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Wine of the week: Pomum Cellars 2009 Syrah Columbia Valley

Sex in a glass of wine.

Smell is one of the most prized aspects of my wine enjoyment. The more time I spend smelling and analyzing wine, the greater my appreciation and sensitivity to those characteristics. Smell can also enhance the libido and draw people together.

"Smell is not just a biological and psychological experience, it is also a social and cultural phenomenon."

My friends and regular readers know that I am a huge fan of Washington Syrah. Washington Syrah can be very expressive in color, aroma and depth of flavor. Personal experience suggests it will stain your mouth and lips purple. There is no singular style of Washington Syrah; Syrah can be fruity, smoky, meaty, funky, floral and any combination of those elements. Yes, I have been enthralled by the deep properties emanating from a glass of Washington Syrah.

This week I had a truly unique sensory experience with the Pomum Cellars 2009 Syrah. It smelled like sex in a glass of wine.

Sex in a glass?

photo: Javier Alfonso.

I met Pomum Cellars winemaker Javier Alfonso and his wife Shyla in  Seattle this January at the Washington State Wine Awards ceremony. He and his wines made a strong first impression. Javier is originally from the Ribera del Duero region in Spain and is making wine in Woodinville, Washington. This week I had the distinct pleasure of enjoying his 2009 Syrah. Wow!

I opened the bottle at 5:23 pm, poured some into a glass to take photos and smelled – it was closed. I then proceeded to take photos for the next ten or fifteen minutes.

Then I smelled the wine again. It had opened up. My head jerked back as I noted a distinct scent.  Between the initial smoky perfume was some Syrah funk and a familiar musk, followed by licorice and violets. It drank like a caress.

Wait a minute... I stuck my nose deeper in my glass and inhaled. That familiar musk had a feminine quality, it smelled like, truly, it smelled like a woman's most intimate aspect, a smell lovers would know. It smelled like sex. A woman’s sex. As I continued to smell and taste, my excitement grew and I became a little warm. I was affected by this wine, it brought back passionate memories. I put my nose in the glass again to make sure that intimate essence was still there. It was.

For me, this was a new and special Washington Syrah experience. That familiar, intimate, feminine quality intertwined with this wine, adding a wonderful perfume to the fruit, smoke and licorice. It lingered sweetly for about 20 minutes. I often describe Washington Syrah as masculine. This Syrah was most distinctly feminine. My fascination with Washington Syrah endures and was enhanced by this experience. Bravo Javier.

Tasting Notes:
  • Opened at 5:23 pm
  • Tasted at 5: 38 pm
Color: Dark color, violet rim
Nose: Smoky, sexy, deep violets, funky/musky layer next to the licorice. The nose smelled like sex until 5:55 pm.
Palate: Lovely texture, silky tannin with a nibble of acid, seductive lingering contrast, dark chocolate, mint, gentle medium finish almost a caress.
  • 7:23 pm
Nose is gingerbread, cherry Sucrets, tarragon and mint, fine tannin, good acidity with a chocolate, cherry, mint finish.
  • 8:20 pm very similar to 7:23 pm
  • 9:01 pm
The sexy is back. Grooving on the wine again, yeah baby. Heady nose, dark fruit, tar, complex, intertwined layers of sexy. Some nice grip too, gums, teeth, tongue, long finish. Lips and mouth are stained purple, yes a happy ending.

Wow that's the sexiest wine I have experienced this year. Javier Alfonso is bringing it home. This is a wine to seek out. Javier commented that the Elerding vineyard Desert Block (44.1%) is one of the best Syrah sites in the State. This wine is "Strongly Recommended."

Pomum Cellars moto is "Crafting Passion in a Bottle." Mission accomplished.

Blend: 100% Syrah
Vineyards: Elerding Desert Block, Uplands Blocks 2000 and Burns, Dineen Vineyard
Closure: Natural cork
SRP: $32
Cases Produced: 220
Bottled: 11 August 2011
Sample provided by the winery

Pomum Cellars
18512 142nd Ave, Woodinville, WA 98072
(206) 362-9203



  1. Wow! I'll take 220 cases.....wait, is it legal? Great write up William!


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