Tenor Syrah 2010
Syrah/Shiraz from Columbia Valley, Washington
Notes of dark plums, black cherry, cured meat and a hint of clove. A soft and fragrant pepper is there but it is buried in the fruit at this time. A touch of saline and a floral push add to the complexity. The palate is massive and concentrated, but in its youth it seems to be hiding detail in its soft tannin and more brambly fruit and mineral driven palate. A fresher and brighter wine than the 2008 Tenor Syrah, but a bit more precocious.
The Wine Advocate - "An impressive, pedal-to-the-metal effort that stays balanced and fresh, the 2010 Syrah, aged 19 months in 100% new French oak puncheons (larger, 500-liter barrels), offers up a savory, complex array of creme de cassis, salted beef, licorice, pepper and chocolate as well as a full-bodied, beautifully pure and thrillingly textured mouthfeel. Showing more and more purity and Syrah typicity with air, this fantastic effort can be enjoyed now, but will be even better in 2-3 years. A 10-12 year drink window isn’t out of the question. Impressive! "
Wine Spectator - "Supple, lithe and vibrant, with well-mannered blueberry and plum fruit, shaded with white pepper and cream as the finish lingers easily."
The drive at Tenor is to make world-class wine from the vineyards in Washington. Tenor is very unique. As every wine lover knows, due to the weather of a certain growing year, different vintages produce different classes of wine. At Tenor, they only release a wine when we feel it is world-class. What does this mean? This means, if you were to line up the greatest Merlot's (for example) from 2008, Tenor would be among that list. To this end, they will declassify any wine that they don't feel meets that criteria. For this reason, no two vintage releases will see the same line up of wines, because no two years growing seasons are the same. In 2007, it was Merlot and Malbec. In 2008, it is Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah. This type of standard instills a trust in their label; that what they choose to put it in a Tenor bottle is world-class. View all Tenor Wines
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.
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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.
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