Friday, January 10, 2014

Know Your Oregon Wines: Syrah

Syrah: This superb varietal from the northern Rhône has found success throughout the world. It delivers full-bodied, hefty wines that have excellent tannins and complex aromas including violets, black cherries, wild herbs, liquorice, humus and various spices. It also grows well in Australia and South Africa where it is usually called Shiraz. In our part of the world, excellent Syrahs are grown and made in Washington State and Southern Oregon's Rogue and Umpqua Valleys. Cool climate Syrah is grown in the Eola-Amity AVA also.
From Oregon Wine Press:
Tasting Notes By Jennifer Cossey
2010 Adelsheim Vineyard Calkins Lane Vineyard, Syrah, Chehalem Mountains-Willamette Valley ($45)
Dark red color with aromas of black cherry, blackberry, fig and fresh blueberry. Additional floral notes add to the hints of cocoa, cinnamon stick, black tea and sweet pipe tobacco. Rich flavors, bright acids and long finish.
2010 Brittan Vineyards Syrah, McMinnville-Willamette Valley ($40)Subtle yet elegant aromas of plum, raspberry, blackberry and black cherry integrate with slight oak notes of cedar and vanilla as well as herbal and floral characters. This acid-driven wine, while it is a pleasure to drink now, has years ahead of it and will continue to refine. 
2008 Biggio Hamina XIV, Deux Vert Vineyard, Syrah, Yamhill-Carlton ($25)Dried cranberries and cherries, blood orange zest, dried rose petals, clover honey, thyme, red chili and peppercorn integrate to characterize this wine. Co-fermented with 14 percent Viognier, it is elegant and approachable with pleasing persistence and softening tannins. 
2009 Dobbes Family Estate Sundown Vineyard, Syrah, Rogue Valley ($50)Dark purple in color, with baking spices upfront on the nose followed by cedar, vanilla, fig, wild plum, graphite and rose petal. Rich on the palate with a good balance of acidity and weight.
2010 Dobbes Family Estate Grand Assemblage Syrah, Rogue Valley ($28)Fig, black cherries, raspberry, plum and blackberry notes with a touch of forest floor, vanilla, coffee, cedar and violets with more plum characteristics on the palate and lingering notes of cola and dried herbs.  
2011 Del Rio Vineyards Syrah, Estate Grown, Rogue Valley, OR ($35)Characterized by notes of blueberry, blackberry, dark plum, black pepper, cocoa powder, and savory spice with a rich, round and full finish balanced with food-friendly acids and tannic structure lending itself to longevity in the bottle. 
2009 Abacela Syrah, Umpqua Valley ($21)Pretty nose with floral hints, black cherry, black plum, blackberry pie, nutmeg and coffee bean. Medium-bodied, easy drinking wine with high acid and a sense of richness in the finish. A great food wine.
2009 Abacela South Face Block Reserve Syrah, Umpqua Valley ($50)Dark in color with floral notes and hints of forest floor, plum skin, black and red cherry, black pepper, dried lavender and cocoa bean. It is rich and serious on the palate with some young tannin and bright acids. 
2009 Folin Vineyard Syrah, Rogue Valley ($30)Spicy upfront with notes of chocolate shavings, blackberry, dried black cherry, raspberry, leather, black peppercorn and baking spices with great texture and a long finish.
Thanks to Oregon Wine Merchants

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