Archives for September 2014

Vino Rouge Red Wine Tasting September 3, 2014

Well Rick really fooled the club with a fabulous tasting of Washington State Wines! The meeting was held at the Valley Country Club and what a great night it was. Washington State wines are very interesting and were consistently well liked by the entire club. After tasting the wines blind and taking the monthly preference poll, we all enjoyed a nice dinner which consisted of Soup or Salad; Family style Appetizers: Fried Calamari, Stuffed Mushrooms; Choice of Entrée: Chicken Caruso; Haddock Panko; or Valley Baby Back Ribs. Served with Green Bean Aglio Olio w/ Cheese Risotto; Coffee or Espresso.

The following graphic shows the wine growing regions in Washington.

red wine tasting

Here was the line-up in order of preference.

red wine tasting
Quilceda Creek Galitzine Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Even more concentrated, structured and dense than the Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon Galitzine Vineyard (99% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Merlot all from the Red Mountain AVA) delivers an incredible array of black currant, dark chocolate, cedar, tobacco and assorted spring flower-like nuances that give way to a massively concentrated, tannic and structured 2010 that has brilliant mid-palate depth, integrated acidity and a pure, detailed and energetic texture that carries through the finish. As with the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, this is more fun to taste than to drink presently and needs 5-6 years or more of bottle age to round into form. It too will have two to three decades or more of ultimate longevity. Drink 2018-2035. 97 by Robert Parker

red wine tasting
Col Solare Columbia Valley 2007 – 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc

The 2007 Col Solare exhibits aromas of black cherry, currant, and ripe black berries, together with subtle notes of espresso and vanilla in the nose. On the palate, this full bodied wine is rich with flavors of dark chocolate, black fruits, and a coconut spice which leads to a lingering, silky finish.

red wine tasting
2011 K Syrah “The Beautiful” — Walla Walla Valley – 95% Syrah, 5% Viognier – Cofermented

“This got a big “Wow!” in my notes. Floral, perfumed and elegant, with copious raspberry, white pepper and spice nuances, it flows onto the palate with a seamless, ethereal texture, silky tannin and no hard edges. Already approachable and a total thrill to drink, it should continue to impress for over a decade.

red wine tasting
Cayuse Syrah En Chamberlin Vineyard 2010

A 100% Syrah and always the most exotic and wild of the lineup, the 2010 Syrah En Chamberlin Vineyard has the Cayuse peat moss, iodine, underbrush, olive brine and gamey qualities on full display. Blossoming in the glass and showing a core of sweet fruit, it has a rich, substantial feel on the palate with a concentrated, full-bodied mouth feel, brilliant mid-palate depth and a focused, detailed finish that carries ample finely polished tannin. Very gamey and bloody on the palate, this singular beauty will be better in another year or three and thrill for 15 years or more.

red wine tasting
L’ecole No 41 Perigee Estate Seven Hill Vineyard 2010 – 82% Merlot/8% Cabernet Sauvignon/7% Cabernet Franc/3% Malbec

Layered with enticing aromas of plum and notes of violet, this full bodied Merlot shows a robust core of black cherry, blackberry, and cola on a seamless finish of fine-grained yet firm tannin. Lovely floral and clover notes arise, with bright berry and cassis fruit just behind. Sleek, detailed and long, this is a terrific value as well

red wine tasting
Betz Family Winery – Pere de Famille Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley 2010 – 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot

Leads with classic aromatic expressions of its star player: cedar box, juniper berry, arbor vitae, cassis, blackberry, and dark tobacco, all of which reprise on a luscious, savory palate underlain by ultra-fine tannin and possessed of vibratory energy. The sheer abundance of primary juiciness here – like the energetic ping to its enervating, reverberative finish – strikes me as especially typical of the best marriages of cepage and terroir, which happens to be precisely what Betz is wistfully referring to as “something that happens with Cabernet in Washington.” Something indeed! I would go easy on this for a few years and look forward to at least a decade of high performance.