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Showing posts from March, 2014

Review: 2012 Lupine Vineyards Roses and Ribbons Pinot Noir, Lake Chelan AVA

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Yes, a Washington Pinot Noir.

We named it Roses and Ribbons in homage to the Bob Hunter- Grateful Dead's song, "It Must have Been the Roses." - Robert Anderson
There is precious little Pinot Noir made in Washington. We lack the climate for this most delicate fruit. Naturally I was curious about how well it would show in this bottling.

Tasting Notes

This wine was timid and required patience, almost two hours, for it to open.

Color: Ruby.
Nose: Earthy raspberry, marmalade toast.
Palate: Medium body, bright, good grip on the tongue and inner lip, cinnamon, raspberry, orange on the dry, medium-short finish.

Day two: Bigger and drier, tannin more obvious and appreciated. Hint of strawberry on the nose and an herbal note, with blackberry fruit leather and black pepper on the tongue, a dry raspberry finish. This bad boy is just coming to speed. It's a young wine and should only improve in bottle. I'd hold for 3 months and start pulling corks over the next 3 years.

Though…

Review: Lupine Vineyards 2012 "Lyric" Pinot Gris, Chelan AVA

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An intriguing and sexy artisanal Washington Pinot Gris.

ar·ti·san·al [ahr-tuh-zuh-nl, ahr-tiz-uh-]
"pertaining to or noting a high-quality or distinctive product made in small quantities, usually by hand or using traditional methods."

The Lupin Vineyards Pinot Gris was called "Lyric" in Keeping with a theme of music (their Chardonnay is named - "A Cappella", the Viognier - "Madrigal").


This is an extremely small production wine. A great deal of TLC went into the making of this Pinot Gris. The Lake Chelan AVA vineyard these grapes were sourced had zero positive attention. No spray, no water, no mowing, no roundup- nothing for more than 5 years.

Without pruning, the clusters had to be hand picked. Only clusters that were both ripe and free of problems were selected. Common thought is that these grapes would be sub-standard at best and probably un-useable. The location, the wind, the minimal ground water source and the neglect conspire to make th…

Review: 2011 Villa San-Juliette Zinfandel Paso Robles, CA @VSJWinery

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Say hello to my delicious friend Zinfandel.

When I was asked to review this California Zinfandel I jumped at the chance. California is famous for producing world-class Zinfandel. And Zinfandel is a variety I seldom see in my glass. The last time I enjoyed California Zinfandel was at the 2013 International Wine Festival in Vancouver, BC. They kind of blew away the California Pinot Noir. This wine was a true treat.

Tasting Notes:
Color: Clear garnet
Nose: Smoky, blueberry, tar, resin and licorice
Palate: Good mouth feel, tart, licorice, tar, nicely dry, dark fruit finish, happy flavors of lingering gingerbread, licorice and coffee. With air this wine became dense on the palate, smoky dark blueberry, orange marmalade, plum, tannin fuzz on teeth and gums. Shiny mid-palate.

Day two: Most excellent on day two, heavy, flavorful and most enjoyable as a drinking wine. There's aging potential in this vintage.


Thoughts: Get up and go! Open and enjoy.  I enjoyed this wine at opening and on the…

Review: Holman Ranch 2011 Pinot Noir Heather's Hill, Carmel, California @holmanranch

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Bravo! A Plush Pinot Noir.

Last May, I originally reviewed this 2011 Holman Ranch Pinot Noir. It was a pleasure and a special treat to re-visit this wine from Carmel, California. It has improved my friends. Any rough edges I noticed last year are gone. This wine is ready to drink now and has potential to improve in bottle. 


Tasting Notes: 
Color: Clear ruby.
Nose: Ripe strawberry flesh with dark tilled soil, candied raspberry.
Palate: Plush, medium-full body, wild strawberry, ripe and fresh, longer than expected finish. Pinot fans will adore this wine. Those unaccustomed to Pinot Noir will discover how seriously good this variety can be expressed. Big drinking Pinot Noir after seven hours with deep blueberry, fresh strawberry and spicy violet notes. Very intense, pretty and captivating. Impressive wine.

Thoughts: Pair with baked chicken, game hen, turkey, duck, pork loin, and beef Carpacio. Or just drink with a good friend. Highly recommended.

ABV: 14%
Closure: Real cork
Production: 444 Cases
S…

Bodegas Carrau Winemaking Passion in Uruguay @OWOCwines

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Last year I attended a presentation by Professor Francisco Carrau at a luncheon on the Wines of Uruguay. It was my first opportunity to experience wines produced in this smallest South American country. The wines were impressive. My attention was especially captivated by the red wines. I was thoroughly intrigued by the Tannat. Later, I had a chance to sample more Tannat from Uruguay and to visit briefly with Mr. Francisco Carrau, winemaker of Bodegas Carrau. Wow! They had my attention.

In Uruguay red wine means Tannat. Tannat is a hardy varietal from France, originally made for kings, it is now the national red grape variety of Uruguay. Call me excited when I had the opportunity to participate in a Virtual Wine Tasting of wines from Uruguay. Wines made by the Carrau family!


It was a pleasure this week to taste and tweet about the Bodegas Carrau 2013 Sauvignon Blanc "Sur Lie" and the Bodegas Carrau 2010 Tannat De Reserva. I would like to thank Our World, Our Community for al…

Review: Los Vascos 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Chile

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Impressive Chilean Cabernet Sauvignon 
Ready to drink now - repeat as needed 

My first exposure to Los Vascos wines was two years ago when I enjoyed their 2009 Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This month I have had the pleasure of enjoying their 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon. Produced at the Viña Los Vascos Estate in Chile. Los Vascos wines are distributed widely around the world. I will be reviewing more of their wines soon.

Book Review: Buy The Right Wine Every Time by Tom Stevenson

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The No-Fuss No-Vintage Wine Guide

Facing a wall of colorful wine labels at the store, do you every have trouble choosing a bottle of wine? Are you intimidated by the numerous brands, styles and prices? Is an expensive bottle better than a cheaper bottle? How do you Know?

Consumption of wine is up in the United States. More of us are choosing to drink wine. But are we all confident in the wine we choose? And do we care?

Event Review: Seattle Wine and Food Experience 2014

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Guest post by Juli Crompe.

Seattle Wine and Food Experience happens every year in February at the Seattle Center. I've had the privilege of attending this event twice and have loved it.



I missed going last year because my sister went into labor the morning of the event!

Unlike most events which cover a certain region, varietal or cater to a specific niche, Seattle Wine & Food offers something for just about everyone.

Featuring Washington, Oregon, California and International wines, as well as spirits, hard cider and plenty of tasty bites, Seattle Wine & Food is a cornucopia of just about everything.

And the best part? It is still reasonably priced at $55 for general admission.

Pro Tip: VIP is worth the splurge; you have an extra hour to sip and taste with limited attendees in the room, for only $10 more!

Most of my highlights were either food or wine, but this event really can be customized to nearly anyones preferences!
Wine:

Echo Bay, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, 2012
If…

Review: Waterbrook 2011 Malbec @waterbrookwine

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A food friendly Washington Malbec

Malbec is a red wine variety originally from the Bordeaux region of France, a variety which has become strongly associated with fine wines from Argentina. Last month I enjoyed some excellent Malbec from the southern hemisphere. This month I felt it was time to move back north to Washington state and try a local Malbec.

Washington Wine Month Featuring Maryhill Winery

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March is Washington Wine Month!
Drink Washington responsibly.

In celebration of Washington Wine Month, beginning March 1, my friends at the award-winning Maryhill winery have a special wine gift pack which includes three bottles of the most prolific grapes grown in Washington: a Maryhill Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.

This gift pack is not only a fantastic collection of red wines, but the price is also discounted by 20% when purchased as this gift pack. The offer is good only for the Month of March, priced at $49 Retail, $46 for Wine Club. Purchase the Washington Wine Month gift pack.