Saturday, December 1, 2012

2010 Fall Line Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Yakima Valley

Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon
Producer: Fall Line Winery
Vintage: 2010 | Varietal(s): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
RegionYakima Valley AVA (Vineyards: 43% Boushey, 41% Artz, & 16% Red Willow)
14.4% alcohol | 18 months in French Oak (37% new)
Cost: $32
Quality: 91-92 | Excellent

Dark plum in color. The nose is immediately noticeable and quite aromatic. Marzipan, bing cherries, blueberries and baking spices are all there intermingling together. The palate is lush with cherries and blue fruit all laced with a subtle minerality. Drinking very gracefully with soft silky tannins, well balance with good acidity that make this a great candidate for any meal or by itself.  Very enjoyable; a real crowd pleaser. Excellent. Recommended. 

Buzz: As a former ski bum and still sometimes dangerous skier myself, Fall Line Winery's name calls to me on many levels. The fall line is the usually the most direct route down from any peak and ironically my preferred method down. Turns out it's also the inspiration for their winery's name. Nice, I like it.

The winery is owned and operated by the husband and wife team of winemaker Tim Sorenson and his wife, Nancy Rivenburgh. Professors by trade, an interest in wine had Tim attending an Introduction to Winemaking class himself at the famed University of California-Davis in 2000. By 2002 he was working under Benjamin Smith of Cadence Winery and in 2004, their own Fall Line Winery was licensed and bonded. Driven by a love for wine and fascinated by science their motto is appropriately: Grace. Balance. Depth. Perfectly suited for their wine and I can't wait to taste the rest of their lineup.

Availability: Local grocers, wine shops, and winery. 
(Recommended by the buyer at my Metropolitan Market in Kirkland - On sale now for $26)

Fall Line Winery
Seattle, WA
Since 2004

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

a new chapter

Just like this tasting last night, something special is in the works. Stay tuned and I'll be back soon.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

2008 Ross Andrew Winery Syrah Boushey Vineyard

Wine: Syrah Boushey Vineyard
Producer: Ross Andrew Winery
Vintage: 2008 Varietal(s): 100% Syrah
RegionColumbia Valley (Boushey Vineyard)
13.8% alcohol, 70% New French oak for 14 months
Cost: $34
Quality: 92-93 | Excellent

Dark purple color with an opaque core. The nose is saturated with smokey black and blue fruits, meat and funky earth undertones. The palate is very bright with great acid showing espresso laced tart fruit, cocoa, tar and pepper. Wound up tight and youthful right now, this is complex, deliberate, powerful and yet restrained.  Ending with a beautifully long finish. Excellent. Recommended. 

Buzz: Crafted from 3 separate Syrah clones from the legendary Boushey vineyard, this wine just like the winery is a solid winner. Ross Andrew Mickel is the founder and winemaker at the winery who has an excellent pedigree and resume. Starting at DeLille Cellars followed by a stint in Australia at Rosemont Estate, Ross returned to hone his craft under Bob Betz at Betz Family Winery (another legend). These years of hard work turned into his own winery in 1999. Today he not only makes wine for his winery but also serves as one of the winemakers for the Grand Reve/Force Masjeure collaboration where he has received well deserved accolades including a 97 point score for his Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon.  

Availability: Local grocers, wine shops, and winery. 

Ross Andrew Winery
Woodinville, WA
Since 1999

Friday, February 3, 2012

2008 Rulo Winery Syrah

Wine: Rulo Syrah
Producer: Rulo Winery
Vintage: 2008 Varietal(s): 100% Syrah
RegionColumbia Valley (Wahluke Slope & Red Mountain)
14.5% alcohol
Cost: $18-$20
Quality: 89-90 | Very Good

Dark ruby purple color. The aromatics enjoyably continued to change with air; smoke, pepper, cedar, dark fruits and earth. The palate was lush with dark fruit and spice. Good acid with subtle and approachable tannins, with a nice lingering finish. Very Good. Recommended. 

Buzz: Established in 2000, Rulo winery is owned and run by husband and wife Kurt & Vicki Schlicker. Kurt who has a degree from Stanford and an MD from the University of Washington School of Medicine now is the winemaker for their winery. This is their passion, not a hobby. The Rulo team has holdings at vineyards throughout the state and bring that vertical knowledge and understanding to the wines they produce. They are also proud to be using synthetic screwcap closures on all of their bottlings. This is to eliminate the possiblitiy of cork taint (TCA). Funny as I was just thinking that I've been opening some really killer wine recently with screwcaps. Certainly beats a corked wine. 

Availability: Local grocers, wine shops, and winery. (I bought mine at Trader Joe's)

Rulo Winery

Walla Walla, WA
Since 2000

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2009 JM Cellars Margaret's Vineyard Estate Red

Wine: Margaret's Vineyard Estate Red
Producer: JM Cellars
Vintage: 2009 
Varietal(s): 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc, 17% Malbec, 6% Petite Verdot and 6% Carmenere
Region: Walla Walla Valley AVA
14.4% alcohol
Cost: $42
Quality: 88-89 | Very Good

Plum in color with it going black in the core. On the nose are baking spices, black raspberries, blueberries and cocoa powder. The palate is rich with cherries, chocolate, and pepper. Mid length finish.Very Good.

Buzz: A local family business, John & Peggy Bigelow run this winery is perched on a hillside just up from the Sammamish valley in Woodinville. Dedicated to crafting great wine with great grapes they recently bought a site in the Blue Mountains and planted their first estate owned vineyard, Margaret's Vineyard. Using specialized farming including tightly spaced vines and one cluster per fine is going to give this vineyard great concentration in it's grapes for years. This is their inaugural vintage having just planted it in 2007. This is a very classic Bordeaux blend of grapes and I'm excited to see the progression of these wines from their vineyards as the vines mature and develop in the coming years.

Availability: Select wine shops, restaurants and winery.

JM Cellars
Woodinville, WA
Since 2000

Friday, January 13, 2012

Value Series: 2008 Seven Hills Winery Planing Mill Red

Wine: Planing Mill Red Wine
Producer: Seven Hills Winery
Vintage: 2008 Varietal(s): 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Syrah, 7% Malbec, 
7% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc
RegionColumbia Valley
Barrels: American, French, European (30% new)
14.5% alcohol
Cost: $11-$15
Quality: 88-89 | Very Good

A dense dark plum color in the glass. A very alluring nose of dried cherries, baked fig tarts and hints of cedar. The palate is light on its feet, fruit forward showing dark cherries, red fruit and mulling spices. Everything is bright and balanced with a nice smooth finish. Ready for drinking now. Very Good.

Buzz: Seven Hills Winery should always be in the discussion among the top wineries in the state. Founder and winemaker Casey McClellan grew up as a fourth-generation farmer working with his father to plant the Seven Hills Vineyard; another of the states' best. Casey and winery focus on a more restrained use of oak, varietally and terroir focused wine. They've been doing it over 20 years working with the best vineyards the state has to offer. This Costco buy is an absolute no brainer. Good any night of the week with any food or alone. Enjoy. Recommended.

Availability: Local grocers. (Found mine at Costco)

Seven Hills Winery
Walla Walla, WA
Since 1988

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2007 Zero One Vintners 'The Wild Sky' Cabernet Sauvignon

Wine: The Wild Sky
Producer: Zero One Vintners
Vintage: 2007 Varietal(s): 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot 
RegionWalla Walla Valley
Spofford Station and Olsen Estates Vineyards
14.4% alcohol
Cost: $30
Quality: 90-91 | Very Good / Excellent

Deep dark ruby red that glows in the glass. Dusky red fruit, herbal notes and cocoa present nicely on the nose. Palate is saturated with dark red fruit, chocolate and some fresh cut tobacco. Good acidity, integrated tannins, drinking very well now. Medium to long finish. Very Good / Excellent.

Buzz: A relative newcomer as a Washington wine producer, they are already making great wines out of the gate. Portions of proceeds from all 'The Wild Sky' purchases are donated to the Leave No Trace non-profit organization focused on 'enjoyment and active stewardship of the outdoors by all people worldwide'. 'The Wild Sky' wine is named after the newly federally designated wildness area, Wild Sky Wilderness.

Availability: Local grocers, wine shops.

Zero One Vintners
Redmond, WA
Since 2006