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Sawtooth Estate Winery 2015 30th Anniversary Red Blend, Snake River Valley, $25
Meredith Smith showcases some of Idaho’s Snake River Valley terroir while also providing another example of how the influence of Syrah lifts so many Northwest red blends. She began with Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon (40%), Petit Verdot (20%), Merlot (10%) and Malbec (10) and made room for Syrah (20%). While there’s a theme of chocolate-coverage cherries, notes of smoked meat and plum come alongside touches of tarragon, sage and iron shavings. Subtle use of oak allows for the fruit to sing, and there’s terrific balance to the interplay of tannins and black currant acidity. It’s a delicious tribute by Sawtooth Estate Winery to what the Pintler family started north of Surrey Road near Nampa, a winery that began production with the 1987 vintage.
Production: 227 cases