Who likes a cool-climate Syrah? *Raises hand.* Syrah is one of the varieties that my partner in wine crime and I don’t agree on—meaning, he always wants it and I’m way picky about it. It was when I was working on an article for Edible Silicon Valley, discovering the Rhne wines of the South Bay (read: Where We Rhône: Wine Trends In Silicon Valley) that I discovered the broad range of styles that can come from the Syrah grape. And it was during an interview with renowned winemaker Ross Cobb that it dawned on me that I truly gravitate toward the subtle, but undoubtedly structured, Syrahs grown in cooler climates. “We’ve always known that this area (Sonoma Coast) is an outstanding place for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay,” Cobb said. “But I’ve always thought that it’s also an outstanding cool Northern Rhône climate here.” He’s right. (Read more: Technical Review: Anaba Wines).

Well, today I bring to you that experience—that experience of subtlety, finesse, structure, and a small snippet of the Northern Rhône with a taste of Radio-Coteau’s 2014 Las Colinas Sonoma Coast Syrah.

About the Wine: Radio-Coteau 2014 Las Colinas Sonoma Coast Syrah

13.4% ABV

Flavor Profile:

Appearance: True to the coolness of the climate, this Syrah presents a pale ruby color.

Aroma: Initial aromas are pronounced with developing aromas of blackberry and blackberry jam, black plum and plum jam, anise, bramble, black grape, boysenberry, wild strawberry, vanilla, violets, black pepper, cedar wood, a gentle toast/smoke/tar, and a hint of coffee.

Palate: The palate is dry with medium (+) acidity, medium level of tannins, medium alcohol, and medium body. The flavors have a pronounced intensity, mirroring the aromas listed above but enhancing those notes of anise, black pepper, toast/smoke/tar, and reveal additional notes of forest floor, a few floral notes (deep red roses), and a wet stone minerality.

The finish is undeniably long, the tannins melt away, the acidity gently tickles the gums, and lingering flavors of black fruits fill the after-breath.

Conclusion: Based on the WSET criteria, I conclude that this wine is outstanding and has the potential to age even further. I believe with time, those tannins will only become even more integrated, the acidity mellow, and the fruits become more voluptuous and jammy in nature, while those more earthy aromas found in the background here will come to the forefront and show the devilish rusticity Syrah-lovers desire.

Food Pairing: I paired the Radio-Coteau 2014 Las Colinas Sonoma Coast Syrah with a crispy-skin duck breast served on top of a wild rice pilaf and a duck-fat roasted anise heart. Perfect pairing. Full stop.

More Info: I purchased the Radio-Coteau 2014 Las Colinas Sonoma Coast Syrah at a local wine retailer, Sonoma’s Best. Retail Price: $40.

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**Please note: all reviews and opinions are my own and are not associated with any of my places of business. I will always state when a wine has been sent as a sample for review. Sending samples for review on my personal website in no way guarantees coverage in any other media outlet I may be currently associated with.**

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