “good. could develop further”. Then she goes: “the ‘Pepper Bridge’ lacked complexity and a little elegance. A solid wine…” … A solid wine withou complexity and elegance? Im not sure what youre trying to say…furthermore, What is supposed to “further develop?” the “little of the elegance” or “the fruit sweet and syrupy”?? After your review I have no idea about buying this wine or not. Thank you for the effort nevertheless.

    • WCVR

      Hi Erachi,

      Sorry you find this confusing. In the right column, next to the main text, is our rating scale. Good, is decidedly middle-of-the-road. i.e. solid, not excellent, but not poor.

      The statement “could develop further” is the sense that, with time, the fruit will start to fade, to allow the peppery, typical Shiraz character to shine through a bit more.

      Bottom line: if you like a New World Shiraz style, you’ll probably like this.

      /Mr Winecouver

Wine truths

“Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right.”
by Mark Twain

Wine Ratings

★☆☆☆☆ - Poor quality. Avoid. Save your money. Between 80-84 points.

★★☆☆☆ - Average quality or poor value. Between 84-88 points. Some expensive wines are downgraded for bad value.

★★★☆☆ - Good. Between 88-92 points. Or a good value on the lower end of the point scale.

★★★☆☆ - Excellent quality. Between 92-96 points. Or a cheap yet good quality wine which is excellent value.

★★★☆☆ - Outstanding, best examples in the world. Between 96 and 100 points. A perfect wine.