CS: February 2020

Non-Bordeaux Big Reds

Columbia Gorge and Southern Oregon AVAs show their might with these fruit-forward wines from the regions’ sunny slopes and talent-filled cellars.

Quady North 2015 Mae’s Vineyard Flagship Syrah, Applegate Valley

Complex and aromatic with layers of oregano, milk chocolate, blue and blackberry, clove and cola. On the palate, these aromas present across a silky texture as red cherry vanilla cola, cloved orange and sweet prune. A citrus vein lifts and balances. $65; 51 cases

Wy’East Vineyards 2017 Chukar Ridge Syrah, Columbia Valley

A sweet touch on the nose with mint, strawberry jam, cola and caramel. Aromas reappear on the palate joined by cherry, supportive oaky tannins and a lengthy finish. Dark bitter chocolate unites the tasting experience. $32; 150 cases

Stave & Stone Wine Estates 2017 Syrah, Columbia Gorge

A delightful nose of cinnamon candy, cherry, blueberry, mint and Twizzlers. The jammy berry mix continues with flavors of dried cherry, sour dried cranberry, plum and a cocoa powder finish. $44; 78 cases

Guzzo Family Vineyard 2017 Syrah, Rogue Valley

Dark and spicy throughout with blue and purple fruits — plum and blueberry — warm, sharp black pepper, sweet vanilla and drying black tea tannins. $24; 35 cases

Hood Crest Winery 2015 Sangiovese, Columbia Valley

Warm, savory notes define throughout with aged wood, roasted walnut, dark chocolate, spicy clove, sweet-smoky roasted tomato and caramel toffee coffee. $68; 185 cases

Eola Hills Wine Cellars 2015 Tempranillo, Oregon

A blend of orange fig spread and warm cinnamon spice is lifted with tart, ripe pie cherry aromas. Dried fig reappears on the palate with sweet vanilla, smoky oak and a bright citrus-flavored acidity. $25; 312 cases

Melrose Vineyards 2015 Tempranillo, Umpqua Valley

A mix of warm winter smells — think of a wooden spice box filled with clove, sweet dark caramel, red licorice and mulled wine seasoning. Red fruit presents on the palate when sour cherry meets spicy clove. Chalky textured with a tangerine lift on the finish. $28; 400 cases

Hood Crest Winery 2017 Petite Sirah, Columbia Valley

Aromas layer with briary berries, spices, sarsaparilla and light caramel with a savory dash of brine and a menthol coolness. Tart raspberry and toffee flavors combine with other bramble fruits on a base of black tea tannins and finishing with spicy whole cardamom. $42; 128 cases

Quady North 2016 Sur Mer Mourvèdre, Rogue Valley

Savory with homey smells of coffee, cocoa powder and sourdough, plus light wisp of cherry. The cherry becomes more condensed on the palate and marries well with orange-spice black tea and pipe tobacco. $29; 94 cases

The Pines 2017 Big Red, Columbia Valley

This blend of 44% Merlot, 24% Zinfandel, 17% Cab Sauv and 14% Syrah results in a flavor combo of blackberry, plum, dried cranberry and strawberry. Fruit-forward on the palate as raspberry and black cherry layer with white pepper and a fresh herbaceousness. $22; 1,400 cases

Stave & Stone Wine Estates 2017 Quiver Red Blend, Columbia Gorge

A fun blend that hits many palate points. Hatch chile, strawberry jam and white pepper on the nose hold true to the palate. Well-balanced and zingy with flavors of strawberry, green pepper, mandarin, tangerine zest and spicy white pepper. $50; 252 cases



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