Winemaker Rich Olsen-Harbich did some things differently during his first crush at Bedell Cellars in 2010. He brought his ambient yeast fermentations, of course, but he also made a couple blends by co-fermenting the grapes together — making his blending decisions from the outset.

Bedell Cellars 2010 Syrah ($50) is one of those wines, made with 90% syrah and 10% viognier in the model of the Northern Rhone.

That squirt of viognier is most apparently on a pretty, effusive nose that shows melon and honeysuckle aromas layered over fresh red berries, plums and a combination of earthy cumin and coriander. The distinct black pepper aromas found in most local syrah are but a mere shadow here — there, but lurking in the background.

Earthy and savory, the somewhat juicy, medium-bodied palate delivers crunchy red fruit — think red cherry and cranberry — with a bit more pepper showing next to subtle floral qualities. The medium-length finish shows more of that earthy-spicy combination.

I find myself wanting perhaps a bit more struture, but there is enough acidity to frame the flavors and keep it all together.

Producer: Bedell Cellars
AVA: North Fork of Long Island
ABV: 13%
Cases: 150
Price: $50*