McCrea Amerique Syrah 2006
Syrah/Shiraz from Columbia Valley, Washington
At harvest, the grapes were gently crushed, then fermented in small lots following several days of cold soak, using a variety of yeast strains isolated from the Rhône valley. When complete, the wine was dejuiced through large stainless steel strainers, then gently transferred to one-, two- and three-year-old American oak barrels. The inclusion of older oak mitigates the intense, direct character often associated with American oak, resulting in a more balanced, integrated wine. Similar to an Australian Shiraz, the flavors are clean and berry-driven. The oak acts as a framework providing excellent length and structure, surrounding the intense, mouth-coating fruit. This wine should age gracefully for five to ten years.
Wine Enthusiast - "Dubbed Amerique because of the use of American oak barrels, this broad, relatively fruity, accessible Syrah splays out across the core palate with a panoply of blueberries, boysenberries, cooked cherries and cassis. That lush fruit plays out against firm tannins, a fine balancing act."
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About Columbia Valley
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.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review2 }div>2 out of 5 stars
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- 3 Stars: 1
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- 1 Stars: 1
2 ratings, 2 with reviewsRuth - Danville, CA16/14/2013Did not really like this. Rather light for a Syrah.Loaf - Denver, CO33/3/2012Loved this one out of the bottle and DID give THIS one out for Christmas, as we had intended to do with the Grand Cote from the same vintner. Wish we had more than another bottle sitting around to taste later. This one is big with a good fruit nose. Good tannins without the pucker of some ... We'd take more at a lower price point, but there are better values out there.
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.
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