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Showing posts from June, 2007

àMaurice Cellars Anna Schafer

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Write that name down and remember it - Anna Schafer.

How many of you know that earlier this year the 500th winery was bonded in WashingtonState? Some 200 wineries opened their doors in the last three years alone. As passionate as I am about wine, Washington wine, I am a creature of habit. Yes, I do tend to drink the wines I know. Well, guess what? This weekend I was bumped off my comfortable log in Yakima, Washington.
Saturday I poured at the 2007 Washington Wine Country Grand Gala in Yakima, Washington. A truly deluxe fundraiser for Washington Wine Country. I was unexpectedly paired with Anna Schafer. Anna Schafer is the co-winemaker for her family owned àMaurice Cellars in Walla Walla, Washington. She my friends is the future of Washington wine.
Did you write down her name? You should.
Pouring with Anna Schafer
I was fortunate to enjoy an hour in the company of an intelligent, serious and passionate Washington winemaker. She's engaging, knowledgeable and managed not to spill any food…

Wine Blogging Wednesday #34 - Barnard Griffin 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon

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This is my first time participating on Wine Blogging Wednesday, a big thank you to Catie our host at http://www.wildwallawallawinewoman.blogspot.com/.

Those of you who know me or have read my previous posts, know that I am partial to Barnard Griffin Wines located in Richland, Washington. I started enjoying Barnard Griffin wines in 1997 when they first opened their tasting room. It is also a coincidence that I recently moved closer to the winery, now just 3 minutes away - how convenient.

The winemaker at Barnard Griffin is Rob Griffin. He started making wine in Washington 30 years ago for Preston Cellars. He was also the winemaker for the Hogue winery until about 1991. Rob has made his own Barnard Griffin label since 1983. Every year he receives numerous accolades for his wines. His 2004 Merlot with the tulip label has received a total of 11 tasting event awards! But this posting is not about Merlot.

The 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious Cabernet, especially easy to enjoy at the pric…

Syncline - 2005 Subduction Red Review

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A Gorgeous Red Table Wine

The first thing you’ll notice about this bottle is the screw-cap. Not to worry, the screw cap is just a closure for this tasty bottle of wine. On first opening, you may think you have a pleasant but unassuming bottle of wine. Color is good, but the nose and body seem to be lacking. Once again, not to worry, pour a little into your glass, leave the screw-cap off and set the bottle aside for 2 hours or so. This would be a good time to start prepping for dinner. By the time dinner is ready, this wine should be ready to enjoy.



Oh yes, you will be greeted by a completely different wine two or three hours later. Subduction Red deserves to be decanted or at least let it breathe for 2 hours or so as I suggest. This is a luscious wine full of flavor and a wonderful mouth feel. So, what’s in the bottle? There is 45% Syrah, 41% Grenache, 12% Mouvedre and 2% Cinsault – 700 cases were bottled. This wine is on my “Drink me now!” list. Highly recommended – just remember not…

Two Mountain Winery - Vineyard Club Seminars

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Summer Thinning

Two Mountain Winery in Zillah, Washington, http://www.twomountainwinery.com/ is once again offering seminars on growing and managing grape vines. This Saturday I spent almost two hours thinning Riesling and Syrah vines with about 20 other students. Matt Rawn was our instructor. He discussed the importance of controlling vine vigor by thinning vines and leaves.

Air flow is necessary to reduce the chance of mold/mildew, and excess vines and leaves need to be removed to focus the energy into the grapes. The vineyard we “worked” in is planted on rocky soil in Zillah, Washington, part of the Rattlesnake Hills appellation. The vineyard is in a scenic location, mountains are visible above the vineyards, birds sing in the background, and this weekend we were lucky to have a pleasant, slightly overcast morning to work in – we missed the 100 degree heat of the previous week, and the few rain drops which fell Saturday did not bother us.

Matt seemed to like the work I did thinning …

Barnard Griffin 2004 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Before I forget.
I've mentioned the Barnard Griffin 2004 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon in previous posts. This wine sold out two months ago at the winery. Wine Spectator magazine just reviewed and rated this wine at 92 points! Also, Wine Enthusiast magazine just reviewed and rated this wine at 93 points!!

My confidants at the Barnard Griffin winery tell me that they just received 10 cases of this outstanding vintage... This is your last opportunity to grab some of this spectacular wine direct from the winery. This wine is priced at $40 a bottle.

Enjoy!

Spring Allergies Stop Posts

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Finally, the Spring allergies have given me a break. I've not posted since March because I could not appreciate any of the red wines while the Columbia Valley was in bloom, and I do love Washington red wines.

Once Spring begins, the desert rejoices - Sagebrush (persia tridentata is my favorite - part of the rose family) bloom with aromatic yellow flowers, Phlox, Lupins, Tumble Mustard can be found everywhere and of course all of the domesticated plants/trees are blooming too, including the Cottonwood trees and Russian olive trees. I have not narrowed down the culprit(s), but they are out there.

Once Spring arrives in the Columbia Valley, my ability to appreciate red wines evaporates. All I can sense is tart and bitter. Not good descriptors for red wine. And yes, I am still biased to the red wines. I can still appreciate the white wines when my smeller is off, and I sure did drink more whites than reds this spring.

The dry Rosé wines were especially good. My two picks this time of yea…