Guardian 2007 Stillwater Creek Vineyard Syrah (Columbia Valley (WA))

This citrusy Syrah, from a vineyard on the Royal Slope, spent 18 months in 75% new French oak. Yet it is not oaky or even particularly toasty; what comes through are tart berry flavors with a backbone of leaf and stem. It shows some heat in the finish, and a wash of chalky chocolate. This is a wine to decant. Paul Gregutt

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