Home > ModGood, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > 2006 Hells Canyon Winery, Deer Slayer Syrah

2006 Hells Canyon Winery, Deer Slayer Syrah


Steve Robertson, Image from Hells Canyon Winery

Steve Robertson is the owner of Hells Canyon Winery. With a background at the Culinary Institute of America and as a restrauteur he was out looking for pheasant. He aims to produce wines that reflect the geography of Treasure Valley and to also go with food. He produces some 3,000 cases of wine.  His Chardonnay was featured in an 1985 Decanter magazine article!

Vineyard, Image by Cornbread, Beans, & Coffee (flickr)

The vineyards were planted in 1981 which makes them the oldest in Idaho. They lie at 2,700 feet. The mountainous climate is moderated by marine air coming in from the Columbia and Snake rivers. The soils are volcanic. The grapes are harvested in September and fermented in small oak barrels.

Barrels and Cases at Hells Canyon Winery, Image by Cornbread, Beans, & Coffee, (flickr)

This wine was $20 at Whole Foods in Seattle.  It is great fun for the price.

The photograph shows great-grandfather Varner on a hunting expedition during October 1936.

2006 Hells Canyon Winery, Deer Slayer Syrah
The grapes come from the Falcon Falls Vineyard.  There were 448 cases produced of this wine.  Dark and rich, with a dense profile of dusty red fruit and tannins. Over several hours the wine barely budged in development. A bit of heat and acidity in the finish as the flavors turn towards blue fruits. This is a wine that Buffy would drink.  Or for those of us that are mortal, drink this with robust game or at night by the campfire.  ** Now-2017.

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