We enjoyed a bottle of the Three Rivers Winery 2005 Columbia Valley Syrah over a tasty dinner with friends. This Washington Syrah, crafted in Walla Walla from Columbia Valley vines,  is a deep blackberry color with a subtle blackberry nose. Black plum, herb, tobacco  and a hint of strawberry flirt with the nose as you swirl the wine in your glass. The bold fruit commonly associated with newer Washington Syrah wines are shifting on this wine as it matures. The blackberry flavors are soft and meld with currant and plum followed by herb, bitter chocolate and earth. It is a wine that evolves in the glass. Don’t rush this wine or you will miss the evolution of flavors as it breathes. The finish on this Syrah still has some grip and lingers for a long time.

syrah The moderate tannins in this Three Rivers Winery Syrah were a nice match for the dolmades that we enjoyed with dinner. These vegetarian dolmades were redolent with creamy butter and the earthiness of the grape leaves made for an intriguing pairing. One doesn’t normally think syrah when it comes to pairing with salmon but this wasn’t bad. The salmon was baked with dill and fennel. Although this particular Washington Syrah doesn’t have a lot of licorice in its flavor profile, the anise in the salmon was a great bridge ingredient, along with the moderate tannins, to make the pairing work.

The Three Rivers Winery of Walla Walla 2005 Syrah is a pleasing wine to enjoy with food or to sip with friends.