WALLA WALLA VALLEY ($36)
Conor McCluskey and David Houle, two entrepreneurs from Colorado, planted their winemaking dreams in Walla Walla when they bought an old cherry orchard near Christophe Baron’s Cayuse Vineyards and replaced the trees with Syrah in 2007. Their backgrounds in marketing and wealth management helped them set up shop; they eventually partnered with three investor friends: Kevin Dibble, Billy Adams and David Kunstle. The “five guys from Colorado” wanted to create earthy, terroir-driven Rhône-style wines without cutting corners, and they have done it, with the help of consulting winemaker Sean Boyd of Walla Walla’s Rotie Cellars. This lovely Syrah from their estate vineyard in The Rocks area, south of Walla Walla, shows a beautiful aromatic combination of smoked meat, lush fruit, orange zest and spice.