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In the wine world, Rhône varietals are becoming increasing popular, as American wine drinkers search for something new to add to cellars already overflowing with Chardonnay, Cabernets, and Pinot Noir.
As it turns out, Colorado, where the soil is more alkaline than in California (and, thus, more like Europe), is a great place to produce Rhône-style wines, especially the robust, red Syrah (which also sometimes goes by the name Shiraz). This is typically a muscular wine, not for the timid, but one that pairs exceptionally well with red meat, spicy pizza, and ribs.
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For a taste of some of the state’s top Syrah, try one of these:
Garfield Estates 2007 Syrah: This traditional Rhône-style Syrah is intensely rich and spicy. (Average retail: $16.99)
Creekside Cellars 2007 Syrah: Another full-bodied, smoky Syrah; this one is delicious with chunks of Stilton. ($25)
Sutcliffe Vineyards 2007 Syrah: A full wine with hints of cocoa from one of the state’s best producers. ($30)