By: Joel ~
April WOW FEATURES
SUPERB NEW WINES FROM FREEMARK ABBEY, NAPA VALLEY
2013 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Merlot Reg. $36/WoW 31.50
2014 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon Reg. $52.50/WoW 47.50
2014 Freemark Abbey Bosché Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Rutherford $150
“In 1886, an intrepid Victorian widow who could often be spotted riding, Josephine Tychson built and operated the original redwood cellar on our estate, cultivated the land, and became the first female winemaker on record in Napa Valley.” So begins the story of one of Napa’s finest small wineries. Her friend Joseph Forni purchased the property from Tychson in 1898, renamed in Lombarda Cellars, and after Prohibition in 1939, three southern California businessmen purchase Lombarda Cellars, combining their names: Charles Freeman, Marquand Foster and Albert “Abbey” Ahern into Freemark Abbey. In 1949 (the year I was born!-Jb), they opened one of the first tasting rooms in Napa Valley in St Helena. We first became aware of the wine in 1973, after the winery was purchased by a consortium of top Napa Vintners in 1967, and we had a chance to try their first Cabernet Bosché Vineyard from the great 1970 Vintage, a classic Rutherford Bench vineyard near the famed Inglenook Estate and Georges de Latour BV plots.
Since, Freemark Abbey has been consistently producing classically structured balanced Napa Valley wines. From 1985, Winemaker Ted Edwards has been in charge, and we can say that over the last five-six years, the wines have never been better, and increasingly excellent values for Napa red wines. The most recent Decanter Magazine review of 176 2014 Cabernets from California had the 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet as one of its top two choices (we will soon have the other one: 2014 Mount Eden Estate Cabernet). Truly a bargain in fine, age-worthy but eminently drinkable cabernet at $47.50. The new vintage of Bosché Vineyard Cabernet is, as one can imagine, much huskier in build. That special “Rutherford Dust” loamy, dark cherry, cassis and olive bouquet with deep dark fruit flavors and substantial structure suggests aging up to 20 years, yet shows superior glossiness and textural density for drinking even now. Oh, and the Merlot- such a value! We generally prefer our Washington Merlots to the jammier, less incisively flavored California versions. Yet Mr Edward’s 2013 hits on all cylinders. Lovely dark cherry, with a hint of kirsch and cassis in the bouquet leads to a pretty, potent and intense chewy merlot that can age 5-6 years more--gutsier than most.
Value- Everyday wines- Wines for more every day enjoyment
2016 Pago Capellanes Godello Valdeorras 16.50: Wonderfully fresh, aromatic dry white from NW Spain, loaded with citrus/melon flavors, brisk acidity yet substantial weight underneath.
2015 Mas de Boislauzon Cotes du Rhone 20.75 : From one of the great Chateauneuf du Pape producers, and a prodigious example of the quality and intensity found even at this lower priced level.
2016 Ch L'Oupia, Les Heretique Carignan Pays d'Herault FR 11.50: Old vines, dark licorice/black cherry flavors and surprisingly rich soft flavors; great depth for the price!
2016 Windy Canyon Poirier Cabernet-Syrah, Walla Walla 19.50: Full-flavored, spicy, dark fruited and incredible value from Molly and Chuck Weaver.
2016 Johan “Farmlands” Pinot Noir Willamette Valley 22.75: Lovely aromatic and fuller than most PN’s at this moderate price; Lower priced PN is really hard to do well—it is here!
2016 Baron Funes Old Vines Grenache-Syrah Cariñena, Spain 8.75: New vintage of an old favorite returns. Great fruit, soft flavors but enough ‘grip’ to stand up to simple hearty dishes
2015 Kiona Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain $22.75: Red Mountain cabernet that actually tastes excellent for under $25?? The Williams family does it again here. Focused, rich but forward flavors-delicious now (and the Merlot 2015 is very tasty as well!)
2015 Powers Spectrum Red, Columbia Valley $13.50: A supple spicy and very flavorful blend (Bordeaux meets Rhone!) that over delivers completely!
MORE Top Shelf NEW RELEASES FROM WASHINGTON
A lot of our favorite producers release some of their finest wines in early spring. Trying to keep up with this deluge of delicious-ness can tax anyone’s palate. Fortunately, WoW has weeded through the chaff to find the truly best kernels; wines of superior quality at all price levels that represent the best of our great state’s potential. Space doesn’t allow for detailed descriptions, but be assured that we have vetted these wine personally, and virtually all have received high marks from the usual pundits. These wines will arrive throughout the month. Check with us to confirm a wine’s arrival in the shop, or in our on-line store (www.worldofwinesonline.com)
2015 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla 121.50
2015 Sparkman Wilderness red Rhone blend, Columbia Valley 24.50
2013 Andrew Rich Prometheus Syrah Columbia Valley Reg. $36.00, WoW $24.50
2014 Maloney Dionysus Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Basin $46.50
2015 Maloney Phinney Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills $46.50 (Josh Maloney will be in store on Friday the 6th to taste his new wines)
2015 Parvata Rhone Red Red Mountain 71.50
2015 Syrah Estate Red Mountain 71.50
LEONETTI CELLARS (very limited)
2016 Merlot Walla Walla 104.50
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla 129.50
2015 Reserve Red, Walla Walla 188.50
AVENNIA CELLARS (wines will be at tasting 4/13)
2015 Sestina Bordeaux Blend (Cabernet base) Columbia Valley 68.50
2015 Valery Bordeaux Blend (Merlot base) Columbia Valley 52.50
2015Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Franc (very limited.) Horse Heaven Hills 52.50
2015 The Third Man GSM 39.50
2014 Syrah Columbia Valley 35.50
2015 The Deuce Syrah Walla Walla 61.50
2015 John Lewis Syrah 94.50 (very limited)
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, Columbia Valley 115.50 (very limited)
MARK RYAN WINES
2015 Old Vines Cabernet, Columbia Valley 68.50
2015 Lonely Heart Cabernet Red Mountain 99.00
2015 Water Witch Cabernet-Merlot Red Moutain 60.00
Nv Champagne Pascal Ponson, Prestige Brut 1er Cru Champagne 38.50: From a fine grower new to us, but very good, showing fine toasty-brioche aromas and creamy-crisp flavors. Lovely champagne at very fair price
2015 Jean Manciat Macon Charnay Franclieu 17.50: Manciat is a top grower in Macon and this is richer than most un-oaked chardonnays from the area, and a bargain
2014 Thibault Liger Belair Bourgogne les Charmes 25.85: Smells and tastes like Meursault/Chassagne Montrachet blend, but mostly Chalonnaise fruit. Very smart, stylish and complex Chardonnay for a steal
2015 Garzon Tannat Reserve Uruguay 20.50: This new vintage of Uruguay’s most famous wine rocks! Rich, dark fruit, full body and strong finish are classic hallmarks of Tannat.
2012 Siro Pacenti Brunello di Montalcino Pellagrilli 54.50: Giancarlo Pacenti is an old friend, and top producer in Montalcino. His wine is sleek and rich, fleshy yet well-structured to keep a decade. Great Brunello at a very fine price.
2015 Ch de Beaucastel Coudelet Cotes du Rhone 31.50: An amazingly intense wine that echoes its big brother Chateauneuf du Pape grown right next door! Spicy, deep flavor and very intense.
2015 Mas du Boislauzon Chateauneuf du Pape, 52.50 : Finally arrived ! One of our favorite Chat-du-Papes of this tremendous vintage! Grenache and Mourvedre, very rich, gamy, ripe and harmonious flavors. Terrific example.