Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Huge news for Washington wine fans!

Looks like Quilceda Creek isn't the only winery that can boast at parties about producing a 100 point wine. Charles Smith Wines, owned and made by "rock star" winemaker Charles Smith of K Vintners fame, has now joined that exclusive company. Paul Gregutt, longtime Seattle Times Wine Guy and the reviewer for the NW in the Wine Enthusiast, has bestowed a lofty 100 point score on the 2006 Royal City Syrah. Here is the link to Paul's review:


As someone who has enjoyed several K Vintners wines but wasn't a huge fan of the three highly scored Charles Smith Wines -- the Heart, the Skull, and Old Bones -- it will be interesting to give this wine a shot. He is now allowing people on his mailing list to order it for $80 now, with delivery in the fall. I'm still deciding whether or not to purchase said wine. I do know one thing though...the wine wsill be polarizing, I'm sure. Congrats Charles on the 100!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

TN: 2007 Shane Syrah Valenti Ranch

Essentially popped and poured. Dark blue-violet out of the bottle, you could tell this puppy was going to be tasty. Heavy aromas of blackberries, meat, smoke, and creamed corn (Dale was the first to offer up this spot on character). Palate dense with copious amounts of blue fruit, blood, smoked meats, rocks, and some lip smacking acidity. A generous finish that lasts a good couple minutes leaves me estatic that I found out about Shane Finley and his hand-crafted juice. Dale immediately signed up for the list at that moment and then promptly ordered three bottles. Run, don't walk to get your hands on this. 94pts.

Not sure if this tasted so good because we had just powered down a corked bottle of 2000 Beaucastel, or if it was just that good. I'll go with the latter and look forward to drinking some more!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Friday lunch with Fevre, Saxum, and Gaja

Had lunch with a couple of homeys on Friday at Bis on Main in Bellevue. Great lunch spot if you are in the area and a very good wine list.

2007 Fevre Champs Royaux
A big fan of the 05 but not as much of the 06 so was interested to see where the 07 fit in. Tasty stuff--just as good as the 05. Laser yellow in color with gravel, lemon peel, and unripe pear on the nose. Very similar charactersitics on the palate--bright acidity, tart green apple, and some decent minerality. Damn zippy! 89pts

2006 Saxum Booker Vineyard
I waited as long as I could before popping one of these babies. Opened immediately upon arrival, it sat for around an hour or so before we dug in. Typical Saxum profile of brooding purple with magenta edges. Nose of violets, raspberry/blueberry hybrid, smoke, and braised meat. Surprisingly well balanced in the mouth with heat and tannin on one side battling it out against sweet fruit on the other. Unlike soccer and hockey when a tie seems very unsatisfying (as in the old saying that a tie is like kissing your sister), this tie is the kind you like and my sister was no where to be found. While this wine will definitely improve with time, it was very accessible right now so don't hesitate to pop one. 93pts

2001 Gaja Barbaresco
Opened from half bottle with little breathe time. It's fun to drink wines back to back that couldn't be more different in styles but thoroughly enjoy each. Brick red color with aromas of underbrush, strawberries, tobacco, minerals, and tar. Very structured with ample acid and tannin with just enough pure fruit and richness to do a decent job of balancing out the wine. A gripping and powerful finish leave me with the thought that this wine has 20 years left, easy. 92pts

Thursday, April 2, 2009

TN: 2006 Carlisle Syrah Dry Creek Valley

After dubbing the 06 Carlisle Sonoma County Syrah about the best $20 wine you could buy, I decided to give the "over-priced" $27 Dry Creek Valley Syrah a shot. It was damn good. Didn't have the depth of the Sonoma County but still quite a solid QPR at $27. If my wife found out that I actually thought $27 was essentially cheap for a bottle of wine, let's just say I wouldn't be here. Can't wait to give the 07 RRV Syrah a spin!

Deep, dark purple in the glass. It just looks dense and hefty. Oodles (a rarely used scientific term) of blue fruit on the nose with cracked black pepper, blackberry, and spices. Definite high levels of "fruit weight" in the mouth along with ripe blueberries and blackberries. Can also taste a hint of minerality and an acidity that energizes the palate. The only criticism I have for this wine, and it's a small one, is a tad bit heat on the finish which just suggests I may have needed to let it rest for another 6 months...But where is the fun in that. 91pts