World of Wines WineKnowLog

As always,  We would love to hear from you —tell us what wines you would like us to carry, what kinds of wines you want to taste at our thrice-weekly tastings on Wed. Fri. & Saturdays. And come in to enjoy a glass of wine at our wine bar every day. We have many fine wines across all price points for your delectation, and if you desire, we can make you a small plate of food to enjoy with your wines!

Joel Butler Joel Butler
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January News
By: Joel ~ 1/5/2017

WoW January News

Happy 2017!

Thanks to all who have supported us, and put up with the local construction issues. No matter the size of your wallet or your tastes, we welcome your patronage and your suggestions for wines to stock, what you like to drink, and special requests.

Karen & Joel

2014 Tamarack Cellars Cabernet Franc, Wahluke Slope $25.85

Cabernet Franc is the less heralded father of Cabernet Sauvignon, older, more ‘wild’, and very difficult to make a complete wine from without blending in Merlot, for example.  The greatest example is Chateau Cheval Blanc, St Émilion, often 60% Cab Franc!  Well, here’s a wonderfully successful Cab Franc from Tamarack Cellars. Tamarack Cellars was created by Ron and Jamie Coleman Jan1.pngin1998. Quietly operating out of the Walla Walla Airport winery location, Ron and winemaker Danny Gordon have fashioned a lovely wine that showcases this historic grape. (join us at WoW to taste Tamarack wines with assistant winemaker Katie Sadler on 18 January!)

From the superb Weinbau, Tapteil & Ciel de Cheval Vineyards.  Aged 16 months in French oak barrels. Dark ruby, violet.  Solid, deep earthy/blackcurrant Bordeaux-like loamy nose with virtually no green pepper aromas!  Solid, dense, dark fruit flavors. Nicely chewy, with fine tannins, and velvety, well textured finish. Lightly minty oak accents the dark violet berry flavors and hints of dark chocolate.  Very solid and balanced for aging another 3-5 years. Plush, deep and focused yet fresh and expressive along with being an excellent value.

A superb Napa Valley Cabernet  & a steal in today’s market! 

2012 Freemark Abbey Napa Valley          

Cabernet Sauvignon reg. $52, WoW $41.50

Freemark Abbey’s history dates t0 1886, when Josephine Tychson became the first female winemaker in Napa Valley.  Later in 1939, new owners took parts of their three names to name the original stone winery FreeMark Abbey. Since the late 60’s.  Jan 2.pngFreemark Abbey has been a stellar participant in the rise to prominence of Napa Valley Cabernet, particularly from the famed Rutherford Bench. Ted Edwards, winemaker since 1985 (below),  continues to refine the winery’s classic style. To quote the rave review in the recent Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine: “This generously filled, very well-focused offering is a textbook expression of the richness, the fruity succulence and supple feel that have made the Napa Valley version the standard by which all others are measured, and it does so at a price that makes it one of the best buys to be had among collectable Cabernets. It fixes on ripe currants and cherries early on with accents of briar, dusty soil, dried herbs and root-beer-like sweetness all in tow..., and it fully deserves five or six more years of age.”




WoW VALUE Wines for Weekday Enjoyment: A selection of affordable wines for uncomplicated enjoyment and regular drinking pleasure!

2014 Kermit Lynch, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse Blanc, Viognier-Chardonnay $11.75

Over forty years of doing business in France and Italy have given Kermit Lynch a level of expertise that few in the wine industry can boast. Countless hours with growers in some of the most famous vineyards and cellars of Europe have offered more than just Jan 3.png

a casual look at what it takes to be a great grower, let alone a great winemaker. Joel has known Kermit since he first started in the early 1970’s in Berkeley, and greatly admires his efforts.

Here’s a delicious, easy to drink yet very flavorful and full flavored white wine that is hard to resist!Fresh peach, floral, ripe melon-appley nose. Medium full body, some vanilla accents on nose (no oak).  Fresh, lightly floral tropical flavors. So easy to drink!

Jan 4.png2014 OZV Old Vine Zinfandel, Lodi $12.75  

From Oak Ridge Winery, this is just so delicious, juicy and Zin-like that it is hard to believe so much quality for so low a price! Made from 50-100 year gnarly vines for which Lodi is world-famous. Ripe blackberry/raspberry classic Zin nose & rich, berry-jam but not overripe flavors. Underlying light vanilla-oak and raspberry fruit accents contribute further character.  Very good density and fruit without being hot or raisiny; AMAZING– an under 14% alcohol Zin!!

Great Everyday red from the Cotarella brothers!! 2014 Vitiano Rosso, Umbria  Reg. $12.50 WoW $9.75

Famed brothers Riccardo (world-renown Consultant) and Renzo (CEO Antinori) Cotarella grew up on their family’s Falesco property Jan 5.png(below), and over the last 2 decades, they’ve continued to produce incredibly quaffable, flavorful, complex wines. Vitiano is their ‘vino da tavola’ for everyday drinking. An equal blend of Caberet, Sangiovese and Merlot, the wine has dark cherry, plum and licorice aromas with lively fruit flavors, light tannins and great balance for drinking with burgers, tomato-based pasta dishes, grilled chicken and ...well, everything.  A must buy by the case!


The Powers ‘Trio’! 2015 Malbec $11.85 2014 Cabernet & Syrah $13.50 each

Owner Greg Powers and wine maker José Mendoza are crafting some very nifty wines for the price, such that even the “Wine Spectator” has recognized Powers as a Rising Star! These are all deep colored, intensely fruit driven wines;  fresh yet with more character than one would imagine possible for the price. The Syrah tastes like a good Northern Rhone such as Crozes Hermitage. The Malbec is very youthful, but not unlike fine Argentine Malbec at a similar price, while the Cabernet is very full-flavored as well. All will make great weeknight dinners more pleasurable!


2004 Wilridge Winery Post Alley Pin-Up Red $22.50 Jan 6.png

Wilridge founder/winemaker Paul Beveridge , one of Seattle’s original winery  owners shares a tasting room on Post Alley near the Pike Place Market. Years ago he sourced wine for a special label to ‘honor’ Post Alley’s famed clubs and nightlife. Unbelievably, he obtained this 12 year old  Cabernet-based wine! Post Alley Red reveals moky black cherry/anise/plum aromas  and a hint of gaminess. Solid fruit, good deep flavors and lots of freshness given the age. Very good depth, fine ripeness and no lack of fruit on finish. Simply Excellent wine for age and freshness!  Ignore or excuse the label, but don’t miss out on this if you like flavorful, fully mature and vigorous wine. A Seattle Original!



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2014 Nathan Gray Syrah, Yakima Valley$16.85   

A great value in fine syrah, made by II Vintners owner Morgan Lee for his local distributor from the famed Den Hoed Vineyard. Dark ruby violet. Ripe black currant-berry and spicy oak nose/flavors. Fine tannins, rich fruit yet not jammy. Solid structure and weight. Good fruit. Balanced tasty,  and exuberant personality, just like its creator!





Superb new vintage of a favorite wine!   2012 Ruggero Corsini Barbera d’Alba Superiore ‘Armujan’ $22.85  

Oak aged produced from 60 year old vines. Young owner Loredana Addari (above) only started her winery in 1995, leaving the cityJan 8.png to buy this small farm in Monforte d’Alba, the heart of Barolo. The winery was given the name “Corsini” as it represents the ancient hamlet in Monforte d’Alba, made up of very old stone houses.   Barbera is a favorite wine of ours for its deep color, rich fruit, freshness and notable lack of bitter tannins. This superior example showsdeep dark cherry, some graphite/oak and cedary aromas. It reveals richer, smoky-meaty dark cherry & violet flavors than most.  Very solid and long finish, and hard to resist!

Jan 9.png2015 Siduri Willamette Valley Pinot Noir $24.50

Adam Lee and Dianna Novy can be described as California’s Pinot Noir “Power couple”, making up to 15 different cool-climate Pinots each vintage!  A few years ago they branched out to Oregon with great success, using minimal intervention to accent what happens in the vineyard. We really like what they have done. The 2015 is the most complete and complex Willamette Valley Pinot Noir that Siduri has ever produced. This is a wine that shows the character of the full Willamette Valley. Darker berry and currant flavors, along with hints of cherry joined by earth, dried brush, and even tobacco flavors.



2015 Pierre  Riffault Sancerre $20.50Jan 10.png

Sancerre is France’s most famous Sauvignon Blanc appellation in the Loire Valley. Grown on flint and limestone hills, Riffault’s is a classic example at a most moderate price (Sancerre now is typically closer to $30/bottle due to popularity). Pierre and son Bertrand stir the lees for more body, aroma and flavours, and bottle  after 6 months of ageing . This is quintessential Sauvignon blanc; mineral, stony, dry, grapefruit and herbal flavors with strong citrus fruit and crisp delicious finish. For seafood, goat cheese,  fried calamari and bountiful salads!


Some of  yours (and our!) favorite wines have come back into stock at the New Year. If you missed out on these earlier, here’s your chance-first come first served!

2005 Malvirà San Gugliemo Barbera Nebbiolo Bonarda, Piedmont $22.50

2013 A. Fernandez Pesquero, Ribera del Duero Reg 37.50, WoW 28.50

2012 Renato Ratti Barolo Marcenasco  $49.50

2012 Altos Las Hormigas Paraje de Altimira Old Vines Malbec, Mendoza $41.50

2014 EXEM Bordeaux $12.75

2014 Saviah Walla Walla Syrah $31.50

2013 Phelps Freestone Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Reg $45.00, WoW $29.75

2014 Cava Naveran Brut Rosado $16.50 (a favorite Rosé fizz; Pinot Noir, chardonnay)

2014 Mas de Boislauzon Cotes du Rhone Villages $20.75

2012 Ch Les Ormes de Pez, St Estephe Reg. $50.00 WoW $38.50

Superb rich Bordeaux at a fine price!       

At the time of the French Revolution, the current property was called the Domaine de Pez (meaning ''peace'' in the local dialect). Jan 11.pngAs for the elms (''ormes'') that have appeared on the bottle labels since 2003, they grew on the grounds of the domaine until this mythical variety of tree ceased to grow in Europe in the 1950's.  Purchased by the Cazes family after WWII, it is second only to the great Ch Lynch Bages in their chateaux portfolio. A fine blend of nearly equal parts Cabernet & merlot with a touch of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc, this is one of the best of the vintage, attested to by Joel, and a number of critics: “The 2012 Les Ormes de Pez is flashy and seductive. Scents of sweet tobacco, mint, crushed flower, savory herbs, game, anise and leather meld into a core of dark-fleshed fruit. Drink this attractive, mid-weight Saint Estèphe over the next decade. This is a terrific effort from the Cazes family,” writes Antonio Galloni in Vinous earlier this year.