We are in the golden age of Syrah. Throughout the wine world, this grape is having its moment.
Washington State is an up-and-coming player in the American wine scene. While California has roughly six times more Syrah planted than Washington does, the climate and soil of eastern Washington help lay the base for the unique expressions of Syrah coming from this area.
Many of the top Syrah wines from Washington can’t be considered “everyday values” based on their price. Yet to get a feel for how good the grape can be in the hands of a good producer, look no further than the wines of our friends at Avennia.
Avennia is the relative newcomer, with its first release eight years ago. Former DeLille Cellars alum teamed up to create their vision of a great Washington State producer. Focusing on Bordeaux varieties as well as Rhône varieties, they are sourcing fruit from some of the best vineyards in eastern Washington.
While the focus at Avennia is on vineyard-driven wines, it has also introduced a duo of wines under the “Lydian” label. The goal to produce fun, value-driven reds that highlight the Washington terroir has been achieved through these wines.
The 2019 “Lydian” Syrah is sourced from several vineyards in the Columbia Valley. The grapes are hand harvested and fermented in tank before being aged in neutral French oak. There are beautiful aromas of blackberry, plum, smoked meat, and herbs. The texture is plush yet balanced, with a continuation of fruit and spice, along with well-framed acidity. This is an excellent value, one you can sip on its own or pair with roasted leg of lamb.
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