Syrah 2018
Barnard Griffin
Region: Washington

91-Wine Align
Tasting Notes

Loaded with appealing aromatics of cherry, black currant and plum alongside subtler notes of vanilla and earth. The palate is dense, dark and full with textbook Syrah spice and warmth. A delicious New World wine that blends in some Old World structure and charm.

Syrah is grown throughout the world, producing beautifully diverse and interesting wines. Syrah was found to be the offspring of two obscure grapes from southeastern France, Dureza and Mondeuse Blanche. The style and flavour profile of Syrah is greatly influenced by the climate in which the grapes are grown. Moderate climates, such as the northern Rhône Valley and parts of the Walla Walla AVA in Washington State, tend to produce medium- to full-bodied wines with medium to high levels of tannins and notes of blackberry, mint and black pepper. In hot climates, Syrah is more consistently full-bodied with softer tannin, jammier fruit and spice notes of licorice, anise and earthy leather.

Columbia Valley was granted AVA status in 1984. Located on the eastern side of Washington, it is the largest AVA in the state, responsible for 99% of total wine production. With its dessert-like conditions (average annual rainfall is only 6-8 inches per year), irrigation is a necessity. The Columbia River, as well as snowmelt from the Cascade Mountains, supplies the region’s water for agriculture. Washington has an interesting dynamic between winemakers and grape growers in that they are often exclusively ‘Makers’ or ‘Growers’. Today, nearly 50% of Barnard Griffin’s fruit is grown on the estate.

The 2018 Syrah is a blend of 2 vineyards: Desert Aire Vineyard (Wahluke Slope) and Gunkel Vineyard (Columbia Valley, Eastern Columbia River Gorge). Barnard Griffin purchases grapes from growers using sustainable farming practices, which is the norm throughout Washington. Despite all the natural benefits in Washington State, very few vineyards are organic and even fewer are biodynamic.

Grapes were harvested on August 24th. Crushed and fermented in tank at 29°C. Pumped over twice per day. Aged in European oak barrels and upright ovals. 100% malolactic conversion. 1680 cases produced.

Wine Type: Red

Variety: 96% Syrah, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon

Classification: AVA

Orientation: Predominantly south facing slopes

Appellation: Columbia Valley

Gradient: Vineyards grown up to 600 masl

Soil: Volcanic, sandy loam, loess

Farming Practices: Sustainable farming.

Residual Sugar: Trace

Alcohol: 13.8

Malolactic: Full malolactic fermentation

Botte Size: 750 ml

Acidity: N/A

Other Practices: Sustainable, Vegan