The first wine that I picked up from my local wine club Fine Wine Source of Livonia, Michigan is Purple Star Syrah 2014 from the Columbia Valley in the State of Washington. In 2008 Kyle and Amy Johnson began a winery and to embody the soul of the wine from vineyard to the bottle to the table. Their philosophy and goal were to make wine accessible, approachable and affordable. They had already acquired ten years of viticulture and winemaking experience in Washington State. They also decided that since they had the good fortune to be blessed with good health that they would donate fifteen percent of the proceeds to Seattle Children’s Hospital to help those that had uncompensated medical expenses. They believe in the concept of “paying it forward.”
The wine is pure Syrah and sourced from three of Washington State’s best vineyards; seventy-five percent is Weinbau-Wahluke Slope, sixteen percent Red-Heaven-Red Mountain and nine percent is Kiona-Red Mountain. With the fruit growing in a longer and cooler environment, the tannins are softer. The grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed, retaining sixty percent whole berries. The punch downs and pump-overs were done by hand for almost two weeks depending on the lot. The wine was aged for fourteen months in pure French Oak. The finished wine produced five hundred cases.
The tasting notes for the wines mentions black fruit, smoke and pepper with fine tannins and moderate acidity. The Wine Spectator gave this wine a 90 rating and listed lively black cherry and smoky pepper. The wine is expected to age for a few years, but is considered drinkable immediately as well. A full-bodied Syrah works well with big red meats, and game and holds its own alongside of dishes like Braised Short Ribs. I think we can find some dishes that will pair with this wine in the future.