“Syrah is one of my favorite wines to make and to drink. It can be grown in many climates, expressing a wide range of flavors over those different climates. Here in the Snake River Valley we get rich, savory Syrahs with great depth of character and smooth, even structure and tannin profiles. All of these characteristics layer in together to make a wine that continues to intrigue as the flavors evolve on your palate and over the course of the evening.”

—Melanie Krause, Winemaker

The Vintage

The 2014 vintage in the Snake River Valley was strong for both red and white wines.  From the perspective of the winemaker, it was about as close to a perfect year as you can get!  There were plenty of warm days in mid-summer to ripen the grapes, but also a long, cool fall allowed for flavors to develop ahead of sugars. The growing season presented close to long-term averages with budbreak in mid-April, gradual warming in May and June, hot temperatures (90’s) in July and August, then cooling off to the 70’s and 80’s for September and October.

Tasting Notes

Our signature expression of the Syrah grape displays balance between jammy, ripe fruit flavors and savory aromas of sausage, spice and coffee. The flavors are intense on the mid-palate and the finish is smooth and long. This wine is all mystery and curves, with an emphasis on aroma and silky texture. Expected to drink best from 2020-2025.

Production Notes

Hand harvested. Fermented in 1 ton bins with 4 punch-downs per day. 5% Viognier co-fermented with the Syrah. 10% of batches foot-stomped with stems and fermented with native yeast. Grapes are pressed after an average 7 days skin contact. Malolactic fermentation in barrel. 16 months of barrel aging in 30% new barrels, 30% 2nd and 3rd use barrels, 40% old barrels. Bottled in February.

The Vineyards

Sawtooth Vineyard, located above the Snake River, south of Nampa, contributes 47%. Volcanic cinders intermixed with sandy-loam soil on steep south-facing slopes make this a great location for producing intense Syrah fruit. Rich texture and concentrated flavors make this wine a great base for the Cinder Syrah. Skyline Vineyard, located just south of the Sawtooth Vineyard, on rolling hills with silty-loam soils provides 38% of the grapes and adds wonderful fruity aromas to the Cinder blend. Williamson Vineyard, located on the Sunny Slope south of Caldwell, contributes 15% of the grapes. Chalky, sandy soils produce Syrah with big tannins and provide the backbone to the Cinder blend.

Pairing Suggestions

The Syrah pairs well with a wide variety of strongly flavored meats, particularly game meats like elk, buffalo, and lamb. Elevated dishes like espresso-rubbed kobe beef or pork chops with fruit chutney or hoisin play up the sweet and savory contrast of this wine. Try it with your favorite dark chocolate desserts for the ultimate in decadence.


90 Points – Wine Enthusiast  (’12, ’13)