4. Owen Roe 2012 Red Willow Vineyard Chapel Block Syrah, Yakima Valley, $55
The spring of 2016 will mark the 30th anniversary of the first Syrah plantings in Washington state, orchestrated at Red Willow Vineyard by Columbia Winery maestro David Lake, and Owen Roe vintner David O’Reilly might have received some applause from the late Master of Wine for this effort. Owner/grower Mike Sauer was so inspired by the history of the Rhône Valley that he built a tribute to the Monsignor Chapel using stones cleared from the hill that this Washington wine country icon sits atop. O’Reilly’s latest expression with that block of Syrah ranks as a quintessential example from start to finish, opening with appealing aromas of Marionberry, blueberry, light chocolate and toast, joined by cured meat, black olive, allspice and toast. The pour brings flavors hinting at plum, elderberry and black currant, backed with chocolate-covered pomegranate. Its structure is full and round amid bittersweet chocolate tannins and food-friendly acidity for a rich farewell.
Production: 490 cases