Masquerade Wine Co., 2011 Syrah, Columbia Valley, $25
As a biochemist who was educated at Cal-Berkeley and served on the Human Genome Project, winemaking must seem like child’s play for Bill Kimmerly. He’s developed his decade-old wine project in Bellingham, Wash. — near his childhood home in Vancouver, B.C. — but he relies on the Columbia Valley for his fruit. This lot of Syrah, co-fermented with Viognier (3%), is from venerable Burgess Vineyard in Pasco, and the nose is broad with terrific blue-fruit notes of Marionberry, blueberry, plum and elderberry. The theme continues onto the palate, which brings boysenberry acidity to the forefront and leaves tannin and French oak in the background. Prior to release, this wine earned a silver medal at the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. It now is available at the winery in Bellingham and at Market Cellars — the Pike Place Market tasting room.
Production: 120 cases