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Monday, July 12, 2010

Hogue Cellars Terroir 2005 Syrah Fries Vineyard, Columbia Valley

This fine wine was the hit of our Friday night tasting. The Terroir label is only sold at the Hogue Cellars tasting room, and so I was very fortunate to receive a bottle from Co Dinn, Hogue's director of winemaking, while in Washington for the North American Wine Bloggers Conference. Hogue Cellars is located in Eastern Washington's Columbia Valley and was founded in 1982.

Like many wineries in Washington, Hogue has made the move to screw tops. This completely eliminates the possibility of cork taint and is environmentally desireable as well. The technology has improved to the point where the screwcaps allow the wine to breathe and age much better than a cork. All Hogue wines, with the exception of their premier Genesis line, use screwcaps. I'm sure that change will be made once the public fully understands the benefits of the closure change.

So, there was no wrangling with a corkscrew with this bottle. We decanted it for about an hour. The color was a beautiful purple hue, similar to robes I imagine royalty wore back in Biblical times. This wine also has the distinction of being the last wine to be served from my decanter. Green Dragon had an "incident" while washing it. (No worries, a replacement has already been purchased.)

We started the evening with a very nice Trapiche Broquel Malbec (see our Facebook page for Glorious T's brief review). Glorious T loves pepper and smokiness. She is the only member of the tasting team who can immediately identify a half dozen different varieties of pepper tastes. Her husband, Spiderman, is not a big pepperati. While the  Traipiche finished with a pepper flourish, the Terroir Syrah was supple and smooth.

The Terroir was probably aided by being born out of the almost universally acclaimed 2005 vintage. The wine opened with some brushstrokes of tobacco and herbs before settling in for smooth gliding raspberry and berry flavor. The finish was remarkably smooth, having more fireworks up front than in the end. This is a medium bodied wine that seems to be an eloquent expression of what Syrah should be.

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1 comment:

Glorious T said...

Great article! Love the colorful descriptions! Sorry to hear about the Green Dragon "incident".