By: Joel ~
July WoW Newsletter
New & noteworthy Northwest Wines which do not disappoint !
2017 Mark Ryan Viognier, Yakima Valley: 32.25: A gorgeous yet refined wine from Olsen & Red Willow vineyards that highlights a brighter, more refined, mineral-accented yet texturally rich style; like great Rhone Condrieu!
2016 Mark Ryan the Dissident Red, Columbia Valley: 41.00: A superb blend of Bordeaux grapes led by Cabernet Sauvignon, derived from a mélange of top vineyards on Red Mountain, along with Red Willow and Phinney Hill. The best Dissident yet? Dark ruby violet, Strong, vibrant cassis, dark cherry nose. Ripe supple tannins, fine dense fruit- graciously rich berry flavors and some new oak vanilla creaminess. Excellent, with better length /balance than some previous years. Deliciously rich now, but will keep well for a half a decade or more.
2015 Mark Ryan Lost Soul Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard: 49.50: A brilliant Syrah from the original Syrah vineyard in Washington! Opaque black ruby-violet. Black pepper, earthy, dark berry, meaty aromas reminiscent of great Northern Rhone syrahs like St Joseph. Ripe rich black raspberry, blackstrap,cassis-graphite/creosote flavors. Fine tannins. Long lively fruit; more relaxed less muscular and very N. Rhone in character. This may be the Best yet? 8 months extra aging in larger barrels clearly has broadened the flavors and yielded expansive velvety texture.
2014 Gramercy Cellars Syrah, Columbia Valley: 35.50: Greg Harrington’s ‘everyday’ regional syrah blend has great fruit sources like Olsen, Les Collines and Red Willow. More supple, sweet berry fruit and hints of smoked meat and softer texture, though quite rich berry flavors with licorice accents and medium full body. Well balanced and definitely ready to go, if you want, or keep it five years. Delicious
2015Gramercy Cellars The Deuce Syrah, Walla Walla: 63.50: Gramercy’s homage to the powerful meaty density of Cornas in the Rhone valley; a stunningly good blend of Forgotten Hills & Les Collines vineyards’ fruit. Moderate alcohol, rich graphite, roast meat, anise aromas and full bodied fruit framed by firm tannins yield a muscular, focused wine that will serve well now with grilled meats or keep well for a decade to develop more complex and soave flavors.
2015 Guardian Cellars Gun Metal Red, Columbia Valley: 43.75: Consistently one of the richnest wines from Washington, Jerry Reiner’s newest near equal Cab-Merlot blend has an inky color, pronounced dark berry aromas, sweet ripe rich black berry jam and kirsch flavors with mocha-vanilla oak accents. Deliciously full bodied. And we should not forget the newest rendition of its more fruit-forward side-kick, the
2016 Guardian Cellars Chalk Line Red, Columbia Valley: 27.50: Straddling the ‘chalk-line’ between Rhone (Syrah) and Bordeaux-style (Cab, Merlot) red every vintage, this year’s version is a full-flavored supple and big bang-for-the-buck wine that is hard not to immediately like and enjoy!
2016 Megan Anne Cellars Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley: 36.50: The lovely wife of Mark ‘Ryan’ McNeilly has her own delicious set of wines from three vineyards in Oregon and it is a winner! With the wonderful French-Canadian Isabelle Meunier (ex-Evening Land) as winemaker, this lovely, plush yet firm flavored Pinot is much richer than some, and shows a lot of depth, length, fine-grained tannins as in the finest burgundies, but more opulent finish. We pour this at the wine-bar; come in and try it!
2016 Division Wine Co Pinot Noir ‘Deux’, Eola-Amity Hills: 38.85: We ‘discovered’ this producer through a friend of ours who knows the owner/winemaker Kate Norris from Portland, where we once met her at her then urban winery, and oh hell…you get the point! Long story short, we tasted a bunch of her wines and really fell for this old vine Pommard clone Pinot Noir (1980-82) grown on two key soil types: the basalt-volcanic typical basement soils of the Eola Hills, AND a heavily calcium-laden marine sedimentary soil on the top. The result is a fine mélange: Dark raspberry aromas; solid fruit, good length, fine tannins. Fairly good weight, but also lithe medium body ripe fruit (raspberry -sousbois) flavors. Classically elegant Pinot Noir.
Fall Champagne pre-arrival offer
Our favorite wine may be Champagne. Those who know us well eagerly look forward to our annual holiday Champagne tasting (this year, December 7).
Champagne, blended primarily from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir & Pinot Meunier, has never been better overall, due to some recent quality vintages like 2013 informing the non-vintaged blends. Moreover, producers are aging their wines longer on the yeast to give richer, more complex flavors. On the negative side, the dollar has gone down against the Euro over 10% the last year or so. We have tried to compensate for that by choosing wines that provide the best price/quality rapport from the hugely diverse offerings made to us. All of the wines noted are excellent—they are made by growers we have followed and respected for years who make distinctive, stylish wines.
Here’s your chance to lock in at a discounted price a number of our favorites arriving in October and November in time for the end of year celebratory occasions! Let us know how many bottles (cases!) you would like of these. No payment up front, we will charge you on arrival. The following wines are some of our favorite Grower Champagnes. Of course we will also have in top Grandes Marques like Dom Perignon, Charles Heidsieck, Roederer and others.
Lallier Grand Cru Rosé :Reg.67.50, WoW 57.50, 51.75 pre-arrival
Lalllier Brut Grand Cru 2010 : Reg. 96.00, WoW 73.50, 66.15 pre-arrival
Lallier Zero Dosage Grand Cru Brut : Reg. 63.00, WoW 56.50, 50.85 pre-arrival
Camille Savés Grand Cru Brut 2009 : Reg. 76.00, WoW 68.75, 61.88 pre-arrival
Pierre Peters Cuvée Reserve Blanc des Blancs Brut : Reg. 75.00, WoW 66.75, 60.07 pre-arrival
Pierre Peters L’Esprit Blanc des Blancs Brut 2013 : Reg. 100.00, WoW 89.50, 80.55 pre-arrival
Marc Hebrart Brut Selection : Reg. 64.00, WoW 55.75, 50.17 pre-arrival
Huges Godmé Grand Cru Brut 2006: Reg. 84.00, WoW 69.50, 62.55 pre-arrival
Pierre Gerbais Extra Brut Grains des Celles: Reg.48.75, WoW42.25, 38.02 pre-arrival
A. Margaine Brut Rosé : Reg. 68.25, WoW 59.85, 53.86 pre-arrival
Gaston Chiquet Carte d’Or Brut 2008 : Reg. 72.00, WoW 66.50, 59.85 pre-arrival
VALUE WINES: Wines with superior price/quality rapport
2016 Fess Parker Santa Barbara County Chardonnay: $16.75: A bargain in barrel-fermented chardonnay from a veteran Santa Barbara winery. Aged on lees in 25% new French oak barrels for eight months, this is a fine glassful of rich tropical fruit flavors, spicy-cinnamon-oak vanilla aromas and well balanced, fresh finish. A rich style that shows greater intensity than we normally find for this low a price~!
2017 Jordanov Tikves Red, Macedonia: $11.50: Potentially the newest member-to-be of the EU and NATO, the Republic of Macedonia lies just north of Greece, sharing the ancient landscape that was the birthplace of Alexander the Great. Roughly equal parts Cabernet, merlot and the local dark variety Vranec, this crafty blend is extremely drinkable and fresh, yet quite flavorful and deceptively rich. Not meant to be aged a long time, Tikves (the region) red has impressive flavor for so low a price.
2016 Coto de Gomariz Souson La Flor y la Abeja, Ribeiro, Spain: $17.75 :Better known across the Spanish border in Portugal as Souzao, especially for Port, Souson in the Galician Ribeiro appellation makes profoundly deep-colored wines on its own, which is unusual anywhere! This producer’s version is an absolute joy for those who like rich textured, full-fruited wines with a distinctive ‘earthy’ twist. Like a lighter pure Syrah Cotes du Rhone, or really dense Cru Beaujolais, Souson also has a unique bitter chocolate-like finish. Excellent, different and ready to drink now.
2016 Guardian Newsprint Malbec, Columbia Valley: $19.50: From the fine Stone Tree Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope comes this rich, inky purple-colored, full-textured wine that exemplifies what WA can do with Malbec! Jerry Reiner of Guardian uses younger vines for this flavorful wine, whose somewhat higher yield allows the lower price. One of the best values for rich red wine on the market, impeccably made.
Shebang! Red Wine, California: $12.50: Shazam!! Bedrock’s newest blend of Zinfandel and a cast of 1000’s (really only 1o or so, but …) is sheer delight! Crafted as carefully as their top single vineyard old vine Zins, Bedrock blends are made to be deliciously fruit-driven, with low tannins, bright flavors, moderate alcohol, and full berry aromas that will complement a wide variety of dishes. It’s hard to go wrong here!
Top New 2017 rosés for all seasons
As always, Summer is Rosé season, and we have some delicious new ones, both favorites from past vintages and some new and exciting ones from unusual varieties and places (Canary Islands?). All are dry, zesty, and you don’t need rose-colored glasses to enjoy them!
Tried and true every vintage:
2017 Villa Wolf Pinot Noir rosé, Pfalz Germany- 11.50
2017 La Spinetta Casanova Sangiovese rosato, Tuscany- 20.50
2017 Domaine Sorin Cotes de Provence rosé, rhone blend, Provence-14.50
2017 Gramercy Cellars Olsen Vineyard rosé, Yakima Valley 28.50
2017 Ch Beaulieu rosé, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence 17.50
New, Improved, Distinctive !
2017 Palama Arcangelo NegroAmaro Rosato, Puglia Italy 14.50
2017 Kiona Vineyard Mourvedre rosé Red Mountain 16.25
2017 Regaleali Nerello Mascalese Rosato, Sicily 12.75
2017 Ktima Semeli Agiorgitiko rosé, Greece 16.75
2017 Bodegas Muga Rosado, Rioja Spain 18.50
2017 Efeste Oldfield Vineyard rosé, Yakima Valley 27.75
2017 Los Bermejos Listan Negro Rosado, Canary Islands 27.75
2017 Domaine L’Hortus rosé, Pic St. Loup France 18.50
2017 COR Winery Cabernet Franc rosé, Horse Heaven Hills 18.25
No wines are more versatile at the table than Italian wines and we received some truly lovely new wines from the length and breadth of the Italian Boot! Check these out…
2017 Marchetti ‘Castro di San Silvestro Rosso Conero, Marche 13.50: A delicious blend of Montepulciano d’Abruzzo lending deep color and plummy fruit, and Sangiovese, offering floral, wild cherry aromas, This is a solid, berry-flavored , chewy wine with lovely graphite-cedar flavors, substantial weight and ridiculously low priced for this amount of intensity and quality!
2015 Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico, Toscana 21.50: Perhaps our best-selling Chianti Classico year to year, Marco Ricasoli’s lovely 2015 vintage is richer, more intense and flavorful than previous years. Subtle but fragrant violet/wild cherry aromas, with slight tar/graphite bouquet nuances. Medium body, firm, spicy cherry, raspberry flavors and firming tannins lead to a long finish. This is a wine to enjoy no end with grilled steaks over the next decade!
2015 Palmento Costanzo Etna Rosso, Sicily 33.50: Mt Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano (nearly 11,000’), has unique lava –ash soils at ideal for the native, unique Nerello Mascalese and Capuccio grapes. Here, at up to 3000’, old vines and a quasi-continental climate (more like Piedmont’s Barolo) provide the Costanzo family with fruit that shows dense, earthy-black cherry, leather and licorice flavors; Nebbiolo meets Pinot Noir! Richer and softer than many from Etna, this is a fine new property to watch, and enjoy the wine with flavorful stews, roast pork or simply grilled chicken.
2015 Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino, Toscana 28.50: One of the finest and oldest producers in Montalcino, this pure Sangiovese Grosso (Brunello) is aged just one year in large oak, and reveals an intriguing wild cherry bouquet, bright cherry/graphite and leathery flavors with medium tannins that recommend serving it with strong grilled lamb or sausages flavored with fennel. Truly one of the best and complete wines from this fine vintage!
2015 Gaja Sito Moresco Langhe Rosso, Piedmont 59.50: Angelo Gaja is perhaps Italy’s most famous and inventive wine-makers, famous for world class traditional Barbaresco, Barolo and Brunello, but rebel enough (when he was younger) to disobey his father and dare to plant Cabernet and Chardonnay in some of the family’s finest vineyards. Insatiable world demand and great quality means his wines are expensive, but Sito Moresco, named after the estate in Barbaresco where much of the fruit originates that Angelo bought from Giovannini Moresco 30 years ago, is unique in two ways. First, it is a superb blend of the traditional Nebbiolo used for Barbaresco, with a healthy dose of Cabernet and Merlot. Second, for Gaja this is as affordable a wine as one can get. Ripe, full and muscular all at once, it’s a delicious blend of traditional and modern as only Angelo Gaja can make!