Taste of Tulalip, Tri-Cities Wine Festivals Showcase Washington Wines

November 27th, 2012

Earlier this month I attended a couple of my favorite Washington wine festivals. Amid the tasting, noshing and schmoozing at these events, I like to look for standout wines as well as potential trends I see in the wines that are presented.

On November 3, 62 northwest wineries poured over 400 wines at the Tri-Cities Wine Festival in Kennewick.

nullThe new darling at this year’s event appeared to be malbec, and nearly 25-percent of the festival wineries were pouring it. That’s a fairly amazing statistic when you consider this varietal only accounts for about 2-percent of the state’s total red wine production.

Outstanding malbecs I tried included Woondinville’s Convergence Zone Cellars 2010 Black Cloud Malbec, Yakima Valley’s Upland Estates Winery 2009 Malbec, and Kennewick’s Smasne Cellars 2008 Phinny Hill Malbec, which displays structured layers of blueberry and subtle spices that earned it Best of Varietal Double Gold honors.

Another small-quantity, up-and-coming varietal also poured by what seemed to be a disproportionately large number of wineries was zinfandel (and its Italian clone, primitivo). The Thurston Wolfe 2010 Howling Wolfe Zinfandel from Prosser was especially noteworthy, as was Chelan’s Hard Row to Hoe Vineyards 2010 Primitivo.

Best of show honors went to the Apex Cellars 2010 Grenache. I didn’t get to try this wine, but Festival originator Coke Roth, who was a judge at the competition, likened it to “…Grenache from Spain or the south of France,” and called it “superb.”

On November 10, another great event, the Grand Taste at the Tulalip Resort and Casino featured wines from Washington, Oregon, Napa Valley, Italy and France.

I chose to focus most of my attention on the 65 Washington wineries in attendance and wasn’t surprised to find that the quality of the wines served at this non-judged tasting was absolutely remarkable.

The Taste was dominated by red wines, and although small in number, the white wines available were equally impressive.

A couple of Walla Walla whites really stood out for me; a stunning, slightly creamy Abeja 2010 Chardonnay and the refreshing Otis Kenyon 2011 Roussanne, which displayed lovely nuances of hazelnut and dried apricot.

nullTop-caliber red wines included the Stephenson Cellars Stellar Syrah, sourced from the winery’s Walla Walla estate vineyard; the Pont 21 2010 Tempranillo, a stunning fruit-forward mouthful of dried cherry with hints of smoky spice; and the rich, plush, insanely priced Doubleback 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Chris Figgins and former WSU/NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe.

Plenty of Options Will Take the Stress Out of Choosing a Thanksgiving Wine

November 20th, 2012

It’s that time of year for my traditional Thanksgiving column or, as some may perceive it, the kickoff of “wine shopping anxiety season.”

Really now, if you’d paid attention for even part of the first ten-plus months of the year you wouldn’t have to worry about what wine to serve Aunt Tilly and Uncle Horace this coming Thursday. But since you may have forgotten the useful tips and tricks of food and wine pairing, let me offer up some suggestions that should help reduce your stress level.

nullWith relatively no serious seasonings, spices or sassy sauces to get in the way, your Thanksgiving dinner shouldn’t pose a threat to many of the wines you might choose to serve with your meal.

If your guests prefer dry white wines, a chardonnay, roussanne, marsanne, or even a viognier should pair just fine with your turkey and mashed potatoes. A pinot gris or a sauvignon blanc might also work, but be aware that these wines have a higher acidity level that not everyone may find pleasing.

Riesling and gewürztraminer can also be great white wines to serve because they come in a range of styles including dry (no sugar), semi-dry (faintly sweet), sweet or even late harvest (super-sweet).

I’d reserve the sweeter options as pumpkin pie choices, although you may find that some folks – usually those who seldom drink wine – might like to imbibe in them throughout the entire day. (This may be a good time to remember to book that spa day for yourself for next week.)

Some red wines can be a bit too bold to serve with Thanksgiving dinner and they’ll drown out the flavors of your food. Along these lines, I’d steer clear of full-bodied cabernet sauvignons and probably syrah and merlot as well.

Pinot noir makes an excellent red wine choice for dinner with its trademark brisk acidity and savory, earthy characteristics. Sangiovese and grenache are a couple of other medium-bodied red wines you might consider as well.

And don’t forget rosés, which can also come in a huge array of flavor profiles and sweetness levels. I’d stick to the more food-friendly drier versions and don’t forget to chill these slightly before serving for best results.

Unquestionably, the best advice I can give is to have enough different choices on hand so that there’s something almost certain to please everyone. Pop the cork (or unscrew the cap), enjoy some good food and wine and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Washington Cabernet Franc Beginning to Come Into Its Own

November 13th, 2012

In the world of wine, cabernet franc seldom takes center stage. It seems perfectly content to play a supporting role, most often in a red wine blend with a smattering of other varietals backing up cabernet sauvignon or merlot as the lead character.

Cabernet Franc is one of six red grapes permitted for use in France’s Bordeaux region. As with many European wines, cab francs from this area generally place less emphasis on fruit flavors and display more of an earthy/herbaceous quality.

In terms of body style and acidity, cabernet franc usually falls in the middle-of-the-road, although you’re likely to encounter some fuller-bodied domestic versions from warmer growing regions and as the product of winemaker and consumer taste preferences.

Despite its primary use as a blending agent, it’s not difficult to find cabernet franc as a stand-alone varietal and the grape is particularly well represented by an increasing number of Washington wineries.

nullHere are some Washington cabernet francs I’ve enjoyed as of late that are worth checking out:

Willow Crest Winery 2009 Cabernet Franc (about $15) – Winemaker David Minick hits this one out of the park with an easy drinking, completely underpriced cab franc from the Yakima Valley. Lots of black plummy flavors on the palate glide into a finish that’s slightly spicy and herby with a hint of minerality.

San Juan Vineyards 2009 Cabernet Franc (about $19) – A friend of mine, who’s no slouch when it comes to wines, took one sip of this and proclaimed it was “one of the best cab francs she’d tasted.” Lovely cedar aromatics, understated cherry and blackberry flavors, and a trace of butterscotch on the finish highlight this nicely crafted wine from winemaker Chris Primus.

El Corazon Winery 2010 First Crush Cabernet Franc (about $28) – Although the alcohol level is a bit steep (14.8 percent), Walla Walla winemaker Spencer Sievers does a terrific job of balancing this out by producing a flavorful, full-bodied wine. The base suggests black tea, with layers of dark cherry, bittersweet chocolate and currant, and a smack of red licorice on the finish.

Barrister Winery 2009 Cabernet Franc (about $28) – Spokane winemakers Greg Lipsker and Michael White have done it again with this huge, expressive wine. Dark berry fruits lead off, while the mid-palate of black currant, espresso, and anise finish with a dusting of dark chocolate and chalky tannins. Enjoy now or cellar for later; this is definitely one kickass cabernet franc.

Robert Karl and Barrister Are Two of Spokane’s Best Wineries

November 6th, 2012

During a recent stopover in downtown Spokane, I made certain to visit what are arguably two of the best wineries in the city.

nullRobert Karl Cellars has been a long-time favorite of mine. Winemaker Joe Gunselman and his wife Rebecca were on hand the day I dropped by and even though they were in the middle of the 2012 crush, the always personable Rebecca took time to meet and chat about their wines.

The winery specializes in red wines and but now also serves a sauvignon blanc. (Rebecca recalled on a warm summer day her desire for this crisp white wine, so Joe said, “I’ll make you one.” We should all be so lucky.)

Current releases include the 2009 Claret (about $20), an over-achieving cabernet sauvignon-based Bordeaux blend with red berry and cherry flavors, nuances of toasted oak and just a bit of grip for perfect balance.

The 2009 Merlot (about $22) is also excellent, with chocolaty, coffee notes and a nice dense, chewy quality; and the huge, cellar-worthy 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon (about $30) is a must-try with fragrant violet aromatics, understated black currant flavors, firm tannins and a finish with a burst of blackberry.

nullAt nearby Barrister Winery, Greg Lipsker and Michael White offer 10-plus years of quality winemaking and show no signs of letting up.

Red wines are again the specialty here, but recently they’ve turned out a bit of white wine as well. Their current effort, a beautiful 2011 Sauvignon Blanc (about $19) begins with everything lemon: lemon zest, lemon chiffon, Limoncello…but it’s much more complex than that.

There’s also a lovely layer of white peach and honeydew, a lengthy finish with a touch of residual sugar, and brisk acidity for balance that makes this a standout wine.

Red wine choices include the Rough Justice VII Red Blend (about $21), a well-priced non-vintage combination of cabernet, merlot, syrah and cabernet franc that features a mouthful of dark berry and plum flavors and supple tannins.

Another blend, the gorgeous, five-varietal Barrister’s Block (about $32) is sourced from Pepper Bridge, Bacchus and Seven Hills Vineyards. This stunning wine, which spans three vintages, is jammy without being overly fruity and melts into a long, plush finish.

Next week I’ll review Barrister’s signature wine, Cabernet Franc, along with some other recommendations of this varietal from Washington wineries.

For more information including ordering, tasting room hours and locations, visit each winery’s website at robertkarl.com and barristerwinery.com.

Whatcom County Wine Dinner at 9Nine Restaurant

November 2nd, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012 from 6:00 to 8:30 pm – Enjoy a five-course dinner prepared by Chef Zacchoreli Frescobaldi-Grimaldi with wines from a number of Whatcom County wineries.

Scheduled to attend will be winemakers from Dakota Creek Winery, Dynasty Cellars, Mount Baker Vineyards, and Masquerade Wine Company. Cost is $65 per person (tax included) with a 10% discount for couples.

9Nine Restaurant is located at North Bellingham Golf Course, 205 West Smith Road. Reservations are required and can be made by phoning (360) 398-8300, extension 2.

Next Page »

Powered by WordPress

floxin otic vs ciprodex buy over the counter purim online canadian health mall amy ried cost of singulair without insurance cabaser 1mg ativan generic lexapro hair sominex in the uk now cialis tabletas 20 mgs cheapest 40 mg cialis meclizine 25mg medication motion sickness phenergan lowest price flomist cipla pharmaceuticals zoloft 50 mg daily azithromycin 250 mg for mrsa zyprexa withdrawal symptoms nausea erythromycin medicine bottle olanzapine withdrawal headache minocycline 100 mg capsules for dogs tadacip dose boots chemist beconase nizoral a d viagra 25mg works compra cytotec can metformin be taken when mensurating dicyclomine 10mg capsules 25mg buy flovent from mexico online where to buy diovan with amex sertralina indicaciones vilches leon gto knife river cialis mg5 fexofenadine hydrochloride 180 mg tablets clomid ovulation pills for sale alberta buy clomid made in usa where to buy alligator clips in toronto cialis generic mumbai celebrex generic wiki cialis canadian generika propecia bestellen doxycycline cheap price where to lynoral mexitil side effects how to take nolvadex and clomid vitamin shoppe coupons strongman viagra lasix medication liquidex bodybuilding competitions elimite 5 permethrin cream buy clomid durban fast mobic online purchase glipizide for sale buy antebuse no perscription cheap augmentin duo 1 mg generic viagra suppliers uk phenergan dm cough syrup prometrium capsules potassium permanganate uses where can i purchase allegra d maxalt prices cvs glucophage 500mg images online cialis 40 mg purchase proscar 5mg filmtabletten 100 stu"ck prednisone generic cost delta enterprises cialis cheap abortion pill adderall weight loss before and after baytril for dogs dose sustiva side effects efavirenz/emtricitab/tenofovir astromenda uninstall buy levothyroxine without a prescription propecia kaufen ohne rezept cual es el precio del orlistat en mexico use levitra coupon online vagra ofr men yagara mg buy dilantin generic reviews eprex dose in dialysis patients doqi kidney baclofen antidote cialis 10mg portugal ampicillin overnight delivery cialis online bestellen cytotec online no prescription rx one pharmacy canada non generic quick ship cialis euroclinix netflix buy reglan tablets online silagra 100 reviews cefabiot 500mg to g voltaren medication mirtazapine 30 mg tablet side effects buy 50 mg doxycycline where to buy synthroid with mastercard safe amantadine buy buying synthroid without insurance 5 mg predisome canada sales cialis medtronic baclofen pump spasticity 1000 games andkon arcade diflucan 150 mg gel richmond indoor paintball fake birth control pills for sale meprate tablets diane lane josh brolin zyvox rxlist betacin tablets for toddlers milanuncios coches todo terreno segunda mano viagra drink metformin 500mg side effects type 2 diabetes priligy singapore buy online forum prescription seroflo inhaler doses vitamix recipes free qvc clonidine for opiate withdrawals norfloxacin 400mg dose levaquin buy no prescription buy indian clomid livial menopause tibolone zovirax online coupons levitra professional india no prescription sifrol pramipexole treatment for hemorrhoids eprex dose in dialysis patients doqit strattera 15 mg erythromycin ethylsuccinate 250mg generic propecia otc 5 mg prednisone dosage fluoxetine hcl 10mg for cats augmentin vs omnicef for sinus infection milnacipran hcl savella best price for propecia online buy viagra melboure levitra lutschtabletten 10 mg cipro pharmacy coupons 20 mg vyvanse street price buy kamagra bangalore atarax medicine classification generic cialis potency viapro reviews diflucan buy online 40 mg cialis online name brand viagra online usa acheter viagra generique pas cher kelnor without prescription canadian health insurance companies tennessee ginseng prices 2012 over the counter viagra walmart fibadel 5 pharmacy near metairie la buying viagra overseas order canadian rx propecia product vitamin d deficiency symptoms bones salazopyrin en 500mg pravachol generic for buy tizac without prescription buy generic sildenafil australia viramune copay card regenon romania pentru med cab reviews nolvadex tablets 20mg cialis professional order condyline podophyllotoxin cream cabaser dosages evista pill canadian after sex pill in india terramycin ophthalmic ointment for dogs buy snovitra super power 20 buy dostinex with no prescription nexium 20 mg compresse zithromax 300 mg syrup cialis 10 mg online cephalexin 500mg mercury drugstore products price list venlafaxine xr without a prescription adalat oros tablets side effects 24th pharmacy ltd generic cialis benefits amaryl drug card buy imitrex online cheap over the counter eldepryl order metformin online can you take tenormin daily viagra generic wemon prozac no prescription cheap celebrex 100 mg indications benicar generic release date flonase over the counter walmart metformina 850 dosis recomendada de melatonina thyroxine side effects dogs beconase aq for sale philippines florinef tablets dogs macrobid and pregnancy safe orlistat cheapest zoloft 25 mg withdrawal zocor side effects simvastatin patients fast astelin delivery propecia online canada pharmacy cialis cyprus triamterene 100 mg po b.i.d. p.c buy nizoral hong kong best price for real mentax buy trileptal no prescription cialis 10 mg coupon med cab norwich ct mavidol sl 30mg morphine progesterone suppositories side effects cramps can women take kamagra oral jelly amantedine no prescription canada sildenafil citrate 100 mg side effects aristocort triamcinolone ramipril 10mg side effects cialis kanada where to roxithromycin viagra pills mga 100 piroxicam 10mg tramol online u k ropinirole hydrochloride what is clozapine medication how to buy prednisone clomid 50mg duphaston cipro 750 mg diarrhea prijs lexapro 15 mg cipro generic price price for cialis 5mg australia taking 2 25mg viagra buy prednisone medication cost of lithium ion batteries for cameras para que se usa el medicamento aleve ingredients in sominex sleeping pills online drugstore free shipping overseas viagra lexapro 5mg fatigue cheap levitra uk levitra online budapest claritin side effects medication pfizer viagra coupon cytotec 200 mg misoprostol vigra lufthavn parkering buy cialis rush sildenafil manly z pack side effects anxiety what are etodolac pills for phenofibrate efectos viagra 100 mg price para que serve prednisona 20mg cost of crestor at walmart online pharmarcy nexium oral 10 mg reliable place to buy nolvadex for pct levitra generic real tadalafil canada no perscription utilisation cialis 20mg is alli available again lipothin no rx cialis manufacturers coupons plavix side effects mayo clinic viagra online 24 hr nasonex side effects medication nasonex nasal spray what is betafusin how effective is albenza for pinworms order prednisone for cats 60 mg prednisone injection liposafe pills buy prilosec what is it used for eutirox 50 efectos secundarios 2 mg prednisone generic viagra sa buspar india sale zoloft 50 mg bid indinavir mechanism of action nolvadex 10 mg ginecomastia prostata inflamada remedios caseros kamagra 100 chewable tablet 158 lipothin 200 acquisto danazol sicuro online side effects of viamax power coffee xanax cost in mexico prednisone 2.5 mg tablet prednisone prednisolone compare dicyclomine 10 mg cap lannett singulair allergy medicine generic where zebeta buying generic clomid buying cialis Washington cheap discount viagra ireland viagra online buy original cialis what is elavil ipad mini cheapest price metformin 500mg side effects alcohol lantus vs levemir comparison periactin 8 mg buy viagra online next day delivery can your buy levitra professional in ireland pill where can i buy ocu-glo rx cyklokapron online in us lipitor recall information medication for type 2 diabetes online norvasc 10mg reviews buy korean red ginseng canada little bluepill where can i buy genuine viagra online what is the generic for synthroid mesterolone bodybuilding taking clomid for late ovulation accutane closed comedones astelin nasal spray cost cleocin t pledgets promethazine 25 mg tablet order risperdal consta buy cheap lisinopril viagra plus without prescription getting cephalexin in australia 150 mg diflucan misoprostol for miscarriage failed amsa fast 120mg buy aricept overseas cefixime overnight pharmacy procardia discount coupon nifedipine er 30mg what is it used for colospa drugs for sale accutane by mail where can i get vpxl himcolin cream cheese sites from wich to pruchase cialis and viagra furosemide canada overnight delivery comprar viagra 50 mg cialis 20 mg tb prevacid weight gain forums purchase valium without a prescription buy cialis cheaply vytorin 1020 medicine medication doxycap tablets for toddlersdoxyclindoxycyclduetact cipro overdose 1000mg real viagra online sales cialis indian pharmacy phexin bd tablets at walmart kamagra tablets offers buy prednisone 50 mg terramicina pomada precio overseas viagra where to buy lithium salt paypal viagra online buy kamagra berlin zoloft sleep disorders strattera 40 mg precio nimesulide tablets alpalide viagra 100mg private levitra promo code antivert shelf life buy wellbutrin sr online without prescription noroxin dosages benicar medication assistance is amantadine available over the counter generic triamterene hctz online apotheke strattera what does provera do for you natija dyal 9wilbat aliviosin dyal gholdson all types shallaki pills viagra mfg sildenafil 100mg dapoxetine 60mg paracetamol mechanism of action analgesic ortho tri-cyclen discounted tablete za potenciju zena what is coregistration fmri baclofen pump implant spanish where yo buy zovirac cialis generico inghilterra insulin sliding scale formula oflocet et clomid viagra safe online augmentin dawkowanie 1000 mg original zocor online actos pioglitazone- generic non persciption bactroban can your buy levitra professional in ireland pill cialis 20mg street cipro overnight delivery kamagra jelly 5 mg over the counter lexpro zithromax capsules online adalat gits 20 mg cheap super viagra buy roxithromycin in singapore buy ed pills deals levitra no prescription approved cialis lasix 40mg online amoxil online order craigslist house for rent manchester ct generic lexapro bad vimax pills zovirax medication use lexapro generic indian pharmacy antibiotics for pneumonia and sinus infection cialis 80 mg tadalafil cialis jelly india himcolin cream cheese where to get pure hoodia rx pharmacy online tetracycline hcl prices viagra gold usa venlafaxine side effects hair order clonidine actos warning avandia finpecia canada diclofenaco de sodio 100 mg effexor dosage for anxiety zanaflex tizanidine erowid much xenical buy alphagan ophthalmic solution 0.15 provigil weight loss modafinil online pharmasists thailand effexor xr thailand price buy arjuna without rx estradiol valerate estrogens how to purchase ginseng online cialis 100 mg soft betafusin cream of tartar order fluoxetine online my clozaril coupons erythromycin purchase online viagra und cialis kaufen cialis 10mg portugal sildenafil citrate msds buy priligy 30 mg himalaya himcolin gel side effects very very cheap viagra ranbaxy forzest tadalafil prazosin hcl 2mg cap teva glipizide side effects dose is it safe to order dapoxetine proscar finasteride hair growth meclizine 25mg medication antivert which online pharmacies use cipla lasix in the unsa buy levitra generic cymbalta 60 mg for sale buy pain meds online cheap eyeglasses without prescription progesterone pills to stop bleeding nootropil medicine cialis 5mg filmtabletten 28 stuck xerograx capsulas de alcachofa xenical drugs alli alli medicine reviews viagra on canadian pharmacy buy pfizer brand viagra online buy liv 52 online overnight cloridrato de sertralina 50mg para que serve brand cialis pillscheap levitra tablets india bentyl dosage for children brand name viagra cheapest viagra orders pastillas cytotec 200mg buy zithromax cod diflucan 150 mg prezzo indocin lowest price online generic lasix pills why can;t i buy alli pills order levitra from canada propecia msd order cialis actors search http timberlinehotels index canadian viagra cheap vigra for sale in ireland suhagra 100 rx canada can detrol cause weight gain how i get nitroglycerin ointment generic viagra on line order non prescription tretinoin 0,05 pharmacy anafranil medication cheapest viagra ebay betanoid syrup denver uk cialis generic generic cialis 40 australia najlepsza viagra 150 mg cost augmentin generic fml forte order canada celebrex tm 200 mg donde comprar vermox wellbutrin online order how buy viagra internet can you buy cialis online with no prescription seroquel 25mg street value buy coreg fast shipping indication lasix 40 mg ornidazole drug interaction tadapox available in kerala styletadarise lamisil side effects carafate uses in dogs lithium ion battery electric car for sale generic lexapro approved cheap cytotec 40 mg generic levitra vardenafil cialis canadian pha indinavir crystals in ear generic bentyl safe divya pharmacy website suhagra pills avapro side effects dose aprovel 150mg price flexeril and breastfeeding