Syrah Challenge Mid-Year Check In

Washington Syrah Challenge Mid-Year Check In

It’s time to conduct a Washington Syrah challenge mid-year check in! Perhaps this will offer inspiration if you’re wondering which Syrahs to explore in the remaining months of the challenge. If not, it will serve as a reminder for me, since it’s already a struggle to recall some of my choices earlier this year!

Two Syrahs from Boushey

Pro Tip:
Interested in wines with a little age? I hear that the Waters /Tero Estates tasting room at SoDo Urban Works in Seattle has offered tastings of older vintages in order to sell through their inventory as they aim to close up. An ’04 vintage from the Waters lineup we recently opened at home was still quite lively, so it seems worth a visit to see what they’ve got!


Kevin White Winery
2017 En Hommage Syrah
Yakima Valley
$32 at the winery

Kevin’s wines are always quaffable, food friendly, and a terrific value. Although the winery has moved on from the 2017 vintage, I have always found the quality to be consistent. Try this if you like Syrah with a little spice to it.


Devison Vintners
2018 Above the Flood (sample)
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre blend – yes, blends are fair game in the challenge!
Boushey Vineyard

Try this if: you’re looking for small lot, exceptional wine from a talented winemaker.
Peter Devison’s techniques include native fermentation and minimal exposure to oxygen. The wines he crafts are built to last, so current releases benefit from some time in a decanter.


2018 Syrah
$13.99 at Esquin, a VinoSocial client (regularly $21.99)

A second label for Isenhower Cellars, this fruit forward wine is fitting for a weeknight dinner of takeout barbecue.
Try this if: you’re looking for a value wine for the Washington Syrah Challenge.

Nathan Gray
2017 Syrah
$16.99 at Esquin

Single vineyard Syrah from Den Hoed Wine Estates crafted by Ryan Crane of Kerloo Cellars – for less than $20? Huzzah! It needed a good decant to open up then revealed astounding refinement.
Try this if: you’re looking for a wine that drinks well above its price point.


Gramercy Cellars
2010 Syrah Gramercy Estate
Walla Walla Valley

Proper Wines
2018 Estate Syrah
Walla Walla Valley

We uncorked these two remarkable selections from Walla Walla in order to celebrate Walla Walla Valley Wine Month. If you are a fan of Syrah, Walla Walla bottlings are essential sipping.


Damsel Cellars
2018 Syrah (sample)
Boushey Vineyard
Winemaker: Mari Womack

Two Vintners
2018 The Waiting List Syrah (sample)
Boushey Vineyard
Winemaker: Morgan Lee

Read all about these fantastic wines in my full post about two Syrahs from Boushey Vineyard.


Cairdeas Winery
2020 Rosé
50% Syrah, 50% Grenache Noir
Yakima Valley
Cairdeas is rapidly growing in popularity, and this wine is now sold out. In fact, I joined the Wine Club in order to ensure we can get our hands on the wines!

June was also filled with exceptional finds as I sampled a number of wines on a recent business trip through Washington wine country. Of course, I had to purchase these favorites in order to enjoy them at home. Add the following to your list of must-try wines!

By the way, these selections below hail from sensational boutique operations owned and operated by husband and wife teams.

Devison Vintners
Beneath the Stones
2018 Stoney Vine Vineyard Syrah
Walla Walla Valley
$49 at the winery

This winery (also  noted above) owned and operated by Peter and Kelsey Devison recently began offering tastings in a cellar shared with Rasa Vineyards in the Southside of Walla Walla. The wines are superb!

2020 Syrah Rosé
Red Mountain
$20 at Hightower Cellars

On deck for this summer is the Murray Rosé of Syrah. Tim and Kelly Hightower have a beautiful estate vineyard on Red Mountain well worth a visit, and the wines are equally as lovely.

Purple Star
2015 Syrah
Columbia Valley

I have long been a fan of this delectable wine. In fact, I used to stock it at a shop I worked at way back when I was a wine buyer. At $20 a bottle, it’s a terrific value and the perfect way to elevate a weeknight meal.

Learn more about the Washington Syrah challenge via Washington Wine Report. Even if you haven’t committed to the challenge for the year, uncork a Washington State syrah and share it on social media!