Washington Wine of the Week – Selections for Winter, 2021

For the week of January 17, 2021: Forgeron Cellars 2018 Blacksmith Rouge GSM – This soon-to-be-released blend of 63% Syrah, 21% Mourvedre, and 16% Grenache carries a “fresh” quality you’d expect from a newer red wine representing the 2018 vintage. Wild blackberries come to the forefront with raspberry, red plum, and spiced cherry flavors on a bright finish. 556 cases produced. During the pandemic, those wishing to visit either of the winery’s tasting rooms in Walla Walla or Woodinville can be accommodated with a private tasting that can be booked either by phone or on line.

For the week of January 10, 2021: Ross Andrew Winery 2013 Red Mountain AVA Cabernet Sauvignon – It’s not often you can find a seven year old wine on a winery’s list of current releases, but this gem from winemaker Ross Andrew Mickel is not only still available, it’s highly affordable ($30 on the winery web site) and drinking beautifully. There’s a decidedly Old World feel to this Cab, with concentrated, understated black currant, black olive, and roasted coffee flavors, and just enough minerality and full-bodied richness lingering in the background to clue you in on its Red Mountain terrior. Beautifully integrated tannins supply the wine with the perfect amount of texture and structure and give you every indication that it still has several more years of aging potential for future enjoyment.

Just released: the Monarcha Winery 2020 Rose’

For the week of January 3, 2021: Monarcha Winery 2020 Rose’ Wine – Winemaker Victor Palencia leads off the 2020 vintage with this brand new release sourced from Washington’s Ancient Lakes AVA. This wine is gorgeous on all counts, from the eye-catching frosted bottle to the striking shade of jewel-like garnet Pinot Noir within it. Fresh field strawberries lead off, with additional flavors of Jolly Rancher watermelon and crisp green melon throughout. There’s also some nice, steely minerality to accentuate the big splash of acidity on the finish. It makes a great starter wine – especially during the appetizer course – and it pairs perfectly with prosciutto, which really brings out the wine’s fruit component and, perhaps, a suggestive hint of sweetness.

For the week of December 27, 2020: Wit Cellars 2019 ‘Unleashed’ Sparkling Pinot Grigio – You can’t have New Year’s Eve week without a glass of Washington State bubbly, and this selection from the Prosser-based winery is a terrific choice for you to consider. Delicate floral aromatics, gentle lead-off fruit flavors of apricot and apple, and notes of minerality and field grasses fill the glass. The finish is highlighted with bracing acidity and crisp citrus, making it a perfect pairing partner for anything from fried chicken to sushi to caviar and sour cream on toast points. It’s a versatile sparkler that shouldn’t be limited to special occasions, and at only about $28 a bottle, a great alternative to much pricier Champagnes. Cheers to 2021!

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