Snoqualmie's reserve Syrahs are very good efforts, but the real deals are the winery's Columbia Valley bottlings. This is pure Syrah, from the Wahluke Slope's Rosebud vineyard, and I would be hard-pressed to find a better Syrah at this price in the country. It's got genuine varietal character, whereas most cheap Syrah/Shiraz is just light red wine—could be Zinfandel, could be anything. Here there are zippy flavors of mixed berries, spicy black pepper and claret-like tannins. A beautiful sense of proportion and balance invigorates this wine; at less than 14 percent alcohol, it delivers more actual, nuanced flavor than many far more expensive, over-extracted versions. 25,000 cases produced.
Paul Gregutt is a Contributing Editor for Wine Enthusiast magazine, a founding member of the magazine’s Tasting Panel, and reviews the wines of Oregon and Canada. The author of the critically-acclaimed Washington Wines & Wineries—The Essential Guide, he consulted on the Pacific Northwest entries in current versions of The World Atlas of Wine and The Oxford Companion to Wine.Email: email@example.com.