Wine Review: Cowhorn Syrah 21 Applegate Valley 2013

Cowhorn_2013-Syrah-21-1I’ve been tasting lots of biodynamic wines lately and I’m beginning to think they tend to share a common flavor profile—fresh bright fruit and a stony or chalky minerality that is especially apparent on the finish. Cowhorn is Southern Oregon’s only biodynamic winery to date and their wines have that distinctive mineral profile.

On the palate the minerality appears in phases of fluent transitions, a hint of it at inception as the juicy berry fruit dominates, then a dazzling surge at midpalate, and as the fruit fades on the finish it’s like licking a stone. Full bodied yet elegant, the refined tannins are supportive rather than commanding with the finish propelled by acidity and minerality.

Ardent aromas of blackberry and red raspberry mingle with black pepper and a lovely duet of smoked meat and eucalyptus that marry nicely on the nose.

A beautiful wine, and when have you seen a U.S. Syrah at 13.3% alcohol?

The number 21 refers to the frost hours during the growing season, a convention they display on many of their wines indicating the degree of ripeness one might expect. 21 is a reasonably low number for this region.

Score: 91

Price: $45

Alc: 13.4%

Energetic, brassy when that minerality hits, even a little fierce, like Trombone Shorty’s Fire on the Bayou, especially when that “bone” sings:


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