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Showing posts from February, 2013

Review: Southard 2010 Columbia Valley Red Wine

A wonderful dinner companion. I first met winemaker Scott Southard at Taste Washington Seattle! His style of winemaking continues to impress. You don't know Scott Southard and his wines? It is time you did. FYI: You can meet Scott Southard and sample his wines at Taste Washington Seattle 2013 this March 23 and 24. There's still time to purchase tickets. photo: Southard 2010 Columbia Valley Red Wine. Tasting Notes: On the first day, this wine had a pretty ruby color. An exciting spicy nose, with sandalwood, nutmeg, cocoa, raspberry, graphite and strawberry. It was smooth, medium bodied, bright, with round spicy flavors of raspberry and strawberry. The finish was smooth, spicy, with fine tannin, raspberry and a bright, dry finish. This was a friendly, balanced wine. Tannin became more noticeable with air. The Southard 2010 Columbia Valley Red wine was a good match to the slow roasted rack of lamb I prepared. On the second day, the Southard wine was fuller in the

Reviews: Lupine Vineyards "Vibrant" Viognier and "Whisper" Viognier

Two white wines by winemaker Robert Anderson. I like the look of the Lupine Vineyards label. It's clean, easy to read, adorned with an image of the Lupine wild flower. Lupines are one of my favorite Eastern Washington wild flowers. In the Columbia Valley you can see them blooming in the desert, usually next to sagebrush and tumbleweed in the month of May. I need to get out and take some photos this year. About the winemaker: “Robert Anderson is a biologist and winemaker... As Operations Manager at the Seattle Aquarium, his experience in pumps and pipes, process control and chemistry serve him well...” Lupine Vineyards was established in 2010. It is located north of Lake Chelan, Washington. photo: Lupine Vineyards "Vibrant" Viognier. Lupine Vineyards “Vibrant” Viognier Straw yellow color. My first impression on the nose was dry tumbleweed, yielding to nectarine, lychee, white pepper with a floral flourish. On the palate it had good mouth feel, flavor of almo

Review: 2009 Two Mountain Syrah - Yakima Valley

Sexy, Groovy, Washington Syrah. photo: Two Mountain 2009 Syrah. Syrah is one of my favorite varietals. I am continually impressed by the quality and depth of character expressed by Syrah from Washington State. Two Mountain Winery in Zillah, Washington has delivered an outstanding wine with their 2009 Syrah. Highly recommended. Tasting Notes: This Syrah had a sexy deep color. On the nose was pepper and plum; almost gamy with violets. It was bright at first, with bacon fat, dark fruit, and a medium finish. After 10 minutes it started to open up; flavors of tasty blueberry, with smoky elements and tarragon, yum. After 40 minutes there was ginger bread on the nose and palate, yielding to savory chocolate. This wine was "lush": as in "growing luxuriantly". The word "groovy" also came to mind. The brothers Rawn have done an excellent job with the Two Mountain 2009 Syrah. This is another wine to put on your must experience list. Highly recommended.

Blasted Church, Okanagan Valey - B.C. Winery

photo: Blasted Church Cabernet Merlot. One of the coolest wine labels. "The plan called for a controlled blast of four dynamite sticks inside the church in order to "loosen the nails". Odd as it may seem, the explosion spared the wood from damage during dismantling. Save for losing the steeple, the plan succeeded. Now, the 120 year old wooden church stands proudly in its second home of Okanagan Falls." A few years ago in Vancouver, British Columbia, my waiter at dinner introduced me to Blasted Church wines. "Pour me something local and good." Is what I asked for, he delivered. "Show me the bottle." Was my next request. I've been a fan since. Love the design of their label too. It is nearly impossible to find wines from British Columbia/Okanagan Valley in Washington. I'm told trade tariffs make it prohibitively expensive. Shame. The next time you are visiting Canada, go on the hunt for Blasted Church wines. You will be rewarded by

Alexandria Nicole Cellars - a Local Tasting

  My friend Ben Simons was pouring for Alexandria Nicole Cellars today at the Kennewick Mid Columbia Wine and Spirits store (thank you social media). My thinking, "Why not stop by for a visit and a tasting?" He poured for me the just released 2012 Pinot Gris, 2010 Viognier, 2010 Jet Black Syrah and the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. The Pinot Gris is tasting a bit young and fresh, the Viognier was quite lovely, the Jet Black Syrah was showing off and begging for grilled lamb (a masculine wine with a cool label), while the 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon was my favorite tonight with gobs of cherry goodness. A steady flow of wine enthusiasts at the tasting bar embraced the Alexandria Nicole wines tonight. Ben did a great job sharing the story of Alexandria Nicole Cellars . There were a lot of smiles. I learned today that Mid Columbia Wine and Spirits holds free wine tastings every Friday and sometimes Saturday, at both their Kennewick and Richland stores. This is a great way to

Red Wine and Chocolate at Monte Scarl​atto Estate

Your chance to sample wine from the newest Red Mountain AVA winery! I know this is a little late....Just wanted to remind you of an event this weekend. Monte Scarlatto Estate will be open Friday 2/15/13 from 12:00-4:00, and 11:00-5:00 Saturday and Sunday. They make some lovely red wine. They also just released their Scarlatto Rosé. Come visit them for wine and a little chocolate. Monte Scarlatto Estate Winery  28719 E. SR 224  Benton City, WA 99320  509-531-3081 Cheers!

Wine of the week: McKinley Springs 2008 Syrah Horse Heaven Hills

photo: 2008 McKinley Springs Syrah - Horse Heaven Hills. McKinley Springs is a family owned and operated winery in the Horse Heaven Hills AVA of Washington State. Doug Rowell is the winemaker and Rob Andrews is the grower. This was a dark wine, deep color almost inky; as expected from a Washington Syrah. On the nose: violets, blueberry, tar, pepper, whiff of earth, medium mouth feel, aromas flowed into the finish. There's a lot to like about this wine at opening, although, after some air, this wine became more concentrated on nose and palate. Aromas deepened, flavors became richer, root-beer, chocolate and espresso components emerged after 25 minutes, which was lovely on the nose. Balanced acidity and fine tannin kept this wine fresh and interesting. Really a treat to drink after 30 minutes. This wine is going to stain your tongue and lips purple; I checked in the mirror and it's true. Isn't that great? Man, the nose on this wine was captivating. I derived as much

Review: Hightower Cellars 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

photo: Hightower Cellars 09 Cabernet Sauvignon. Hightower Cellars is located at the very top of Red Mountain. To visit the tasting room, you drive to the top of Sunset road, take a left on to a gravel road and then take the second right, that is the gravel road which will lead you to Hightower Cellars winery and tasting room. They have a lovely view of the valley below, and even lovelier wines. Tasting notes. My first impressions of the Hightower Cellars 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon: Bottle is tall, punt is deep; which I like when pouring for guests. The long cork presented well and was fun to remove. Dark color, a bit cloudy. Cherry, vanilla, chocolate, truffle oil, pepper mill on nose at opening. Good mouth feel, silky tannin, pleasantly bright top of palate. Cherry, vanilla, cocoa slid into the medium finish. At the 30 minute window: Nose had expanded, cherry/chocolate with a minty floral quality, unexpected and delightful. Fuller in the mouth, cheeks, tongue, gums cov