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American Syrah: 30 top buys

There’s a common perception of Syrah produced in the US – too much oak, too much alcohol – that is increasingly outdated as a dedicated band of winemakers put their faith in the Rhône variety and work to bring it out of the shadows.

Syrah in the US remains an enigma. Cult brands that emerged during the 1990s – Sine Qua Non on the Central Coast or Cayuse Vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley – are among the country’s iconic and most expensive wines.

But by and large, Syrah is still the perennial underdog of American wine. ‘There’s this assumption that Syrah [in America] is just this goopy, overly alcoholic, overoaked and overextracted wine,’ explains Jeff Lindsay-Thorsen, the winemaker-sommelier who produces WT Vintners’ Syrah from vineyards in Washington and Oregon.

The benchmark for Syrah is still encapsulated in the northern Rhône ideal. But to critics who claim that Syrah’s otherworldliness, its haunting florality and sanguine, sauvage complexities, can’t be found outside France, America’s Syrah growers have a firm response…

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 30 of the best Syrahs from across the US

See notes and scores for 30 of the best American Syrahs

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