Isenhower Cellars 2014 Dutchman Vineyard Syrah, Yakima Valley, $34

Grandview, Wash., grower Bill denHoed established Dutchman Vineyard in 1991, not long after Red Willow Vineyard became the first in the state to plant Syrah. This marked the 16th vintage of Syrah production for Brett Isenhower, which explains why he’s among the Walla Walla Valley’s leaders with the red Rhône grape. This is a viewed as a cooler site, and harvest got stretched to Oct. 13. He chose indigenous yeast fermentation and included 25% whole clusters, followed by 18 months in Burgundian barrels, a third of which were new. As a result, the nose offers blueberry jam on toast, blackberry and black licorice with vanilla and lavender in the background. It’s down-right yummy with those same dark fruit, pleasing grip of tannins, juicy acidity and a touch of minerality. Enjoy with strongly flavored meats.

Rating: Outstanding!

Production: 202 cases

Alcohol: 14.6%

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