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Showing posts from November, 2015

Goose Ridge Vineyards Introduces Tall Sage - I Review the Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon

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A tribute to Arvid Monson, founder of Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards.


“Find a Tall Sage and you have found a place that will sustain superior grape vines.” Dr. Walter Clore.
The Tall Sage label is the Monson Family’s tribute to a man of great stature, the founder of Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards, Arvid Monson. A tall sage is one that develops deep tap roots. I have been a fan of Gooseridge wines for many years. Quite happy to see this new label. Both of these Washington wines are true values with great QPR. Recommended.

Tasting Notes 


1. Tall Sage 2014 Chardonnay Columbia Valley

Color: Straw.
Nose: Tropical, mineral, inviting.
Palate: Nutty, dry, light pear, banana in background, medium-light body, focus to middle, slight tingle, creamy, modest finish of pear, banana and hazelnut. Light in body and palate. Best for when you want a modest, light drinking wine.

After 15 Minutes: More depth on nose, think fresh rain and wet rock, pear/banana, hazelnut shell, hint of sliced bread and vanilla. Mouth…

Enticed by Double Canyon 2012 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills

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An enticing wine made from a windswept estate vineyard.

I'm often asked by visitors to Washington wine country about the quality of our wines. "Why are these wines so good?" As most of you know, you cannot make good wine without good grapes. And Washington wine grapes can be very good. Case in point.

The Horse Heaven Hills AVA is home to 25% of the state's vineyard acreage.  
Eastern Washington lies in a sweet spot in the Pacific Northwest. The Cascade mountain range captures most of the precipitation from the Pacific coast, leaving much of Eastern Washington semi-arid desert steppe. To grow grapes here, you must irrigate. The Northwest location also provides additional daylight in the summer, plus additional heat units and typically cool desert evenings. The best vineyards are located on poor soils, which are  relatively pest free, so no vine grafting required. Frequent winds also contribute to a nearly perfect growing region.


The wind. The wind blows almost consta…

Taste the Reason - Archery Summit 2013 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir

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A wonderful wine for elevating your holiday celebrations and meals.

I distinctly remember my Pinot Noir "ah ha!" moment in April 2012. That particular wine epiphany led to a new appreciation and understanding of the Pinot Noir variety. Washington grape growers cultivate many, many premium grape varieties - Pinot Noir is not one of them.

“There's a reason people drink Oregon Pinot Noir.”
By embracing a world of wine outside of Washington, I finally gained an appreciation for one of the most sought after wines - Pinot Noir, especially Oregon Pinot Noir. Oregon produces truly stunning Pinot Noir. The Archery Summit 2013 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir is one of those wonderful wines from Oregon for elevating your holiday celebrations and meals. Strongly Recommended.

Tasting Notes

Color: Pale, clear ruby.
Nose: Earthy strawberry and raspberry skin, orange peel, floral.
Palate: Juicy strawberry/raspberry, orange pith, focused to middle, tingly edged, tasty medium-light finish. Like.

After…

Focus on Nero D' Avola the Grape of Sicilia and Two Sicilian Red Wines

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Enjoy These Two Wines from DOC Sicilia at Home. 

Nero D'Avola is Sicily’s ubiquitous grape variety. It grows on the island with so many biotypes, versions, features and interpretations, that it is difficult to define a single profile. This is Sicily's most prodigious variety, and deserves attention as a central figure from Sicilian culture. Sicily has been luring visitors since the times of the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and Greeks. A land prized by many ancient cultures.

Today, Nero D’Avola is the signature wine of Sicily and it pairs well with local Sicilian cuisine. As I discovered at home, it also pairs well with a variety of American foods. Both of the Sicilian wines I am reviewing were delicious on their own and with food. It was a pleasure to learn more about the wines of DOC Sicilia. Always fun to try wines different from the wines I frequently drink.

See my tasting notes below, including my recommendations, suggested pairings, as well as further details on Ner…

Wine of the Week - Gordon Estate 2014 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley

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"A true Washington original."
Gordon Estate is located in the heart of the Columbia Valley in Washington State. They are the oldest estate winery in Washington state and use only estate-grown grapes in making their hand-crafted Washington wines. In 1985, Jeff Gordon released his first small lot of Chardonnay wine produced from their estate vines.



Gordon Estate, previously known as "Gordon Brothers," has been served at my table for over 25 years. I encourage you to discover the wines of Gordon Estate. A true Washington original. This is a well executed wine which satisfied my Chardonnay craving. Fresh, new world style with minimal oak. My speed. Grab an extra bottle if you have to share.

$14.99 Gordon Estate 2014 Chardonnay – Gordon Estate, Pasco, WA.
Strongly Recommended.


Tasting Notes

Color: Gold.
Nose: Oh yeah. Terrific hit of Chardonnay, yeasty, nutty, with ginger, pear, fresh.
Palate: Good weight, expressive across the palate, focused to the middle, almost oily, hazel…

6 Wines to Help you Fall for Washington Chardonnay

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Displays of gold, orange and red leaves in the vineyards foretell cooler weather. Blankets of clouds, emergent, protectively hug the Horse Heaven Hills. As the progressively shorter days and longer nights nestle into fall, I crave Chardonnay. For me, Chardonnay is the wine of choice for this season.


Today, I have six recommended Washington Chardonnays which are suitable for your fall repasts and celebratory occasions. Chardonnay remains the most popular white wine variety for a reason. Because it can be so darn good and affordable too. It is a variety which can be expressed in numerous ways, nutty, fruity, dry, oaked, unoaked, crisp and pale to heavy and dark. A supremely expressible and food compatible wine.

For the ABC partisans, think of these recommended wines as conversion therapy. Don't behave like the elusive White Zinfandel drinker. Give Chardonnay another try, Washington Chardonnay that is. You can thank me later. Cheers!


6 Recommended Washington Chardonnay



1. $45 Ashan C…

EVENT - Lake Chelan Wine Valley Fall Barrel Tasting November 27-29, 2015

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Wineries Open Cellar Doors for Behind-the-Scenes Look at Winemaking

LAKE CHELAN, WA (Nov 5, 2015) — The Lake Chelan Wine Valley will kick off the holiday season with a weekend of tasting future wine releases straight from the barrel on November 27 through 29.

Fall Barrel Tasting takes place each year on the weekend after Thanksgiving and offers visitors the rare chance to experience young, unfinished wines before they’re released to the public. Guests will explore the use of different oak treatments and their impact on the taste, color, tannin and texture of the wine.  Guests can visit winery cellar rooms for exclusive tastings with local winemakers and purchase upcoming vintages of some of their favorite wines.



* Updates 11/13/15 More Lake Chelan wineries have contacted me. Don't miss out!
I welcome more notices from Lake Chelan wineries pouring for this event.

ATAM WINERY is also participating in this event. We are offering German style wines (no chemicals and no sulfites added). T…

Wine 101 - Instructions not Included

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What could be simpler than drinking wine?

Today, I'm sharing my thoughts about one of the conversations I recently had with visitors to the Clore Center. When I pour wine for visitors, I will mention if I feel a wine is ready to drink now (Drink Me), should taste better if decanted or would benefit from more time in the bottle (Hold Me). Of course, last week one of my customers asked, "How do you know? There are no instructions included."
"Most wine is consumed almost immediately after purchase."
Most wine is consumed almost immediately after purchase. People buy and drink their wine. No problem with that. I too drink most of the wine I purchase. Though, I do favor decanting or aerating certain bottles of red wine. And yes, some bottles I don't drink. I do have special wines which I will hold to "maybe" open years after purchase. How do I know? And do you care?

Wine Changes Over Time

If you read this blog, then you know that I review wine over time.…