Thursday, July 9, 2015

Wine of the Week Kiona 2012 Red Mountain Syrah @kionawine


Time for Red Mountain Syrah! 

Many of my recent posts have focused on white and rose' wines. It's been two weeks of triple digit weather in SE Washington, so I have favored chilled wines. I am ready for a break from the heat.

As much as I enjoy chilled white and pink wines in the summer, I still crave red wine, especially once the sun dips near the horizon. One of my favorite varieties is Syrah, Washington Syrah and Red Mountain Syrah. In that order. There's a quality and complexity to Red Mountain wines which titillates and gratifies the senses. This bottle of Kiona Vineyards and Winery 2012 Red Mountain Syrah did not disappoint. A worthwhile Wine of the Week.

Tasting Notes Kiona 2012 Red Mountain Syrah

Color: Bright Garnet.
Nose: Violets, dark notes in background, soft soil, candied.
Palate: Round, blue fruit focused to front, dry on the gums, tingle back of mouth, a little heat on the flavorful light finish.

After 15 minutes: Broad nose, sarsaparilla, dark chocolate, violets, coffee. Medium body, chocolate, blueberries, fine tannin, lavender, tar, focused to mid-palate, pretty finish, lingering dark fruit with twinge of acid. Enjoyable and perfect for burgers.

After 30 minutes: Gorgeous color. Perfumed, violets, lavender, boysenberries , blueberry, dark chocolate, tarred earth. Tastes like a Washington Syrah to me. Big smile.

At an hour: Perfumed and focused, violets and chocolate danced with blueberries, dried sage and tarred coffee across the palate, fine tannin with gentle grip on the tongue and teeth, gingerbread and lavender on the medium-long finish. Yes, not bad. Purple tongue. Recommended.

Day two: Wonderful mouth feel, textured, fine tannin coated the mouth, dark fruit, tar into almost black licorice, fluid dark chocolate quality, lavender and earthy notes with orange into grippy long finish. Big Like. Food not needed. Strongly Recommended.


Thoughts: There's a reason Kiona and Red Mountain are synonymous for premium wine production. This was a lovely wine, especially at the price I paid locally. As tasty as this wine was on day one, it shined on day two. Decant if you drink today or hold for a year or three in your cellar. Kiona again shows their talent for working with Red Mountain fruit. Regular readers know how fond I am for Washington Syrah, this wine put a big smile on my face, purple tongue included. Bravo! You want to drink this wine. Strongly Recommended + Wine of the Week.

State: Washington
AVA: Red Mountain
Vineyards: Emory, Heart of the Hill
Blend: Syrah 95%, Mourvèdre 5%
Closure: Natural Cork
ABV: 14.4%
SRP: $25
Purchased locally

Kiona Vineyards and Winery
44612 N Sunset Rd
Benton City WA 99320

Scott Williams discussing Kiona vineyards on Red Mountain.

About Kiona Vineyards and Winery

In 1975, John Williams planted the first vineyard on Red Mountain, now a designated American Viticultural Area known as the Red Mountain AVA. An AVA known for growing wonderful fruit and producing gorgeous, plush wines. Today Kiona Vineyards and Winery farms over 230 estate-planted acres on Red Mountain.

JJ Williams at Taste Washington 2015.

You will find three generations of Williams working the Kiona Winery and Vineyards, Founder John, his son Scott and grandson JJ Williams. They have created a true legacy and treasure on Red Mountain. A family owned and operated Vineyard and Winery known as Kiona. Stop by the winery tasting room and taste the reason Kiona and Red Mountain are synonymous for premium wine; tell them Wild 4 Washington Wine sent you. Thank me later.


Inspired by New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with Nobilo Wines


Juli, thank you for the inspirational recommendation. Kia Ora!

My New Zealand blogging partner, Juli Crompe of Kiwi Daydreaming, is a fan of Nobilo Wines Sauvignon Blanc. You will always see a case of Nobilo wines in her home. Juli shared about the Nobilo Regional collection, " wine of choice for any season, any day of the week."

It is my pleasure this summer to confirm that Juli is correct. Nobilo makes wonderful New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Both the Nobilo Regional Collection and their Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc will tingle your palate and toes. These are delicious, vibrant New Zealand wines. The Nobilo Regional Collection can often be found locally priced around $10. That's a win!

If you want to take it up a notch, try the Nobilo Icon Sauvignon Blanc. Nobilo Icon wines are rich, complex and full bodied, with excellent weight, structure and balance. Definitely raising the bar for Sauvignon Blanc. Bring some Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc home and savor the inspiration of New Zealand wine. Buy it by the case and your set. Enjoy.


1. Nobilo Regional Collection Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 New Zealand

Color: Straw.
Nose: Enticing, tropical with salinity, lime, mineral, white pepper.
Palate: Lime, saline, mineral, citrus, fresh across the palate, nice wash front to back, not overly acidic, white grapefruit on medium finish.

With air: Lovely white grapefruit. Taste of morning sunshine. Dry, bright finish. Bottle went quick.

Thoughts: Good alone and with fried shrimp. Think seafood. Recommended.

Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Closure: Screw Cap
ABV: 12.5%
Sample provided by winery


2. Nobilo Icon Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2014 New Zealand

*Note: The Nobilo Icon label represents the pinnacle of Nobilo winemaking, and is made from only the very best fruit from their Marlborough vineyards.

Color: Silver straw, green highlights.
Nose: Mineral, kiwi, lime, papaya, herbal note, grass.
Palate: Nice texture, creamy-bright, mineral, tropical, savory quality, lime, citrus pith, melon, dry, with a lingering fresh, savory finish.

After 30 minutes: Lively fruit, melon-papaya action mid-palate to front palate, zowy! Perky wine.

Day three: Grapefruit, tropical notes, chill, satisfying classy finish. Exceptionally good, balanced, light breeze, sunshine, few clouds, expressive sipper on the patio. Left me quite content. Wonderful with seafood and Nuevo Flamenco music.

Thoughts: Fantastic with seafood and shredded cabbage. Strongly recommended.

Blend: 100% Sauvignon Blanc
Closure: Screw Cap
ABV: 12%
Sample provided by winery


Nobilo Winemaker

Winemaker David Edmonds joined Nobilo in 2002. His passion is Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. As a child, David spent a lot of time visiting the wine district just north of Wellington with his parents. It was during those family outings in which his interest in grape-growing and winemaking took root. He has a degree in horticulture science at Christchurch's Lincoln University. Well done Mr. Edmonds.

About Nobilo Wines

With the threat of war, in 1936 Nikola and Zuva Nobilo left Croatia and moved to New Zealand. They brought with them 300 years of winemaking tradition. In 1943, they planted some of New Zealand’s first commercial vines at Huapai, west of Auckland. By the 1970s, Nikola was a successful winemaker who helped lead the move to Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.

He also worked on developing winegrowing regions like Marlborough. In 1994, Nikola was awarded an Order of the British Empire medal for his contribution to the New Zealand wine industry.

Time for you to enjoy Nobilo wines at your home.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Focus on Rose' Wines on Wine Studio #winestudio


Sip Pink!

I'd like to thank my friends at Protocol Wine Studio for hosting a wonderful and educational wine tasting last month with a focus on rose' wines. Summer is a natural fit for crisp, dry rose' wines. Don't think sweet pink/orange wines, think refreshing, appetite inducing versatile wines.

Each of the three rose's samples I received were different and complimented different types of cuisine. I was especially intrigued by the Erzetic Winery Rose' from Slovenia and the Donelan Rose' from Sonoma. Very different and fun wines. Stock up now to allay the heat of summer.


About Protocol Wine Studio
Protocol Wine Studio hosted the June 2015 #WineStudio session on Rose' wines. Protocol Wine Studio is all about wine education, thus a better understanding of our world via wine and our part in that world. Bravo. Follow along with our tweets on Tuesday evenings at 6 pm Pacific.

Tasting Notes

1. Erzetic Winery Damski Rose', Slovenia


About: The Erzetic family is a 5th generation winemaking family. Today, Aleksij Erzetic, inspired by his father Anton, utilizes modern winemaking techniques to reflect traditional wines with a modern style. Winery is located in the Goriska Brda district which borders the Italian wine region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Vineyard altitude 1,112 ft. soils are Flysch (hard sedimentary soil with iron). Intentional rose' with skin contact for a few hours until desired color. Stainless ferment, cold stabilized.

*Note: Purchase direct from Old Word Vines with Welcome15 code for 15% off.

*Resource: Slovenia Wine Growing Districts.

Color: Melon pink.
Nose: Toasted, mineral, dried fruit, floral, pretty.
Palate: Toasty strawberry, preserved apricot, peach, textured, focused to mid-palate, minerality and light tartness on tasty finish.

After 15 minutes: Nose expanded, focused fruit potpourri, dry edges, fresh bubblegum. Like. Very present on the palate, focused front to middle, textured with good acidity, acid orange, red berries, medium finish. Tasty.

After 30 minutes: Much the same, intense nose, acid more present. Not a simple rose', packed with flavor, textured and lively.

Day two: Strawberry and melon with a lot of acid. Sensual fruit finish. Paired with pasta salad and aged Gouda. Wonderful pairing and bottle disappeared fast.

Thoughts: Very aromatic, could smell this wine from 8 feet away. Acid driven with fruit and aromatics. Traditional food pairings include, fried pastries, prosciutto and hard cheeses. Not a simple rose', it was packed with flavor, textured and lively. Enjoy with hearty dishes. A fun change of pace for me. Recommended.

Country: Slovenia
Winemaker: Aleksij Erzetic
Blend: 100% Merlot, hand picked grapes
Closure: Natural Cork
ABV: 12.5%
SRP: $23.95
Imported exclusively by Old World Vines


2. Donelan Rose' 2014 Sonoma County

About: Donelan Family Wines is a small winery in Sonoma County producing Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache, and Roussanne. This rose' was made using the saignée method, where the grapes are loaded into tanks and juice is pulled after short skin contact of 1 hour to 24 hrs. The extracted juice represents 5% to 20% of total volume as it serves a dual purpose of making red wine from the remaining juice, more concentrated and allowing for the production of a second wine - a rosé.

Visit: Tasting Lounge is open by appointment most weekdays and weekends from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm - contact winery.

Color: Watermelon pink, shiny. Pretty.
Nose: Quiet nose, floral, mineral, hint of peach.
Palate: Crisp, dry, curled grip mid-palate, delicate nectarine skin, tannin on teeth, powdered tartness, unripe fruit.

After 20 minutes: Tart and vibrant, textured on the tongue, delicate flavors, unripe red fruit, creamy quality on the finish after 25 minutes. Powdery floral quality, mineral background on the nose. Refreshing on a hot afternoon.

Day two: Paired with a green salad and voila! Wonderful match. A wine best suited for green salads and summer fair. Wonderful pairing.


Thoughts: Made for green salads. Loved this wine with a green salad of lettuce, tomato, Feta cheese, yoghurt dressing. Wonderful food pairing for those who don't eat meat or enjoy lighter fair on hot days. Well done. Recommended alone and Strongly Recommended with a salad.

Winemaker: Joe Nielsen
Blend: 55% Syrah, 29% Grenache and 16% Pinot Noir
Closure: Natural Cork
ABV: 13.3%
SRP: $25
Production: 290 Cases
Sample provided by the winery


3. Y. Rousseau 2014 Rose' of Tannat Russian River Sonoma

AboutY. Rousseau Wines,  In 1996, Yannick Rousseau made his first Colombard at Domaine St Lannes in the "Cotes de Gascogne". In 1998, Yannick earned a Master's degree in Enology and Viticulture from University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse. Since 1999, Yannick has been making wine in Napa Valley. In August 2007, Yannick stepped out to look for the ideal vineyards and varietals he believed in. He loves the intense mountain fruit of Mount Veeder and he found one of the last (34 year old) Colombard vineyards in the Russian River Valley. 

The Plume is the symbol of Y. Rousseau and represents the 'feather in the cap' of the most famous Musketeer, D'Artagnan. D'Artagnan came to be known as the ambassador of the Gascony lifestyle reaching into the hearts of people along his journeys as a true 'Bon Vivant'.

Visit: Private & Exclusive Tasting with Winemaker/Owner by Appointment only.
902 Enterprise Way, Suite O, Napa, CA 94558, Tel: 707-224-8736

“I don’t follow trend, I make wine of conviction. I make wine I want to enjoy myself.”  -Yannick Rousseau

Nose: Delicate aromatics, mineral, melon.
Color: Light melon with pink highlights.
Palate: Vital on the palate, viscous on the gums, unripe fruit, sour melon, sour cherry, dry, light citrus and slate on the clean, dry finish.

*Note: Strawberry on the palate when paired with Manchego cheese, cherry on palate when paired with ham, also a good match to salad with creamy yoghurt dressing. Food wine.

After 15 minutes: More fruit on the nose, gentle floral powder, touch of funk. Strawberry present, creamy sharpness, unripe raspberry, focused to middle, happy mouth, medium finish. Quite nice at this point alone and with salad.

After 30 minutes: Toasty strawberry on the nose, fresh yeast and mineral. Creamy, strawberry, vanilla yoghurt, sharp spike in middle, tingle on gums, brioche into the finish. Craved baked bread and pastry. A grilled slider would have been perfect, or a BLT.

Day two: Citrus tang with strawberry essence, savory down the middle with a honeyed finish. Bright zing mid-palate. Lingering strawberry/raspberry on elegant finish.

Thoughts: I'm a big fan of Tannat. It was a true treat to taste a 100% Tannat rosé. This wine held up well over four days, and remained fresh and creamy with an emphasis on watermelon. Enjoyed outdoors over several hot afternoons. Recommended.

AVA: Russian River Valley
Vineyard: Saralee's Vineyard - Mathew's Station
Blend: 100% Tannat rosé
75% Vin gris / 25% saignée
Closure: Screw Cap
ABV: 13.5%
SRP: $25
Production: 275 cases
Sample provided by winery

Time to put these rose' wines on your table and enjoy summer fare indoors or out. These are lovely wines to pair with food and friends. Each has something unique to offer palates and cuisines. I hope you enjoy them as well as I did. Big thank you to the wineries, distributor and especially, Protocol Wine Studio.