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Reininger 2002 Syrah Walla Walla Valley


What I Drank With Dinner (WIDWD)

Although the weather in Seattle these last few days suggested Fall had already arrived, it wasn't until today that the season officially started. It didn't take an equinox to get me in the mood for heartier food and wines, for the cold and rainy weekend weather had already prepared us for some Fall meals.

So it was fitting on this official start of Fall that Kari prepared a rich dish of Italian sausage and tomatoes on top of a bowl of soft polenta. Along with the main course, Kari made a fennel and Honey Crisp apple salad tossed in a light oil and vinegar dressing. I selected a bottle from the cellar that would match the food, weather and mood: a Reininger 2002 Syrah Walla Walla Valley.

This wine, which my father-in-law, Pappa Rosso, gave to me, was the perfect match to the meal and weather this evening. On the eyes, this Walla Walla Valley syrah was a deep, rich and dark red. On the nose, it offered hints of earth and black fruit. On the palate, the tannins offered a silky texture, with some faint notes of black fruit, smoke, and spice. Even though the bottle stated it was 13.5% alcohol, it had a bit of heat on the finish.

I really enjoyed this syrah, especially because it was comprised of Walla Walla Valley fruit, which is one of my favorite areas for this variety. This Reininger 100% syrah bottling sourced its fruit from the Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills, Patina, and Ash Hollow vineyards in the valley. That's not to say some good fruit comes out of other AVAs. Rather, I find a distinctive character to Walla Walla fruit with syrah and cab that is unique to this region.

This wine brought back memories of the enjoyable visit I had at the Reininger Winery last year in Walla Walla. I can't wait to taste this wine tomorrow night to see how it has evolved in the bottle. What a terrific way to start the Fall season with this Walla Walla Valley wine.

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