Que Syrah, Syrah 

Syrah, syrah, syrah.

Kelsey Hawes

Syrah, syrah, syrah.

Because it typically produces full-bodied wines, Syrah is tailor- made for pairing with meat dishes, and it is just the thing as we move into colder weather. Syrah, which originated in France, arguably achieves its purest expression in the northern Rhone, but it has also found a vibrant home in the Northwest, especially in Washington leading the way. Here are the panel's top three:

2016 Domaine de Gouye Gabouillon Syrah, $18.99

This sustainably farmed northern Rhone estate has produced an exceptional syrah at an attractive price. Black pepper, spicy herb, dark berry and an elusive umami component mark the nose. The flavors follow suit, blending dense blackberry, pepper and spice with light touches of smoked meat and soy. This is approachable for such a young red.

2013 Gramercy Cellars Lower East Syrah, $30

This is the entry level syrah for this decade-old Walla Walla, Washington-based winery founded by Master Sommelier Greg Harrington and his wife Pam. There's an earthy component to herb laced blueberry and cherry aromas, while spicy fruit flavors are plush and ripe. This syrah is impeccably balanced and delivers a bit of smoked meat and green olive on its silky finish.

2014 Trust Syrah, Walla Walla, $31

This is a quintessential meaty, big and bouncy Washington syrah made in a bolder style than the Gramercy. Powerful dark cherry aromas pour from the glass and are backed by mocha and spice. The flavors are equally rich with creamy red fruits and chocolate caressing the palate. A paper-thin slice of salty jamon provided the perfect counterpoint to this opulent syrah.

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