Superb Washington Syrahs

By on August 10, 2014
Red Willow Vineyard is owned by Mike Sauer.

Mike Sauer, owner of Red Willow Vineyard, worked with winemaker David Lake for decades and planted the first Washington Syrah in the 1980s. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Despite the woes of Syrah from other regions in the wine world – particularly California and Australia – Washington Syrah continues to hum along quite nicely.

Last fall, Washington winemakers crushed more than 15,000 tons of Syrah, the most in state history. That makes Syrah the No. 3 red grape and No. 5 overall.

The first Washington Syrah was planted in the mid-1980s by Mike Sauer of Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley. He collaborated with David Lake, longtime winemaker for Columbia Winery.

While a lot of Washington Syrah is finding its way into red blends, there are at least a couple hundred varietal Syrahs being made in Washington. Here are a dozen we’ve tasted in recent weeks.

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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