Whole Foods: Boom Boom! Washington State Syrah £18
With a name like Boom Boom and the eye-catching label, I couldn’t resist trying this! And for wine geeks in the UK, you’ll probably appreciate that the price is pretty decent for a Washington State wine as we don’t get that much.
Happily, the wine lives up to all the expectation associated with the name, the label and the relative scarcity. It’s one of those lovely full-but-refined crowd-pleasing reds great for a BBQ or an autumnal supper. It’s a great example of a Syrah (another name for – and often a lighter style of – Shiraz) with all those succulent blueberries, jammy blackberries and blackcurrant jelly. I also get a hint of smoke and a slight gaminess, often associated with Syrah and – as it opens up – there’s layers of liquorice, sweet spicy clove and cinnamon and even a bit of coffee.
Unsurprisingly given the funky label, the guru behind this wine, Charles Smith, is a real character of the wine world. After managing rock bands, he ended up indulging his hobby and making wines in Walla Walla – one of Washington State’s main wine regions. Washington State itself is the second largest wine producing area of the US, after California. It’s a lot further north but benefits from a very dry, continental-type climate which is a great environment to grow grapes: hot summers for ripeness and warm dry autumns for stress-free harvests. Cold winters, when the vines are dormant, aren’t usually too harsh and can have a purifying effect on the soil. The cool nights help to keep the acidity levels up – you’ll notice this wine is mouth-wateringly fresh despite its juicy fruit.
At a glance
- Style? Medium to full bodied red wine
- Where is it from? Washington State, US
- What’s the grape? Syrah
- Tastes of? Blueberries, smoke, liquorice
- What food would complement it? A full flavoured tomato based grain or pasta dish – we had it with Puy Lentils & Aubergine Casserole
Other Syrah/Shirz to try
Uncorked: Johann Michel Grains Noir currently £20.95: Add this to your Christmas list! This is seriously impressive Syrah from its spiritual home in North Rhone (south east France).
Waitrose: Reserve Shiraz, St Hallett currently £11.99: One of my go-to Shiraz – this lovely brambly, spice and vanilla never fails to disappoint if you are in need of a bold wine!