Another “should have decanted” bottle. Started off a bit funky but blew off after awhile. Won this as part of a lot at the silent auction at the Napa Valley Wine Auction several years ago. — 23 days ago
Completing my tasting of all my Walter Hansel Pinot single vineyard selections with their “The Three Rows.”
The nose is engaging. Sweet vanilla, caramel, ripe & slightly sour; blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries, blueberries and baked strawberries. Dark soil, limestone, dry clay, dark berry cola, touch herbaceous, black licorice, sweet tarry notes, stems, notes of pyrazines and fresh dark floral bouquet.
The body is just medium. I would say this wine hit its peak two years ago. It’s good, ripe and still shows freshness after being open for an hour. Ripe & slightly sour; blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries, cranberries, pomegranate extract, blue floral fruits and baked strawberries. Vanilla, salted caramel, clove, touch of nutmeg, dark soil, limestone, dry clay, dry crushed rocks, dark berry cola, touch herbaceous, dark spice with palate heat sets in the longer it opens up, black licorice, sweet tarry notes, stems, notes of pyrazines and fresh dark floral bouquet with violets.
Photos of; Walter Hansel Vineyard, Owner/Winemaker Stephen Hansel, Pinot grapes going through veraison and the Walter Hansel Winery. — 2 years ago
100% Merlot from the Four Feathers Vineyard. The fruits are candied & perfumed on the nose. Blackberries, dark cherries, cherries, plum, black plum, black raspberries, black licorice, tarry notes, light spice, baking spices, violets and dark fresh florals. The palate has velvety M+ tannins & body, violet infused fruits that match the nose but add strawberries. Dry stones, crushed rocks, light pepper, spices that lift and intensify off the palate, cola and fresh purple florals. The acidity is well done. The finish is rich, elegant and showcases a lot of spice. Photos of, the estate building, Merlot grapes that will apparently finish veraison by the first week of September! Mmmm? Last, their visitor tasting patio. Northstar is a premium Walla Walla producer owned by Chateau Ste. Michelle — 3 years ago
The 14 is a blend of 77% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc & 7% Merlot. Nose of; ruby dark cassis, blackberries, black plum, dark cherries, black raspberries, hues of blue fruits, pepper and liquid violets. The mouthfeel is lush & ruby. M+ body & M+ tannins. Blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, black raspberries and hues of blue fruits. Crushed rocks, soft leather, dry herbs, underbrush, loamy soil powder, notes of cigar, violets, dark florals, nice acidity and beautifully round, lush finish with sex appeal. Photos of; an aerial view of Pepper Bridge, estate grapes going through veraison, Owner-Norm McKibben, and ground shot of the estate. Producer notes and history...Norm McKibben is one of founding fathers of Walla Walla's wine industry. To his good friends and colleagues, he is better know as "Stormin' Norman." In Norm's 30 plus years in Walla Walla, the valley has evolved from a 40 vineyard acres to an appellation with more than 2,800 acres under vine. A good portion of the boom can be attributed to Norm even after coming to the game late after working for several decades as an engineer in the construction industry. Not wanting to retire after, he moved to Walla Walla to become an apple farmer. In 1989, he realized Walla Walla's potential for grape growing. Norm planted his first vineyard with help from his wife, Virginia and their eldest son, Shane. Two years later, Norm added Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. These vines soon became the backbone of Pepper Bridge. Not long after he expanded his business and resume further. Norm got involved in the budding wine industry. He served as a partner and director at Canoe Ridge Vineyards, Hogue Cellars and worked with a number of Walla Walla's leading vintners. In 1996, he partnered with Gary Figgins of Leonetti Cellar and Marty Clubb of L'Ecole No. 41. At this point, McKibben had increased his vineyard holdings to 200 acres. In 1998, Norm officially started Pepper Bridge Winery. Today, Pepper Bridge Winery is a benchmark property in Walla Walla and Norm is an icon of the industry. He manages and consults for more than 600 acres of the top vineyard sites in Walla Walla; Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills and Les Collines. Norm also has introduced state of the art irrigation systems, soil moisture temperature monitoring equipment and sustainable farming techniques. Norm is a big believer in sustainable viticulture. All of his vineyards are certified sustainable by VINEA, the Walla Walla Valley's Sustainable Trust, and LIVE, an Oregon-based sustainable viticulture organization. They are also certified Salmon Safe and are monitored by the IOBC, the international body responsible for setting sustainability standards. In 1998, the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers honored Norm as "Grape Grower of the Year." That same year, he was appointed chair of the Washington Wine Commission and served in that position until retiring from the organization in 2001. If there is a Maverick of the Walla Walla wine producers, it would be Norm. — 3 years ago
Full bodied dark deep fruit smooth. — 3 months ago
A perfectly balanced rosé, without the overbearing sweetness — 4 months ago
Sweet floral dark and mid red fruits on the nose. Gorgeous fruits with nice tannin structure. Blackberries, black cherries, cherries, black plum, plum, baking spices, loamy soils, fresh, bright violet & red roses with a beautiful rich finish. This 15 will benefit greatly and merit a even higher score with 10-15 years in the bottle. Still very tight at this young age; which is typical for most vintages of their Cabernet & Cabernet reserve. If not my favorite Walla Walla producer, certainly in the top 2 or 3. Photos of; their estate vineyard, estate vineyard fruit just starting veraison, tasting room and barrel room. — 3 years ago
100% Petit Verdot that drinks well young is not easy. Northstar has done a pretty nice job with their 2013. They source the fruit from their Stone Tree vineyard on Wahluke Slope & Shaw vineyard on Red Mtn.. On the nose, ruby fruits of; blackberries, dark cherries, black raspberries & faint strawberries. Smoke, grilled meats, pepper, caramel, mocha, dry herbs and fresh & dry florals. The body and tannins are M-M+. The core of the fruit palate is black currants. Tarry notes, pepper, mocha, caramel, smoke, blackberries, dark cherries, black plum, dry soil, dry crushed rocks powder, dry stems, dry herb notes, spice, leather, violets, dry dark florals with nice acidity. The round finish starts fruity then drys but has very good structure, length, tension & balance. Photos of; their estate Merlot vines, cellar stainless tanks and the estate fruit starting to go through veraison. In the Estate photo, you can see the smoke filling the valley skies from the wild fires in British Columbia. — 3 years ago