Novelty Hill Syrah 2005
Syrah/Shiraz from Columbia Valley, Washington
Deep, rich black cherry, raspberry and mocha aromas and flavors linger beautifully across a long, focused finish. Refined, well-integrated tannins add to the wine's polish and grace.
Wine Enthusiast - "Washington has clearly staked a claim for making some of the New World’s best Syrahs. But in this price range? This is a great place to start your explorations. It's almost pure varietal, dark and tight and spicy. Young and still backward, it rewards breathing time with pure blackberry and black cherry fruits, black olive, coffee grounds and a lick of licorice. Seamless, muscular and layered, this wine definitely wants some breathing time."
Connoisseurs' Guide - "Novelty Hill wines have performed well to date, and this deep, weighty, very well-focused effort keeps the winery's string of successes fully in tact. From its complex aromas of ripe berries, woodsy spice, and smoke, to its layered, like-minded flavors, it exhibits a sense of refinement uncommon for a wine of its size and never lets ripeness dictate terms. Its tannins, while not out of bounds, are enough to warn off immediate drinking, and we would opt for another four or five years in the cellar."
Novelty Hill Winery
Novelty Hill is a small, independent winery crafting limited quantities of elegant wines from Washington State's finest vineyards. Committed to delivering consistent, high quality wines through careful nurturing from vine to bottle, they are dedicated to using innovative clonal selection, sound viticultural practices and gentle, artisan winemaking to produce wines of uncompromising character. View all Novelty Hill Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.