The color shows the wine’s age, just starting to go from deeper colors in the center to a brick red at the edges. The nose shows classic Northern Rhone - a bushel blackberries in a room full of dry-aging beef. The same blackberries and meat show on the palate, with black pepper, raspberries join the party on the mid-palate. Meat flavors move toward smoked meats on the finish, adding lingering licorice. Tannins are fine, soft, mouth-coating. Drink with dry-aged New York Strip. Highly Recommended. DH
A little hazy (unfiltered), bright, medium intensity, bright purple color. Clean on the nose, medium intensity aromas of black fruit, moss, cedar, black pepper, spice, stewed black cherries, oak, and smoke. Dry, medium body, medium tannin, medium-high acidity. Flavors of red and black fruit, Bing cherry, red fruit, strawberry, raspberry coulis, some oak on the palate, and a slight lactic note. Medium finish. Pair with braised short ribs or tofu in five spice. Recommended. RR
An interview with winemaker Anne Hubatch of Helioterra Wines. The 2009 Helioterra Columbia Valley Syrah was awarded to Palate Press Readers' Choice Red Wine of the Year.
A very interesting twist on Syrah, New World and Old World meet in South Africa.
Editors' note: To close 2011, Palate Press: The online wine magazine will be featuring some of our top stories from the past year. Our fourth piece comes from columnist Evan Dawson, reporting on the uproar over rumors that California Pinot Noir producers beef their wines up with Syrah.