Syrah plays vital role in Northwest red blends

By on June 5, 2016
Idaho wine country is growing.

A vineyard worker harvests Syrah at Williamson Vineyard in the heart of Idaho wine country near Caldwell. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

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.

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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