Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estates Syrah, Columbia Valley, $12

columbia-crest-grand-estates-syrah-2013-bottle.1Best Buy! Argentina futbol supporter/winemaker Juan Munoz Oca and his team in Washington’s Horse Heaven Hills strike a winning combination by pulling largely fruit the steamy Wahluke Slope, co-fermenting with Viognier (5%) for a week, then sending the juice into a barrel program of 35% French oak for 16 months. It makes for a fruity yet complex nose of blackberry jam, plum, Black Forest Cake with crushed walnut and a whiff of bacon fat. Inside, the profile is very berry and mouthcoating as bright tannins and juicy acidity lead to a hedonistic finish of carmelized sugar. It’s a Syrah you could almost drink with a fork, but instead reach for pork tenderloin, grilled salmon or soft cheeses.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 15,000 cases

Alcohol: 13.5%

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