Southern Washington state has become a hotbed for hi-ranking Syrah, and–in a slight twist–this here is from the Columbia Valley, but the small portion in Oregon. And oh boy is it gorgeous. Impenetrable black-purple right out to the rim, ridiculous density churning out of the glass, filling the nose with heady floral, dark bitter, angry fruit, a little petrol-exhaust smokiness, so complicated and concentrated it defies reason in its thick beauty–not much stemmy briar–all perfect berry compote, grainy ripe-citrus minerality and enough petrichor and fermented funk poking through to land it firmly on classical stance. Hi-note candy on initial pour, it quickly settles down into a kind of Syrah elixir somewhat leaving you speechless. Decanted heavily.
I’m four or five sips into this thing and everything is still reeling. The steely perfection the middle introduces to the dark fruit entry creates a body NO ONE can hate. Sweet and acidic, concentratedly delicate while just POUNDING OUT every mantra the variety demands, its warm gushes of generosity pull back right before cloying or hot–everything brightly dancing in brain-cell-demanding ways: the briar dark and polished; the floss-requiring density glossing every berry in the farmer’s market; the tannin am iron-fisted hug from behind–fondling your nipples and licking your nape.
At 5, this thing is sitting absolutely DEAD-STILL. No brick, no tertiary, no white flag of acceptance, no fashion-show beg for votes. The kind of grit and grain this wine displays alongside LUSH, STUPENDOUS beauty is–again–nearly impossible to put into words. Syrah perfection right here boys & girls. I know you’ve never heard of this before, but it checks all the boxes.
2015 HUETT Syrah McDuffee Vyd Columbia Valley Oregon 14.9