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Showing posts from February, 2012

McKinley Springs 2007 Syrah Horse Heaven Hills Review

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Reaching for the desired aha moment.

Still grooving on Syrah this month, this wine was recommended to me by a chap from Prosser.

Taking advantage of one of the better sunny days in late January, I combined an afternoon walk with wine tasting.  Happily, two tasting rooms are within easy walking distance of my home. Three more wineries are reachable on foot, if I'm willing to brave traffic and a lack of a walking path. I opted for the nearest tasting room.

Nose deep in my glass, I was soon joined at the wine bar by a fellow lover of wine. Naturally, our conversation was of wine, varietals and wineries. We both commented on the Syrah (which was opened especially for us). My new friend made some comparisons about the Syrah we were tasting and a wine I had not tried, McKinley Springs Syrah. He was surprised when I replied that I had never sampled wines from McKinley Springs, a Prosser winery. I promised I'd look for the wine and try some. My last tasting trip to Prosser was during S…

Vin du Lac 2009 LEHM Pinot Gris – Wine of the Week

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Not your everyday Pinot Gris. 

I have not listed a “Wine of the Week” in some months. Vin du Lac so impressed me with their 2009 LEHM Pinot Gris, that I feel it is a perfect choice for the week. My first experience with a Vin du Lac LEHM wine was at Taste Washington Seattle in 2008. I was impressed then and I'm impressed now. There's a lot going on with this wine and I love how dry, dry it is.

The 2009 LEHM Pinot Gris opens with melon rind, petrol, chamomile and fresh bread. I enjoy how the pale gold color catches the light and reflects in the swirls. Good mouth feel, while it is 14% alcohol, there is no intrusive heat. Dry, tart, apricot and mineral finish. Beautiful crisp spike of flavor down the center of the mouth. This wine would be a perfect companion to oysters on the half shell, sashimi, tempura and Dungeness crab. This wine stimulated my appetite and I'm now craving the above food. I wish the local sushi restaurant delivered. Recommended.

Winemaker Larry Lehmbecke…

A Visit to Long Shadows Distinguished Wineries & Vineyards

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Ooh, Aah, Sock It 2 Me.
Last week I was in Walla Walla, Washington with fellow wine blogger, Ben Simons of vinotology.com. Our first stop was at Forgeron Cellars, where we enjoyed meeting winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla. Marie-Eve is married to Gilles Nicault, Director of Winemaking and Viticulture for Long Shadows Wineries. Marie-Eve was a gracious host, and surprised us in arranging an unscheduled visit with her husband at Long Shadows. The contrast between the two wineries was striking. Forgeron Cellars tasting room is located in downtown Walla Walla. It's cozy, intimate, informal, the wines diverse and the feeling...feminine.


Long Shadows, however, is located outside of Walla Walla, on a rural road in the countryside. It is  surrounded by fields and distant farm houses. An impressive, modern looking facility, made of tilt-up concrete slabs painted brick red, the building is incongruous with the rustic countryside, yet fitting in its setting.


When you enter the winery, you know you a…

2 Barnard Griffin Wines for Valentine's Day

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There's still time to impress your Valentine tonight.

Have you selected a wine for tonight? My last minute Valentine's Day wine recommendations are the Barnard Griffin Orange Muscat and Rosé of Sangiovese. Either of these wines will gratify the eye and compliment your evening. Widely available in Washington State and at the winery tasting room.

The Orange Muscat is a staple with our family. Everything you could love in a gently sweet white wine. Don’t think dessert wine, this is more of an aperitif wine. Aromatic and flavorful with orange and peach, yes a bit sweet, but not heavy, it is very satisfying. Perhaps the best Orange Muscat I've enjoyed. Start your evening with Orange Muscat and some light appetizers (crab and cream cheese wontons would be perfect).

My second suggestion is the Rosé of Sangiovese, which has become a signature Washington wine. Winning the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, gold or better, for 7 years in a row is impressive. In the glass you a…

Forgeron Cellars Visit and Tasting

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Last week I reviewed the 2009 Blacksmith Syrah by Forgeron Cellars. 

Since then, I have searched all over town for more Blacksmith Syrah, without success. Craving more bottles of that lovely Syrah, I finally emailed Marie-Eve Gilla, winemaker and co-owner of Forgeron Cellars in Walla Walla, Washington, requesting a visit with her at the winery. Marie-Eve was very gracious and agreed to meet for a wine tasting Friday morning.

While Walla Walla is only an hour drive from my home, it does seem difficult for me to schedule time to make the drive to Walla Walla wine country. Desire for more Syrah erased all obstacles. Also, my friend Ben Simons agreed to go with me. Ben is a wine blogger too, his blog is at, www.vinotology.com his twitter handle is @vinotology – a great guy to go wine tasting with. Leaving an overcast Tri-Cities for a misty Walla Walla, the Friday morning drive was laden with wine conversation. Never go wine tasting alone.

It was easy to find Forgeron Cellars, they are loca…

St Vincent 4AD Session (Annie Clark)

Something different this Saturday. Thought I'd share with you the amazing talent of Annie Clark. My cousin Cassidy Gonzales showed it to me today. He's the guitar player with the Seattle band, Nightmare Fortress. Hope you enjoy. Put on your headphones and toggle to full screen.

Hmm, what wine would you pair with this music?

Cheers!

2009 Blacksmith Syrah by Forgeron Cellars

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Really Good Stuff.

This week I enjoyed a bottle of Blacksmith Syrah, and the smile is still on my face. Blacksmith is made by winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla of Forgeron Cellars in Walla Walla, Washington. Blacksmith is a second label by Forgeron and priced at half the price of their 2008 Forgeron Syrah. Go find this wine. Now.

I've seen a lot of discussion on wine blogs questioning which varietals become the best examples of Washington wine. Washington winemakers work with many different varietals and they make fantastic wine from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Riesling, Chardonnay, Semillon, etc. But, if you were to ask me this week I'd answer, “Syrah” yes, yes, yes. Syrah is the varietal of Washington.

Everything good about Washington Syrah can be found in a bottle of 2009 Blacksmith Syrah. 
Quote me on that.

This wine was immediately enjoyable when I removed the cork. It had a captivating deep color which enticed and beckoned. Swirling the wine around, I wanted to fall…