Back in the mid-1980s, grape grower Mike Sauer decided to grow Syrah at Red Willow Vineyard in the western reaches of the Yakima Valley. This was the first planting of Syrah in Washington and led to a revolution that has pushed the Rhône variety to No. 3 amid the state’s red wine grapes. This superb example of Washington Syrah comes from Red Willow, where Sauer is marking his 40th year as a wine grape grower. It opens with complex aromas of plum, mint, raspberry and boysenberry. On the palate, this is not some simple, hedonistic, syrupy Syrah. Rather, it is a sturdy wine with flavors of red raspberry, plum sauce, boysenberry and chocolate. It’s a sexy wine with ample acidity and well-managed tannins. Enjoy this with grilled lamb chops, flank steak, sweetbreads or a risotto with morel mushrooms.
Production: 154 cases