CS: February 2022

Smooth talkers: Velvety reds spark luscious conversation

Coventina Vineyards 2016 Tempranillo Reserve, Rogue Valley

Layered and interesting — a conversation wine. The nose reveals plum, concentrated tamarind, fresh green bay leaf and leafy dill. Rich on the palate with dark cherry, lots of blackberry, leather, dill and soft. mouth-pleasing texture. $45

Peter William Vineyard 2018 Lot W Syrah, Rogue Valley

Dark and concentrated with black raspberry, black cherry, fresh pine needle, candied jalapeño and the savory sweetness of a meat glaze. The fruit further marries on the palate, joined by deli-style smoky spice. Soft tannins coat the palate, and acid offers an uplift on the finish of this rich Syrah. $27

North by Northwest 2017 Syrah, Walla Walla Valley

If the nose could predict texture this wine would be powdery, soft velvet. Buttery graham cracker crust, cherry, and the light, toasted almond sweetness of macarons make an inviting nose. Orange oil and bright cherry carry over an extended — wait for it — velvety, soft finish. $19

StoneRiver Vineyards 2017 Syrah, Rogue Valley

Hello, darkness, my old friend. Sticky black licorice, star anise and cocoa mark the aroma profile with a lift from delicate florals and a grapefruit-scented wisp. The aromas repeat on the palate and plus plum and dark cherry. Cocoa-flavored velvet tannins and bright acid carry across a lengthy finish. $31

Melrose Vineyards 2015 Estate-Grown Syrah, Umpqua Valley

Wistful aromas of cherry cola, cinnamon red hots and root beer make for a stroll down memory lane. Sticky, dark root beer reemerges on the palate with sweet tobacco, powdery cocoa-flavored tannins, and a mouthwatering finish accented with dried fig. $30

Red Hills Cellars 2019 Steelhead Run Vineyard Syrah, Applegate Valley

A complex mix of savory and fruity, the nose boasts bacon fat, umami, pungent green peppercorn and sweet cherry. Dark cherry reappears on the palate with leather, velvety tannins and a spiced orange finish. $40

2Hawk Vineyard 2018 Tempranillo, Rogue Valley

Lifted aromatics of watermelon, pomegranate, white pepper, plum, orange zest and a light toastiness beguile. Loads of tannin but well-balanced with bright, fruity strawberry, fresh plum and slate-like mineral undertones that extend over a cocoa powder-textured finish. $34

Troon Vineyard 2019 White Family Selection Tannat, Applegate Valley

Savory with aromas of culinary thyme, blackberry and woody tree bark. These aromas repeat on the balanced palate with heaps of tannin meeting heaps of acid and ending with an extended blackberry finish. $45


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