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WBW#30: McCrea 2002 Syrah


When the theme for Wine Blogging Wednesday (WBW) 30 was announced I was very happyTim’s pick for this month was New World Syrah/Shiraz as this grape is know by both names.  New World encompasses quite a large area – South America, Australia, and the U.S.  just to name a few locations. 
We are very lucky here in Washington to have many great Syrahs that come from east of the Cascade Mountains.  So this theme was challenging for me mostly in choosing which great wine I’d like to tell you about.  I decided to make it a bit easier on myself by looking at my wine stash and picking something that I had on hand.  One of the first bottles of Syrah I came across was the 2002 McCrea.  I’ve had this bottle for a couple of years and decided it was just the right pick. 
McCrea is one of my favorite producers and they are well-known for their finely crafted wines.  They specialize in Rhone varietals and generally produce 3 or 4 Syrahs each year.  This one that I’d chosen was the Washington State Syrah with grapes from several vineyards and appellations including Columbia Valley, Red Mountain and Yakima Valley.  It is 100% Syrah. 
This wine is a deep inky, black purple with just the slightest hint of lighter purple at the very edges of the wine in the glass.  The nose is full with the lushness of berries.  On the palate purple fruits are front and center.  There is some plum but the flavor of berries is what grabs you.  The first taste was just a hint of raspberry but that was followed closely by the deeper flavors of boysenberry or marionberry.  The finish was a bit more fleeting than I would have liked – I really wasn’t ready for it to go!  However there was a light lingering before it was totally gone.  There is a bit of spice in this wine but for a Syrah I felt it was rather mellow.  There were also hints of more earthy flavors like leather or tobacco.  This wine is luscious but not overwhelming.  I drank it on its own and with just a few salted nuts and was perfectly happy.  I can also see it complementing food like braised meats, for instance. 
All in all I was very pleased with this bottle of Syrah and look forward to more McCrea wine in the future!
Update: This comes via GrapeRadio – McCrea Ciel du Cheval 2003 was the winner in the "Syrah Shootout", part of the Hospice du Rhone event held each May in Pasa Robles. 
  1. Tim permalink
    07-Feb-2007 8:04 am

    Thanks for posting the first Washington Syrah, Brenda! Sounds like a nice one.Cheers,–Tim ElliottWinecast

  2. Culinary permalink
    07-Feb-2007 10:10 am

    In my opinion there should be lots more of them on the list!! ;-)

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