Claar Cellars 2011 White Bluffs Syrah, Columbia Valley, $22
For the second straight vintage, Washington State University product Joe Hudon earns our top rating for Syrah from the Claar-Whitelatch family’s Salmon-Safe vineyard. And they’ve even dropped the price by a buck! Imagine a Sunday morning breakfast with sizzling ham, maple and blackberry syrup, and that’s just the start of the aromas, which include chocolate, plum juice and elderberry. The drink takes on a lighter profile with rich cherry, raspberry and cranberry flavors, backed by blueberry skin tannin, bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder. This wine is available in their Zillah tasting room and 19 states, as well as British Columbia, Alberta and Asia. Suggested pairings include pasta, grilled meats and aged cheese.
Production: 118 cases