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Mercer Estates 2014 Spice Cabinet Vineyard Reserve Syrah, Horse Heaven Hills, $40
One of the young gems of the Horse Heaven Hills, Spice Cabinet Vineyard overlooks Crow Butte Park and the Columbia River west of Paterson. The 18-acre site is dominated by Bordeaux varieties, led by some remarkable Malbec, yet this Syrah serves as yet another example of its emerging potential. The 18-month program of French oak yields tones of bittersweet chocolate and black licorice with dark plum and blueberry. Its jammy entry leads to fine-grained tannins, toast and lick of mocha. Suggested pairings include lamb chops, soy-glazed salmon or roasted vegetables.
Production: 221 cases