Washington Wine of the Week – Selections for Spring, 2018
For the week of April 8, 2018: Robert Ramsay Harris Cellars 2016 Mason’s White/2015 Mason’s Red – Winemakers Bob Harris and Casey Cobble have created a pair of amazing “everday” blends that fit that descriptor on price (about $20 each) but more than exceed it in terms of quality. The white is a combination of Roussanne and Grenache Blanc that’s slightly tropical, citrusy, nutty, round, and flat-out delicious; the red combines five Rhone varietals and is packed with red fruit flavors along with a little savoriness and some great acidity on the finish. Buy these wines now and serve them with dinner tonight.
For the week of April 1, 2018: DeLille Cellars 2015 Chaleur Blanc – DeLille Executive Winemaker Chris Upchurch and Winemaker Jason Gorski have been turning out some of Washington’s top blends for years. “We really firmly believe in good lands, good people managing the vineyards, and everyone giving care, love, and passion every step of the way,” Gorski says. That becomes apparent with each release, including this white blend of 73-percent Sauvignon Blanc and 27-percent Semillon. It’s nicely complex, with aromas of fresh field grasses and honeysuckle flowers followed by gentle flavors of pineapple and tropical fruits and a finish of caramel and toasted oak. The 2016 vintage is also available at the tasting room.
For the week of March 25, 2018: College Cellars 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – For the uneducated, a “college made” Washington wine might conjure up an imagine of amateur winemakers tinkering around with a batch of grapes for a class project. For those of us who’ve tasted releases from the Walla Walla Community College Center for Enology and Viticulture, we know that this is anything but the case. This stunning Cab, which took gold medal honors at the 2017 Bellingham NW Wine Festival, is a perfect example: it opens with a mouthful of blackberry fruit that glides into a finish of super-concentrated black cherry and black plum, framed with finely integrated tannins. Elegant, delicious, and tastefully crafted.
For the week of March 18, 2018: Bonair Winery Yakima Valley 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – Looking for an everyday Cab that delivers on taste at a reasonable price? This $13 selection from the Zillah winery easily has you covered on both fronts. Delicious, mouth-watering blackberry and sweet Ligurian cherry flavors lead off, with touches of vanilla, cedar, and brambly berry on a velvety-smooth finish. The label lists an alcohol content of only 12.5%. Understated? Perhaps. But if so, it only adds to the enjoyment and drinkability of a wine that is sure to put a smile on your face.