The Saint Laurent 2006 Syrah from Saint Laurent Estate Winery, in Malaga, WA, was a beautiful dark, slightly inky red, clear, and consistent in color.  Lifting out of the glass were berries, bright berries not jammy berries, with hints of earthy spice.  The fruit continued on the palate, joined by a bit more spice and a touch of butter that lingered slightly.    This Washington Syrah is described as bright, and it fits that descriptor, providing plenty of acid to match with food.

I took the opportunity to experiment with the power of sauces and flavorings.  On our dinner table that evening were two pork tenderloins.  Pork is not necessarily a food one thinks of when pairing with a Syrah.  So can the method of preparation bring pork and syrah closer together?   One tenderloin was prepared with savory herbs and garlic, and the other with a cherry reduction sauce.  The tenderloin with the fruit sauce was the winner.  From what I have learned through reading, talking with others, and extrapolating from my pairing experience thus far, this was not a surprise.  The savory herbs clashed with the Syrah and the fruit sauce harmonized.  What is so great about taking chances and be willing to taste food you suspect will pair well with a wine and food you suspect will not is the very visceral learning left behind.  Long after I have forgotten what I have read, I will remember what I experienced tasting the two tenderloins – experiencing the match and the mismatch with the Saint Laurent Syrah.

The verdict from an out of town guest was that this Syrah was his favorite of all the Saint Laurent wines we tasted and paired that evening.  For his palate, this wine matched with more of the food present than any of the other wines.  He claimed the last pour out of the bottle and made no apologies.  The Saint Laurent 2006 Syrah retails for $22.

Want to try before you buy? Have a sip at Taste Washington this weekend.
Note: We received this bottle as a sample from Saint Laurent Estate Winery