99. Purple Star Wines 2012 Syrah, Columbia Valley $18
Kyle Johnson crafted a series of star-studded wines — particularly with Syrah — during his days with now-defunct Olsen Estates. Last year, he moved into his own production facility, which will allow him to expand upon offerings such as this brilliant work with Weinbau Vineyard (75%) on the Wahluke Slope with added structure from Red Mountain sites Red Heaven and Kiona’s Ranch at the End of the Road. His use of 60% whole berry fermentation for as long as 14 days shows in the nose with fresh and youthful aromas of ripe Marionberry, blueberry and black cherry, backed by hints of French vanilla and toasted marshmallow. Its structure is simply stunning with dense flavors of dark blue fruit with sandy tannins, capped by a finish of vanilla and coffee. Johnson produced a pair of gold medals at the 2015 Seattle Wine and Food Experience Wine Awards — with this as well as For A Song 2013 Caliche Lake Vineyard Riesling.
Production: 1,036 cases