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StoneCap Syrah 2012

Syrah/Shiraz from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE89
13.5% ABV
  • WS88
  • WE88
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The wine has a rich full-bodied flavor profile highlighted by dark berry and plum that blends with hints of tobacco and roasted coffee bean. A pleasant smoky note from some medium toasted oak is also noticeable on the nose and makes this wine the perfect companion to grilled meats, game bird, and heavy cheeses.

83% Syrah, 11.5% Merlot, 5.5% Mourvedre

Critical Acclaim

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WE 89
Wine Enthusiast
Direct and easy drinking, this is full of ripe blueberry aromas and flavors, framed by hints of toast and a dusting of cinnamon.
Best Buy
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StoneCap

StoneCap

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StoneCap, Columbia Valley, Washington
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StoneCap wines are handcrafted entirely from estate grown grapes from the renowned Goose Ridge Estate Vineyard in Washington's Columbia Valley. This expansive and highly regarded vineyard allows the Monson Family to produce stunning quality wines that are sensibly priced.

Washington State's famed Columbia Valley produces extraordinary grapes in large part due to the area's great soils—the result of massive flooding during the last Ice Age. Light and porous, these soils are frequently wind-blown, and the windy tops of the many high hills and ridgelines of the region are typically devoid of soil leaving a "stonecap" of rocks behind.

The Monson family has been farming the Columbia Valley for over four decades and developed Goose Ridge Vineyard in 1999 under the guidance of Dr. Walter Clore, the "father" of the Washington wine industry. The Monsons, along with veteran winemaker Kendall Mix, are dedicated to limited production, handcrafted wine and meticulous vineyard practices.

Columbia Valley

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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.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable deep purple hue and savory aromatics, Syrah accounts for a good deal of some of the most intense, powerful and age-worthy reds in the world. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah still achieves some of its maximum potential here, especially from Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie.

Syrah also plays an important component in the canonical Southern Rhône blends based on Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre, adding color, depth, complexity and structure to the mix. Today these blends have become well-appreciated from key appellations of the New World, namely Australia, California and increasingly, with praise, from Washington.

In the Glass

Syrah typically shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper and even bacon, smoke or black olive. In Australia, where it goes under the name Shiraz, it produces deep, dark, intense and often, jammy reds. While Northern Rhône examples are typically less fruity and more earthy, California appears increasingly capable of either style.

Perfect Pairings

Flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb, grilled meats, spareribs and hard, aged cheeses are perfect with Syrah. Blue cheeses are perfect with a dense and fruit-driven Australian Shiraz.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” winemakers throughout the world have adopted this synonym for Syrah when they have produced a plush and fruit forward wine made in the Australian style. As an aside, Australians are also fond of tempering their fruit-forward Shiraz by blending with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds depth and structure.

RPT99447396_2012 Item# 128486