61. Clearwater Canyon Cellars 2013 Umiker Vineyard Syrah, Idaho, $28
A year from now, the Umikers likely will be able to use “Lewis-Clark Valley” — which they have championed — on the label as the American Viticultural Area for the Syrah that Carl grows and his wife, Coco, vinifies at their winery in Lewiston, Idaho. This wonder team has collaborated on one of the Pacific Northwest’s top 2013 examples of this Rhône variety, and it opens with busty aromas of huckleberry taffy from Bruce’s Candy Kitchen, plums on parchment paper, dusty blueberry, milk chocolate and a strip of Western red cedar. The drink offers gobs of dark blue fruit akin to huckleberry pie, blackberry cobbler and blueberry, framed by a beautiful structure of espresso, vanilla and cocoa powder. Lingering dusty tannins, a sign of the Merlot (15%), simply add to the complexity we’ve come to expect from Wine Press Northwest’s reigning Idaho Winery of the Year.
Production: 85 cases