The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2012

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Page 101 of 140

Idaho, A ON THE ROAD The New Discovery WHY WINEMAKERS ARE FLOCKING TO THIS ONCE-FORGOTTEN REGION story and photos by Fred Minnick s I walk through the acres of vineyards of Snake River Valley, Idaho, speckles of dust creep up on my newly polished shoes. For a minute, I look at my shoes and wonder where the heck I am. Is this Mendoza, Argentina, where the irrigated sandy soils feed countless rows of Malbec? No, it can't be South America. The fruit on the vines don't match. Instead of Malbec, I spy Syrah for as far as the eye can see. I taste a juicy grape, not quite ready for harvest—the seeds are still stuck together—and ques- tion whether I've beamed over to the Rhône Valley. The Syrah's sugar concentrations and balance make a French argument for my standing in this vineyard of Syrah, but it's not France. In May of 2012, Ste. Chapelle was purchased by Precept Wine; Precept also has the largest vineyard holdings in Idaho. november 2012 / the tasting panel / 101

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