What: Purple Star Syrah Columbia Valley 2012 $18
Why: 2012 is shaping up to be one of the strongest vintages for Washington syrah in memory, leading to good quality and value up and down the price ladder. One well-priced example comes from Purple Star Wines.
Purple Star was founded in 2008 by the husband and wife team of Kyle and Amy Johnson. Kyle had previously served as winemaker at Olsen Estates, where he quickly made a name for himself and elevated the stature of this Yakima Valley site.
At Purple Star, Johnson focuses on chardonnay, riesling, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah. The 2012 Purple Star Columbia Valley Syrah ($18) comes from a mixture of Weinbau, Red Heaven, and Ranch at the End of the Road vineyards. It offers aromas of coffee, berry, and smoke along with a supple, layered feel. Better still, 15 percent of the proceeds from Purple Star sales go toward funding uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital, so you can buy a bottle of wine and give back at the same time. Drink up!