Syrah whose time has come!

Washington Hills 2011 Syrah makes the cut – Gregory Dal Paz

Syrah has been a perennial dark horse in the US market for much of the last two decades. It’s a grape that always seems to be on the verge of greatness, even exploding on the scene in the late 1990s under the Shiraz moniker and with a thick Aussie accent, but as we all know, Aussie Shiraz is so very 1990, and Syrah struggles to find a following because consumers don’t know what to expect, or do they?

The truth remains that Syrah tends to be produced in a range of styles that might be a bit broader than many other wines. It’s a grape that seems more sensitive to variations in climate and terroir than some of our mainstays, but that should be a good thing, an advantage, not the distinct disadvantage its made out to be.

In truth, I believe that Syrah has suffered in part from an identity crisis as well as guilt by association. Much of this was probably created by people like me, in the media, telling you why people didn’t buy or like Syrah as opposed to created by consumers who just did not buy Syrah. Well the times have changed, and along with those changes, a new appreciation for Syrah is on the way. 2011 Washington Hills Syrah Washington State 13.5% $10

Very tight on the nose, but what is there shows sweet boysenberry and candied violet notes. Wow, this is fresh and lively in the mouth with an initial burst of blue fruit followed by some lovely dried meat and black raspberry flavors. Very pure, if perhaps a touch sweet, the tannins here are fleshy fruit tannins balanced by juicy if not pronounced acidity all tied together in a lovely hit of pomegranate fruit on the back end and through the modest finish. A little young, give it three to six months to settle down and drink it over the following year or two for what it is, a lusty little bistro styled wine that is delicious and very easy to drink!

View Article

One comment

Leave a Reply