Saturday, July 5, 2014

Spotlight on Wind Rose Cellars Red Wines @windrosecellars

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Italian inspired Washington red wines. 

Wind Rose Cellars focuses on making wine from Italian varieties. Their wines tend to be more crisp and fruit forward by design. The following tasting notes are for the Wind Rose Cellars Sangiovese, Primitivo and Dolcetto. It should be no surprise that these wines made me think instantly of food, family and friends.

Located in Sequim Washington, Wind Rose Cellars selects grapes based on flavor development and balance more than on brix. Sequim is on the west side of Washington at the top of the Olympic Peninsula. Grapes are sourced from Wahluke Slope AVA, Red Mountain AVA and Horse Heaven Hills AVA in eastern Washington. 

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SANGIOVESE - Sangiovese derives from the Latin sanguis Jovis, "the blood of Jove".
It is most famous as the only component of Brunello di Montalcino and Rosso di Montalcino and the main component of the blend Chianti, Carmignano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Morellino di Scansano. It can also be used to make varietal wines such as Sangiovese di Romagna and the modern "Super Tuscan" wines. Sangiovese is considered the "workhorse" grape of central Italy.  In Washington State, one of the first commercial plantings of Sangiovese was at Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley AVA.

Tasting Notes 2012 Sangio - Yakima Valley, Lonesome Spring Ranch
Color: Light Garnet.
Nose: Light, spicy, soft cherry, candied background, floral and mineral notes, pretty.
Palate: Light body, dry, good grip on gums, cherry cordial, chocolate, orange peel. Medium-light finish with delicate cherry.
At 10 minutes: A very pretty wine.  Light bodied and perfect for food, think antipasto, pizza, tapas, and ham.
After 30 minutes: Friendly dry, grilled lamb would be a perfect pairing at this point.
4 Hours later: Reminded me of a Pinot Noir with strawberry, slightly earthy, almost candied finish. Very good.

Day two: Lovely in the mouth. Good grip, dry on gums and tongue. Dry cherry and strawberry with a hint of orange zest and candy. Went lovely with grilled lamb loin chops, compatible medley of flavors. Would also suggest charcuterie, shaved ham and conversations on the beach by a fire.
Day four: Dry, deep berry, Bing Cherry.

Thoughts: Recommended? Yes, big like for this wine. For me this was my favorite of the three Wind Rose Cellars red wines. It was food friendly and sip worthy. The label is striking and will present well at table. Recommended  + Great value.

Blend: Sangiovese
ABV: 13.9%
Closure: 2+1
Production: 75 cases
SRP: $19.99
Sample provided by winery

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PRIMITIVO - Primitivo translates as "the early one."
Primitivo is a dark-skinned grape variety used in certain inky, tannic wines from the Puglia region of southern Italy. It is thought that Primitivo was brought to southern Italy from the Primorska Hrvatska region of Croatia, where it is known as Crljenak Kasteljanski. DNA fingerprinting revealed that Zinfandel is genetically equivalent to Primitivo. Is Primitivo the same as Zinfandel? Primitivo selections generally have earlier fruit maturity, similar or higher yield, and similar or lower bunch rot susceptibility. When planted side by side they produce grapes of differing sizes, color and bunch density. It seems they are related but different.

Tasting Notes 2012 Primitivo - Wahluke Sloope, Stone Tree Vineyard
Color: Garnet.
Nose: Clove, leather, carnation perfume, menthol, cherry.
Palate: Medium body, dry, dry, great grip on top palate and tongue, plum with tart cherry pie on medium finish. Intriguing nose at opening, dry cherry finish seeks companion in fatty food.
After 30 minutes: Rye bread and raisin added to the nose, plum on the finish.
After four hours: Sour cherry, orange notes, coffee, tart finish. Good grip on the gums.

Day two: Focused nose with a bit of tobacco leaf. Retained that sour cherry, orange, tart flavor with coffee on the finish. Front palate action with more obvious acid. Dishes with mint would be good addition; try roasted beets with cumin lime and mint, grilled chicken with mint pesto, rice salad with peas and mint, roasted mushroom and shallots with mint and grilled lamb with mint and feta.
Day four: Intense plum, spicy, fresh, cherry.

Thoughts: Primitivo is related to Zinfandel. Some consider them the same variety. Others disagree. Certainly a food wine, but also an interesting wine on its own. Discover the uniqueness of Primitivo. Recommended.

Blend: 100% Primitivo, unfiltered.
ABV: 14.2%
Closure: 2+1
Production: 120 cases
SRP: $24.99
Sample provided by winery

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DOLCETTO - Dolcetto translates as "little sweet one."
Dolcetto is a black Italian wine grape variety widely grown in the Piedmont region of northwest Italy. They are characterized particularly by their low acidity, which is the source of the variety's name.

Tasting Notes 2012 Dolcetto - Columbia Valley - Red Table Wine
Color: Light garnet.
Nose: Almonds, musk, truffle, blackcurrant, candied background.
Palate: Creamy, full in the mouth, delicious, redcurrant, cherry, smooth finish. A lot of fruit in the mouth. Modest tannin, friendly acidity. A crowd pleasing and versatile food wine. Enjoy with seafood, poultry, red meat and anything off the grill - vegetables too.
After four hours: Focused berry nose with jasmine and spice, fresh, slightly earthy with a floral quality to the berry palate too. Reminded me of rose water and Arab incense. Very interesting.

Day two: Rose petals and jasmine on the perfumed nose. Deeper berry with jasmine and incense on pleasantly dry finish. Middle Eastern dishes would pair well with this wine: Tandoori chicken, Shawarma, Falafel, Tabouleh, Kofta, and grilled lamb. Who's hungry?
Day four: Spicy, dry, fresh, tart cherry, front palate focused.

Thoughts: An intriguing wine. Exotic and reminded me of my time living in Abu Dhabi. My first time tasting a 100% Dolcetto. Look for this Dolcetto and experience a unique and intriguing wine. Recommended.

Blend: 100% Dolcetto, no oak used, unfiltered
ABV: 13.9%
Closure: 2+1
Production: 120 cases
SRP: $17.99
Sample provided by winery

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This was a fun, intriguing and educational wine tasting. I am impressed by the quality and efforts of Wind Rose Cellars. Their label looks cool too and will present well at table. Restaurants are you listening? Sangiovese, Primitivo and Dolcetto! Italian inspired wines from Washington. Well done.

Wind Rose Cellars
143 W Washington Sequim, WA 98382
360-681-0690
Tasting Room and Wine Bar Hours:
Monday- Wednesday 1-8pm  (Wednesday live music 6pm) Thursday 1-10 (Live music 6:30pm) Friday 1-10 (LIVE MUSIC 7pm)  Saturday 12-10 (LIVE MUSIC 7pm)  Sunday 1-5
www.windrosecellars.com

Wind Rose Cellars is located in Sequim, Washington. Sequim is located along the Dungeness River near the base of the Olympic Mountains on the Olympic Peninsula. The city has been increasing in population in recent years due to the influx of retirees from the Puget Sound region and California. Population as of 2010 was 6,600.

Wind Rose Cellars is a joint project of husband and wife team David Volmut and Jennifer States. They began making wine professionally in 2009. Many of the varieties they select are very difficult to find in Washington. Small lots keeps the total production around 900 cases. They focus on food and wine pairing, Italian style, which is reflected in the character of their wines. Have fun sharing these lovely wines with your friends and family.


Cheers!