Left work a bit early and decided to pick up a bottle while the wife is out with friends. Lost River is a boutique winery operating out of the the Methow Valley, WA, that sources Columbia Valley grapes. This wine is a Bordeaux style white (60/40 Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc) sourced from four vineyards. Semillon-Sauvignon blends combine the grassier honey sweetness of Semillon with tropical floral dryness of Sauvignon Blanc. The blend typically pairs well with food. Per the winemaker, this wine was partial malolactic fermented (this is what makes Chardonnay tastes buttery), aged 6 months sur lie (without fining) in a mix of stainless steel and French oak. Probably best to drink this one within a couple years of bottling - though when done right Semillion-Sauvignons can age better than your average SvB. ~$15 | #lostriverwinery #columbiavalley #semillonsauvignon
On the eyes: Med+ concentration, golden yellow, bright, med stain, med+ tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Clean, orange blossom, honey, lychee and pear, med alcohol.
On the tongue: Med- tannin, med alcohol, med+ acid, flat on the tongue. Honey, pear, citron, some floral notes and wisps of oak and earth. Finishes a little acidic and the fruit is ethereal - forgotten. Decent table wine. — 4 years ago
December Cabernet Franc drinking continues with another bottle destined for a now forgotten blind tasting. Cor Cellars is a small bouquet winery that sources most grapes from the Columbia Valley. This Cab Franc, one of my favorite red varietals, was sourced from Horse Heaven Hills - a border AVA between southeastern Washington and Oregon. Alder Ridge Vineyard is owned by Precept Wines who is the biggest supplier of Horse Heaven Hills AVA grapes. Planted within shouting distance of the Columbia River, the grapes benefit from the deep marine influence the Columbia Gorge provides the region allowing favorable hang times for many grape varietals. Drank this one on its own - though would benefit with spicy or fatty foods due to high acid. ~$20 | #corcellars #cabfranc #horseheavenhills
On the eyes: Med concentration, bright strawberry-magenta, med tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Cedar, tobacco, black raspberry, strawberry, violet, chalk, med alcohol.
On the tongue: High acid, med+ tannin, med alcohol. Rhubarb, strawberry, tart cherry, hints of tarragon and a bit of earthiness; new oak(?). A bit out of balance for me - not sure cellaring will fix its issues. Best drunk now. — 4 years ago
Had to pick up a few ingredients at the PCC, and bumped into this lil' cutie. As far as white wines go, I'm a sucker for either high acid (the Albariño) and low acid (the Viognier) - the middle stuff, meh. The Albariño grape is typically grown in Spain and Portugal because it is partial to heat and humidity, but some growers in California and Washington have been experimenting with the old world fruit. Prone to fits of bitterness, like the Viognier, it typically yields stone fruit flavors on the palette. Barnard Griffin has been producing WA wines for over 30 years; this is their third offering of Albariño, (100 cases, 2016). Fruit comes from Crawford vineyard in Yakima Valley AVA. Paired it with homemade cannelloni and romaine salad. Find it and drink it! ~$18 | #barnardgriffin #yakimavalley #albariño
On the eyes: Pale straw yellow, starbright, med stain, med tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Intense tropical (passionfruit, mango?) bubblegum notes, coconut, white peach, with hints of sea air, med alcohol.
On the tongue: high acid, med tannin, med alcohol, med body, creamy. No malolactic on this one. Ripe nectarine, and white peach, rainier cherry, orange peel, with hints of caramel on the way down. Cold and warm drinking temps work - flavors will evolve. Enjoy! — 5 years ago
A 2009 Côtes du Rhône? For 13 bucks? Ok - twist my arm, RiteAid. E. Guigal suggests an eight year max on this one, and yep, still drinking nicely. The blend is a classic GSM, (52% Grenache, 45% Syrah, and 3% Mourvèdre), grown in the Rhône region of France - a hotbed of viticulture since the 1600s. Guigal has been cultivating wine inthe region since ~1940s producing both easily approachable table wine, (like the monsieur pictured here), and high end expensive bottles of pure delicious sunshine. Paired this with a yellow curry and for the price point, it was well worth it. Not sure there are many 2009s still out there - but for the money, you could do a lot worse. ~$13 | #guigal #côtesdurhône #gsm
On the eyes: Ruby with orange tinted rim, med concentration, bright, med stain, med tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: top notes of violet move through stewed blackberries, a touch of spice and licorice ending in a gravelly earthiness, med alcohol.
On the tongue: med+ acid, med tannin, med+ alcohol, med+ body, mellowed out and round on the palette. Overripe black plum, bing cherry, a touch of spice, and nice mineralty. Not overly fussy, drinks easily. The geezer should breathe a bit before you go, though. — 5 years ago
Friday Night Whites. Picked up this little southern beauty from the grocery based solely on location and label - yes, that’s me, basic AF. Anyways, Southern Right is a winery based on the southwest tip of South Africa that specializes in Pinotage and Sauvignon Blanc. The 2017 SvB is a dry offering of 10% Hemel-en-Aarde Valley grapes with the rest being a blend of other Walker Bay SvB with ~14k cases produced. Most of the grapes in the area grow in a sandstone/clay soil in a maritime climate, yielding a nice old world flavor profile to the wines, (think acid and mineral). Wine has been grown in South Africa since the 1650s, but only recently with the ending of Apartheid, has the industry been able to thrive. Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Colombard are the most grown varietals. Drank this one, on its own, chilled and unpaired. Remember to drink this now - SvB is best when young. ~$16 | #sauvingnonblanc #southafricanwine #fridaynightwhites
On the eyes: Pale light yellow, clear, light stain, med tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Delicate gooseberry and quince, sweet lychee, some floral notes and wet slate. Med alcohol.
On the tongue: Med+ acid, light tannin, med alcohol, juicy and round. Quince, asian pear, persimmon, and lychee rounding out to a bit of leafy notes and high mineralty. Really nice, long, pleasant finish. Not your classic SvB! — 4 years ago
Whelp, sorry I’ve neglected you, my fellow winos - I realize now that the wine journey must continue! This is a Cabernet Franc that I had picked up to complete a blind Cab Franc tasting that was unfortunately blindsided by a family cold - nevertheless, it was drunk tonight!
This is a French, Loire Valley, Cabernet Franc - an old world classic. This one is from Chinon, (North of Bordeaux, south of Paris), which unlike the majority of the Loire Valley, produces mainly red wines. Structurally grown on limestone beds, the wines tend to be alkaline and sometimes tannic yielding to wines better drunk young than cellared for decades. Domaine de Beauséjour is a bed and breakfast winery, producing ~120k bottle a year, all Cabernet Franc. This bottle was picked up at the local PCC. Enjoyed with some quesadillas! ~$20 | #cabfranc #chinon #frenchfriday
On the eyes: Deep ruby, pinking out at the edges, med+ concentration, bright, med tears, no gas, floc present (a bit hazy).
On the nose: floral and a tinge of citrus (think citron peel), herbaceous (think thyme) brought together with rhubarb, and currants, med alcohol.
On the tongue: Med+ tannin, Med+ acid, med alcohol, tight. Tart cherry, red currants, hints of tobacco, finished with a clean mineralty. Would benefit from decanting and drinking with food - a serviceable table wine. — 4 years ago
At the old PCC and figured, "a pre-father's day, rosé?", saw this said, "Yup." Gilbert Cellars comes from a well known Washington family who have been farming the Yakima Valley for over 115 years, 13 years of which releasing wines - this one hailing from Wahluke slope. Wahluke slope AVA is a sub-appellation of the Columbia Valley AVA. It is a hot and dry climate which favors Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, neither of which are present in this blend. This rosé is a Bandol inspired blend of 80% Mourvèdre, 20% Grenache - so right off the bat, you know it's gonna be punchy, but at 12.1% alcohol, it's pleasantly dry. Drink this one on a warm afternoon this summer and let your troubles melt away. ~$18 | #rosé #gilbertcellars #wahlukeslope
On the eyes: Pale salmon-peach, starbright, med- stain, med- tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Lychee, rhubarb, fig leaf, wet slate, med- alcohol.
On the tongue: Med+ acid, med tannin, med- alcohol, med body, off dry, a bit tight. Bright unripe strawberry, white peach, hints of cranberry, touch of mineral on the way down. Not a particularly long finish - but rosés like this are meant to be thirst quenching not masterpieces. — 5 years ago
Picked up for Christmas dinner at the local QFC. Treveri is a Columbia Valley producer that specializes in 100% varietal sparkling wines. This bottle is a Gewürztraminer made in the traditional méthode champenoise. This method calls for a secondary fermentation in the bottle. The Gewürztraminer grape is not typically known for sparkling wines as it’s quite sweet, however, that sweetness can fit a demi-sec quite nicely. Demi-sec, or “half-dry”, denotes a semi-sweet wine with sugars typically between 32-50 grams/liter (g/l) of residual sugars. In contrast, most dry table wines are <10 g/l. The sweetness of the sparkling wine worked great with the holiday fare. ~$17 | #treveri #gewürtztraminer #sparklingwine
On the eyes: Clear, pale yellow, tiny fine bubbles, starbright, med stain, med tears, no floc.
On the nose: Ripe lychee, tropical floral notes, with lingering spicy herbaceousness. Med alcohol.
On the tongue: Med- tannin, med acid, med alcohol, med body. Lychee, passion fruit, rose petal, finishing clean. Nice typical Gewürztraminer with fine effervescent bubbles - be warned, a bit sweet. — 4 years ago
Holiday vino! This little beauty came in my last shipment from Foxen, one of my favorite producers in Santa Barbara county. The Guillermo Grasso is Foxen’s take on a new world Tuscan - a 50:50 Sangiovese (Faith Vineyard)-Cabernet Sauvignon (Vogelzang Vineyard). 22 months in French Oak - 40% new - gives this wine a hefty punch of tannin and body. While the Vogelzang Vineyard is well known for producing wonderfully complex Cabernet, I’m not as familiar with Faith Vineyard - however a quick Google search shows that the Vineyard, located in Santa Ynez, specializes in Sangiovese and Sauvignon Blanc on a 7 acre plot. Though Foxen recommends cellaring this one for a few years to mellow out - I’m drinking it early. Paired with fish tacos. ~$35 | #foxen #santaynezvalley #supertuscan
On the eyes: Deep, concentrated blood red, bright - but hazy (unfined and unfiltered), med+ stain, med+ tears, no gas.
On the nose: Strawberry, cherry, rose hips, pencil shavings, tobacco, and a bit of earthy funk. Med+ alcohol.
On the tongue: Med+ acid, med+ tannin, med+ alcohol, full body, firm and tight. Red currants, raspberry, floral high notes, cigar box, and worn leather. A bit cloying and rambunctious - it would benefit from a year or two in the cellar, but still very yummy! Decant it and enjoy! Merry Christmas! — 4 years ago
Picked this up while tasting at the always amazing Mark Ryan tasting room in Woodinville. The Megan Anne Cellars label is a sister winery to Mark Ryan that specializes in Willamette Valley vineyards, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This Pinot is a blend hailing from Dundee Hills and Eola-Amity sub-appellation AVAs. Willamette Valley AVA is the largest AVA is Oregon, recognized in 1984, and renowned for it's distinctive Pinot Noirs. Pinot Noir is a thin-skinned grape that readily takes on the characteristics of where it grows - the Oregon grapes favoring soil, barn, and tart fruit overly their assertive fruit forward California cousins. Opened this and loved it, though rated it after 24 hours being opened, (with a a notable fall off on fruit and spice). Would still recommend to anyone wanting a starter PNW Pinot. ~$40 | #markryanwinery #meganannewinery #oregonpinotnoir
On the eyes: Deep, Med+ concentration red-purply color, bright, med+ stain, med tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Some funkiness that revolves around rhubarb, pomegranate, and chalkiness. Med Alcohol.
On the tongue: Med tannin, med+ acid, med alcohol, med body, tight drinker. Rhubarb, cranberry, unripe strawberry, wrapped in a funky little mineral finish. Rated after 24 hours vacuumed in the fridge - was brighter, spicer upon first opening. — 5 years ago