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2007 Basel Cellars Syrah Pheasant Run Vineyard Walla Walla Valley
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91(+?) Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - November/December 2010

($28; the label says 14.92% alcohol) Bright, full ruby-red. Dark berries and chocolatey oak on the nose; dustier and less expressive today than the basic 2007 syrah bottling, and a bit reduced. Then more intensely flavored but rather imploded on the palate, with serious concentration and structure and noteworthy inner-mouth energy. Ultimately displays a nicely restrained sweetness balanced by a firm spine of acids and suave, dusty tannins, and the length and energy to reward at least a few years of cellaring.

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While the grape is currently grown throughout the world, the most elegant Syrahs still come from the Northern Rhone valley, particularly the appellations of Côte Rôtie, Cornas, and Hermitage. Here, steep, terraced vineyards help produce full-bodied, intense, tannic wines loaded with white pepper and red fruit. In the vineyard, Syrah is largely cooperative- vines are productive, but not overly vigorous. Skins are thick, helping the grape...
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