- Gamay, Grenache Blanc steal show at McMinnville judging
- VineLines Dispatch: Tasting rooms continue to swirl around Woodinville
- Walla Walla Valley wine industry helps raise $55K for food bank
- VineLines Dispatch captures late scramble amid early freeze
- L’Ecole No. 41 recruits Marcus Rafanelli to take over as winemaker
- VinesLines Dispatch swings along Columbia River, Walla Walla Valley
- Alexandria Nicole Cellars uses white Rhône blend to lead Great Northwest Invite
- VineLines Dispatch coverage of 2019 vintage continues
- VineLine Dispatches from Harvest 2019
- ‘Slow and steady harvest’ forecast for Northwest grapes in 2019
Syrah plays vital role in Northwest red blends
Syrah plays a big role in the Pacific Northwest. Not only is it the third-most-popular red wine in Washington (and similarly popular in Oregon and Idaho), but it also finds its way into a lot of red blends.
And this is important because not only is Syrah a delicious wine when it’s on its own, but it also adds a lot to blends, whether the winemaker chooses to lead with it or just add a bit.
Syrah is a dark wine with rich flavors. It tends to be less tannic than Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, so adding Syrah to a blend can soften a red wine and make it more approachable. It can add midpalate depth thanks to its rich, round, soft flavors. It can provide complexity to aromas because of its notes of everything from plum and blackberry to dark chocolate, spices and sizzling bacon.
Here are a dozen delicious Northwest red blends that use Syrah. Some of them have just a small amount, while others have it playing a lead role. Ask for the wines at your favorite merchant or contact the wineries directly.