Wine Review: Cinder “Foot Stomp” Syrah Snake River Valley Idaho 2014

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Of the many wineries we visited in our recent stay in Idaho, it was Cinder’s wines that really captured my attention, especially this small batch Syrah made using very traditional methods—hand harvested, crushed by bare feet stomping on whole clusters with stem inclusion, co-fermented with 5% Viognier and aged in 40% new oak for 16 months.

Winemaker Melanie Krause aims for grace and elegance picking fruit at a slightly lower brix level (21-22 degrees) than most of her colleagues. The result really does live up to the slogan “poetry in a bottle”.  It helps that 2014 in Idaho was a banner vintage.

A complex nose with good intensity, herbal and mint aromas mingle with dark and red berry flavors against a background of dusty earth and damp leaves. The cranberry-inflected palate features a luscious layer of urbane, polished juice supporting rollicking, lifted acidity that carries through the peppery, medium length finish. Firm but refined tannins. Wonderfully fresh, but with great depth. Think contemporary Côte-Rôtie but with more weight.

The acid numbers seem standard for Syrah (6.9 g/L, PH 3.77) but the perceived acidity pops, which is what happens when you pick a little early.

The “Foot Stomp” Syrah exudes graceful warmth and soothing sophistication but with some tension playing about the edges as exemplified by Eliane Elias’s version of Ravel’s Sonatine: Anime.

Score: 92

Price: n/a

Alc: 14.5%

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