Reustle-Prayer Rock Vineyards 2014 Winemaker’s Reserve Syrah, Umpqua Valley, $29
Last fall, Stephen Reustle received the Six Nations Wine Challenge award in Australia for best Syrah, and he remains on the mark with this reserve bottling, one of the four expressions of this Rhône variety that he grows near Roseburg, Ore. (The invite-only judging Down Under gave best of class to his 2012 Masada Bloc Syrah, yet his 2012 Reserve earned a double gold, too.) This vintage of the Reserve casts aromas of black raspberry and dark chocolate with undertones of rose petal, chalkboard dust, forest floor and tar. Rich and dark blue fruit flavors of blackberry and blueberry reel in nuances of vanilla and anise for a plush structure that highlights acidity over mild tannins. Cocoa and cherry juice mark the finish that bodes well for barbecued ribs, peppered rib eye and Pecorino Romano.
Production: 455 cases