Bombs Away: Syrah in the Willamette

As mentioned in my last post, I have two significant memories from my summer of tasting through the Willamette Valley. Stoller Family Estate provides the second provocative impression. After tasting through six wines at Stoller, all truly respectable, I find myself wanting more. . . syrah from the Willamette Valley.

Stoller’s Single Acre Estate Syrah brought one eye brow up, and forced a second glance at the label. Syrah from the Willamette? Syrah brings most minds to the hot climes of the world–the Hunter Valley of Australia or the much closer Wahluke Slope of Washington. Unfortunately, these warm locations can too often create fruit bombs lacking complexity, balance, or length. Stoller’s syrah, however, balanced beautifully with acid and medium weight, while looming large enough to show classic syrah spice and fruit. If this single experiment from Stoller does not convince, perhaps the Northern Rhone should, as the climates of both valleys share plenty of similarities if you choose the vineyard site appropriately. Remember, the Northern Rhone borders Burgundy, the epicenter of Pinot Noir. Wineries with lower elevation, south-facing acreage within the Willamette Valley, like Stoller Family Estate, take note. Bombs away–balance and perspective rise up. Perhaps this message should carry beyond the caves and cellars to the halls of capitals.

While you’re beating down the doors of those in power, pick up a bottle of 2013 Pinot Noir Rose from Stoller Family Estate as well. I have tasted a good plenty of roses from a plethora of grape varieties from Wa-gon country, and this takes the cake. Delicious.

*Newcomers, Wa-gon = Washington and Oregon

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