Waterbrook Winery 2011 Syrah, Columbia Valley, $15
Best Buy! Walla Walla winemaker John Freeman creates one of the year’s most delicious versions of Washington Syrah, and he does it by using Viognier (4%) and an unusual partner — Carménère (4%). The blend makes for an opulent opening of dark chocolate, boysenberry, black cherry, black pepper and sweet herbs. Lovely richness awaits on the palate with sweet Damson plum, black cherry and chocolate. On the midpalate, pomegranate and pie cherry acidity creates pleasing balance, backed by a finish of toffee. Suggested fare includes a ribeye served with chanterelles in a Syrah demiglaze, lamb and oxtail cassoulet or blackened Copper River salmon.
Production: 1,217 cases