Purple Star Wines 2011 Syrah, Columbia Valley, $18
Washington State University grad Kyle Johnson continues to show the flair with Syrah that he displayed his days in Prosser with Olsen Estates. He and his wife, Amy, continue to expand their production with help from Weinbau (71%), Red Heaven and Olsen vineyards, and create a wine with aromas of boysenberry, blackberry sauce, bacon fat, chocolate chip cookie dough and pink peppercorns. He made the structure juicy and inviting, rather than syrupy, keeping the focus on Marionberry and ripe blueberry. The finish is bright, lengthy and pleasing. Look for Purple Star and the Johnsons’ high-end brand — Native Sun — in Vancouver, Wash., at Cellar 55 Tasting Room, a collective with Five Star (Walla Walla), Gordon Estate (Pasco) and Market Vineyards (Kennewick).
Production: 1,036 cases