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Showing posts with the label columbia valley

NV Treveri Cellars Chenin Blanc Sparkling Wine

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We have been big fans of anything produced by Treveri Cellars for several years.  Julie Grieb and her team do such a wonderful job of bringing Champagne-inspired wines to the US market at a fraction of the price of their French counterpart.  We were absolutely honored to receive a few samples from Treveri Cellars this year at the same time as the State Department chef, prior to public release.   This wine presents a medium gold color and classic honey and floral aromas.  A little more time in the glass and some room temperature warmth begin to pull some baking apple flavors against a zippy and lasting acidity.  Unless you're sharing a bottle of sparkling wine, we find it tough to finish a bottle.  We actually tasted this over two days - one day solo and the next morning with homemade sausage gravy and biscuits.  This sparkling wine is an amazing accompaniment to the comfort food.  Who says you can't have wine with breakfast?  Not us!  This sparkling wine is an amazing value! A

2015 MERF Cabernet Sauvignon

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Here's a brand new wine label that I frankly, hadn't heard of but of course, I'm always eager to learn something new.  This 2015 MERF Cabernet Sauvignon is staight out of Columbia Valley, Washington, where many of my favorite red blends were born and raised.  A combination of Cabernet Sauvignon (81%), Merlot (17%) and Merlot (2%), this easy-to-imbibe red is a little fruity on the nose and at first sip.  Blueberry, vanilla and sweet spices predominantly fill the glass and if you like a softer, more subtle Cabernet blend, this is your jam!  In the mouth is more of the same but black raspberry and sweet tobacco round out the flavor profile with a very short finish.   My recommendation is to drink this with a bloody, salty, bone-in slab of beef or some hot Virginia ham and Swiss cheese sandwiches with spicy mustard.  It would be a match made in heaven. ABV:  14.5% Columbia Valley, Washington Suggested retail price:  $12.99 Drink The Bottles score:   82/

2015 J Bookwalter Winery Conflict

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The J Bookwalter Winery team never ceases to surprise me with their wines, whether with their more "value priced" Readers Merlot or with this savory and heart-warming red blend.  The 2015 Conflict is a product of the Conner-Lee Vineyard consisting of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (47%), Merlot (45%) and Malbec (8%), making it a powerhouse in color and flavor.  Black fruits with violet and whisps of peppered rare beef swim in the glass.  This wine is immediately mouth-watering and has a welcome brightness that is married by the vibrant red colors throughout.  The black fruits carry over in the flavors and I think a hint of cardamom is carried by the spicy, slightly woody finish that to me, is as beautiful as the legs in the wine glass.  This is such an easy drinking wine and one that I would avoid with food.  It would pair well with a number of beef dishes, but I enjoy this wine so much that I want to remember it just as it is.  I think you'll get enjoyment out of t

2014 Readers Cabernet Sauvignon

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I've thoroughly enjoyed tasting the "Readers" wines over the past 45 days and I'm so pleased every time I have the opportunity to do so.  This 2014 vintage from Bookwalter Winery stands up to Cabernet blends that are easily twice the price.  While I am a staunch supporter of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the blends that have been coming out of the west coast for the past 10-12 years have really helped pull in more non-traditional red wine drinkers and in many cases, have helped create wines that are more flavorful and expressive.  This blend boasts blackberry jam, dusty library books and a distinct mocha aroma that is reminiscent of your favorite coffee shop.  In the mouth is a solid wine that doesn't feel tight or young at all, but rather more mature than it is with predominant flavors of blackberry, wet stone and steak seasoning.  In the glass, this wine has sexy legs and a color that puts a smile on your face.  The Readers branded wines are an exceptional value.

2015 Bookwalter Winery Suspense Cabernet Franc

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I've always kind of joked to myself that Cabernet Franc is the smaller, weaker cousin of Cabernet Sauvignon.  Maybe the middle child who didn't get enough attention?  I've just seldom had a truly grand experience with Cab Franc, but as the Monkees would say.....now "I'm a believer".  The 2015 Suspense Cabernet Franc from Bookwalter Winery will change the way you think about this wine.  While it's not 100% Cab Franc, the 17% Merlot blend is smart and adds some depth and complexity to this Columbia Valley wine.  After the gorgeous deep garnet color, the nose presents lively cherry aromas with earthly sage and whiffs of pomegranate.  Where this wine really, really  got me was the surprise on the palate.   There was an unconventional and incredibly welcoming spice that joined the Cremè de cassis, cherry, raspberry and smooth-as-glass finish that leads to a very memorable tasting experience.  This is a healthy wine that is going to age amazingly and would

2015 Readers Merlot

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I'll admit that I've never been to Columbia Valley, Washington, but it seems that I need to make a trip sometime.  The wines that are coming out of this region are really putting a smile on my face these days, and the 2015 Readers Merlot from Bookwalter Winery is no exception.  What's the first thing wine snobs will look at when they see this bottle?  The screw top.  While I love the resounding "pop" of a cork, I also learned all too long ago that screw tops technically are the best best for most wines: no tainted corks, renewable resource in recyclable caps, etc.  Ok, I just realized I haven't talked about the wine at all and clearly it is the star of this show!  This is a blend of Merlot (90%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (10%) and it presents itself very stoically in the glass.  Aromas of black cherry, hints of blueberry and chocolate and it you're a super-swirler like I am, you might even pick up some green earth and cherry tobacco.  Incredibly soft ta

2016 Hedges Family Estate HIP Cabernet Sauvignon

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Incredibly dark, nearly black in the glass with blended aromas of dark fruits, licorice and tobacco leaf with hints of damp earth.  This 2016 Hedges Family Estate HIP Cabernet Sauvignon is medium bodied and very easy to drink with flavors of dark fruits, dark chocolate, flakes of fine pepper and cinnamon.  This wine finishes brightly and has velvety tannins that gives a welcoming and smooth feel in the mouth.  I like this wine.  The dark colors and peppery notes hint that this is a Cabernet blend, and for this price it certainly is a bargain! ABV:  13.5% Columbia Valley, Washington Suggested retail price:  $17.00 Drink The Bottles score:  89/100

2015 J Bookwalter Protagonist Cabernet Sauvignon

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I am so stoked about this wine I almost don't know where to begin!  Bookwalter Winery has created an amazing wine in the 2015 Protagonist Cabernet Sauvginon.  While not the most fragrant wine you'll ever experience, the flavors are the superstars here!  Dark cherry, graphite and a touch of sulfur smoke greet you warmly and are a stark contrast of the flavors leap from the glass.  This wine feels nice and tight and flavors of black berry, mineral and black currant dance around and introduce a finish that is welcoming and absolutely fulfilling. Smartly balanced blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (95%), Merlot (5%), Syrah (3%) and Cabernet Franc (2%), this wine has a beautiful medium-to-dark purple color and it is delicious now; I suspect will be just as wonderful in another 10+ years.  Beautiful! ABV:  14.9% Columbia Valley, Washington Suggested retail price:  $60.00 Drink The Bottles score:  94/100

2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend

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There are a few wine phrases I've said dozens (hundreds?) of times over the years.  One of these phrases would be, "Good wine doesn't have to be expensive".  And that proves to be true with this 2015 Hedges Family Estate CMS Red Wine Blend.  Made up of a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (27%), Merlot (65%) and Syrah (8%), this wine has a very dark red color with purple center and a very nice layer of aromas like black raspberry, chocolate, dried cooking spices and a hint of pipe tobacco smoke.  This wine is much brighter than anticipated and fills the mouth with ripe berries and plum flavors, blended very evenly.  The chocolate and smokiness is realized on the back side of this tasting and the wine bids adieu with a memorable and strong finish. ABV:  13.5% Columbia Valley, Washington Suggested retail price:  $14.00 Drink The Bottles score:   87/100

2016 Readers Chardonnay

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This Columbia Valley Chardonnay from Bookwalter Winery is a straight forward, fun  sipping wine that presents lemon, pear, dried grasses and hints of mineral throughout the nose.  It's not overly aromatic, but the flavors are the stars here.  The blending of Viognier helps make this sweet and bright.  Flavors of candied lemon, pear and honey on the tongue and all the way through the finish.  Although I taste and drink most of my white wines at room temperature, I think this wine would be incredibly refreshing served very cool and with oysters on the half shell or with a cobb salad.  For the price point, it would be easy to have 2 or 3 bottles around all of the time.  This wine is 76% Chardonnay and 24% Viognier. ABV:  13.6% Columbia Valley, Washington Suggested retail price:  $20.00 Drink The Bottles score:  88/100

2017 Hedges Family Estate CMS Sauvignon Blanc

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The 2017 CMS Sauvignon Blanc from Hedges Family Estate is a brand new, freshly bottled offering that is a very nice surprise compared to the thousands of other options you have.  This wine doesn't stun you with the color, but rather the incredibly aromatic displays of lemon peel, pineapple and pear.  It's not overbearing with lemongrass or fresh cut grass like many of it's brothers and sisters of the same varietal.  While that's quite typical of SB, a little can go a long way!  And just like 99% of white wines, I tasted this one at right around room temperature of 70 degrees.  I do that to get the real feel of the wine.  If you're looking for something refreshing, pop this in the fridge and drink it with a slaw dog and fried mushrooms!  Made in the traditional Sauvignon Blanc style, but this has a fuller mouthfeel with less brightness than typical SB's.  It's a very welcoming surprise and I'm a really big fan! ABV:  13.5% Columbia Valley, Wa