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Abeja 2009 Syrah


In 2009, an early frost brought harvest to a halt, but a warmer growing season meant the fruit was already in the door at the perfect level of ripeness. The fertile soils of the east side of the Walla Walla appellation at 1,300 feet give our Syrah some very unique flavors. The relatively cooler climate contributes to the balance and finesse of the wine. Our Syrah, year in and year out, gravitates more towards the earthen, brown spice and minerality than the bright, hyper-fruity style of Syrah. This is classic Mill Creek Vineyard Syrah, initially filled with earthy, dark fruit – mulberries and wild black raspberries. Next you may find lavender and white pepper and then violets and a hint of pencil lead. I also really enjoy a hint of iodine, and dried strawflowers on the nose. The minerality carries through to the mouth, where some smoked meat characters meld in as well. This progression is what makes Syrah so fun and interesting.

I like this Syrah for the same reason I like Pinot Noir – it really tastes like the varietal. I haven’t always been a fan of Syrah but I am finally understanding what true Rhone Heads see in the variety. To fully experience this wine, give it a little after opening it to reveal all it has to offer.

For eats, I would recommend a smoky Bison Burger. A simply prepared duck breast would also be a great match for this Syrah. I also recommend it with homemade pork and beans with some jalapeño corn bread for sopping – yummm.

I am continuing on my album kick with this wave of releases. I highly recommend Stevie Wonder’s double album Song in the Key of Life. In a very different vain, but also an album that can handle the intensity of the 2009 Syrah is Queen’s A Night at the Opera. This is no little silhouette of a wine and take caution or you may be doing the fandango!
John Abbott—Winemaker

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  • Model: 4016
  • Produced by: ABEJA

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