Syrah is superb in Northwest wine country

By on February 15, 2015
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Red Willow Vineyard planted the first Syrah in Washington state.

This wall holds old signs from Red Willow Vineyard, including the original sign indicating the 1986 block of Syrah – a first in Washington state. (Photo by Andy Perdue/Great Northwest Wine)

Syrah is an easy grape to love. It grows well here in the Pacific Northwest, and it’s typically delicious and approachable, making it a red wine that is perfect for those who think Cabernet Sauvignon is a bit too big and bold.

Syrah is the No. 3 red wine grape in Washington, with more than 15,000 tons being harvested and crushed each year. One of the beauties of Syrah is that it is a good teammate. It tends to help other wines become better when a little is blended with, say, Cab, Merlot, Malbec, Grenache or Mourvèdre.

And while the noble red grape of France’s Rhône Valley has adapted well in Washington’s arid climate, it’s also showing its prowess in the dry, high-altitude vineyards in Idaho’s Snake River Valley.

Here are a dozen examples of Syrah from Washington and Idaho that we’ve tasted in recent weeks.

About Great Northwest Wine

Articles authored by Great Northwest Wine are co-authored by Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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