Friday, August 12, 2011

A Tale of Two Wines

Been a busy last few weeks. I've had some wines but no notes handy. So this week I made a concerted effort to try some smaller producer local Washington reds and take notes.

While Costco buys a lot of wine, smaller shops locally provide a closer tie to the winemakers and smaller producers. One of those places is Seattle Wine Co in Bellevue. Some of my first cellar worthy bottles came from them and I can always rely on them to have some great closeout deal from really good wineries. Stopped in and yes, deals to be had.

I grabbed 2 bottle of local mid/upper range wines on discount. Both of them used nice bottles, good corks, and wax to distinguish themselves worthy of their price tag. So was there value there?

2007 Hence Cellars Cultivar (Walla Walla, WA)

Grapes: 55% Cabernet, 10% Merlot, 10% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Franc, 10% Carmenere, 5% Sangiovese, & 5% Estate Malbec. Production 275 cases.  I don't have the barrel time but their website says their fruit is aged in 100% new oak for 24-28 months. I also love the hand numbered bottle label. Cost to me: $18

Ruby red in the glass. On the nose is dried cherries, dust, nutmeg and vanilla. The palate was light bodied and all red fruit. Short finish. Missing tannins, structure and backbone. A great compliment to food, drink up!. 85 pts

2008 O'Shea Scarborough Main Event (Columbia Valley, WA -Yakima Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, & Red Mountain)

86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, & 7% Petit Verdot. Production: 315 cases.Aged 24 months in French oak (60% new).  These are coming from some of the best vineyards in the State. Klipsun, Boushey, and Andrew Will's Two Blondes vineyard. Cost to me: $23

Dark ruby in the glass. On the nose is chocolate covered cherries, plum and vanilla. Medium bodied with lots of dark fruit, underbrush and spice on the palate. Crisp acidity, medium tannins, nicely structured and balanced. This will age and get better.  89-90 pts

Value goes to the O'Shea Scarborough. Seems fitting given the label.

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