Appellation: Lewis-Clark Valley
A number of the Pacific Northwest’s top wineries feature a husband growing the grapes for a winemaking wife, and such is the case with Mike Pearson and Melissa Sanborn of Colter’s Creek in the tiny town of Juliaetta, Idaho. Pearson established these vines in Arrow Junction Vineyard, a Syrah-centric section planted in 2015 near the banks of the Clearwater River. So this is third-leaf fruit picked on Oct. 8, and it’s a stunning example of cool-climate Syrah. Sanborn, a graduate of Washington State University, makes it easy to get into, offering a lighter style with Marionberry, blackcurrant, cocoa powder and a bit of crunchiness. A pinch of baking spices adds elegance to the medium structure that’s balanced by juiciness. She made two estate-grown Syrahs from the 2017 vintage, and both earned a gold medal at the 2019 Idaho Wine Competition. They each also went on to earn a 2019 Platinum from Wine Press Northwest.
Rated “Platinum” by Wine Press Northwest magazine. (14% alc.)
Cases produced: 450
Food pairings: Enjoy with lamb tacos, burgers, beef short ribs or Snake River Farms Kurobuta Pork Tenderloin, all of which are served at their original tasting room in downtown Juliaetta.
Colter’s Creek operates two tasting rooms 35 minutes apart:
308 Main St., Juliaetta, ID 83535
The historic Hattabaugh Building
215 S. Main St., Moscow, ID 83843
Great Northwest Wine