Covey Run Winemaker's Syrah 2002
WINEMAKING At Covey Run, we prefer to co-ferment a portion of our Syrah with Viognier and sometimes Roussane grapes. This helps fix the red color of the wine and also contributes a pleasing floral character to the nose. In the barrel, Syrah needs less oak than Cabernet or Merlot. The relatively round, smooth tannins develop nicely without the need for a lot of oak flavor.
WINE DESCRIPTION Our 2002 Winemaker's Collection Syrah is deeply colored and intensely aromatic. The wine is well structured with round tannins and a lingering finish.
Covey Run wines benefit from the long, sunny days and cool nights of eastern Washington vineyards. The whites are distinguished by crisp acidity and fresh fruit flavors, while the reds are aged in oak that never masks, but rather complements, the bold fruit flavors.
A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!
Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.
Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.
Marked by an unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah makes an intense, powerful and often age-worthy red. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah achieves its maximum potential in the steep village of Hermitage and plays an important component in the Red Blends of Southern Rhône, adding color and structure to Grenache and Mourvèdre. Syrah is the most widely planted grape of Australia and is important in California and Washington. Sommelier Secret—Such a synergy these three create together, the Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre trio often takes on the shorthand term, “GSM.”