What: Two Vintners Syrah Columbia Valley 2013 $21
Why: Part of what makes syrah such a fascinating grape variety is that its expression varies so much based on the place in which it’s grown. Areas of the Walla Walla Valley for example are known for their earthy, savory profile. Red Mountain meanwhile is known for the power and intensity of its cherry and mineral flavors. Yakima Valley on the other hand has finesse and suppleness, often with a characteristic orange peel note.
While Washington winemakers often make syrah from a single growing region–or even single vineyard–combining across growing regions is also common and, when done well, can combine each of their strengths. One such example, which is also exceptionally well priced, is the Two Vintners Syrah Columbia Valley 2013 ($21). It’s a blend of fruit from the Walla Walla Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, Yakima Valley, and Red Mountain, taking the best from each. Bright aromas of earth, coffee, and olive are followed by a velvety palate with plush fruit flavors. It’s a beautiful example of what Washington syrah is all about.