Penner-Ash Oregon Syrah 2016
The 2016 Penner-Ash Oregon Syrah is a decadent taste profile composed of dusted dark chocolate mixed with blackberry fruit compote on vanilla ice cream, and further accentuated by a slightly wood smoky note. Sweetness and intensity merge together at entry and then finish with a lengthy and creamy lushness.
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The 2016 Syrah has a vibrant ruby-purple color and very pretty nose of blackberries, crushed black currants, violets, dried herbs and bay leaves with hints of cocoa and prosciutto. The medium to full-bodied palate blossoms slowly, expertly framed by firm, grainy tannins and juicy lift, finishing nuanced and savory. This is a great middle-of-the-road style—not too much, not too little.
Home to some of America’s most celebrated Pinot Noir, Oregon maintains a tight focus on small production, high quality wine even while the state’s industry enjoys steady growth. As a world-renowned wine region, Oregon has more than 700 wineries and is home to well over 70 grape varieties. With a mostly Mediterranean climate, its cooler and wetter regions lie in the west, close to the Pacific Coast.
By far the most reputed region is the Willamette Valley, which is further subdivided into six smaller appellations: Chehalem Mountains, Dundee Hills, Eola-Amity Hills, McMinnville, Ribbon Ridge and Yamhill-Carlton.
The Valley’s obvious success story is with Pinot Noir, which here takes on a personality that could be described in general terms as somewhere in between the wines of California and Burgundy—and is often more affordable than either one. The best Willamette Pinot noir has a rare combination of red and black fruit, elegant balance, high acidity and rustic earth. While completely enjoyable in their youth, some of the better, single vineyard or appellation-specific Pinot noirs can often benefit from some cellar time.
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 Rhône Blends of the south, 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.”