DeLille Cellars Crushes It with 2014 Four Flags Cab Sauvignon

The 2014 DeLille Cellars Four Flags Cabernet Sauvignon follows up the impressive 2013 vintage, and showcases the depth and structure resulting from Red Mountain grapes. Since its first vintage in 2010, executive winemaker Chris Upchurch has crafted a beautiful wine that becomes more and more powerful with each year.

This 2014 beauty exhibits the classic structure of Cabernet Sauvignon from four Red Mountain vineyards. According to DeLille Cellars:

“Grand Ciel (42%) brings elegance and purity of fruit while Upchurch (31%) demonstrates rich, savory, and mouthwatering character. Ciel du Cheval (19%) contributes structure, black fruits and minerality balanced by the commanding, ripe flavors from Klipsun (8%).”

The 2014 Four Flags is inky in color, full-bodied, balanced, intense, and savory, featuring aromas of cassis, spices and minerality, followed by layered flavors of dark fruits, licorice, spice and a touch of flint.

At $68 and a 93-95 barrel rating from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, this lucious Cabernet Sauvignon more than rivals its counterparts in Napa Valley, where Cab is King. To illustrate this point, DeLille Cellars conducted a study of all Cabs rated 90+ across five vintages in Red Mountain and Napa Valley.

 

 

Of course, wine isn’t all about scores and ratings, not by any means. But this chart shows the relationship of points and price for both wine regions — and showcases the beauty and value of Washington state wine compared to our neighbors to the south.

If you want a special-occasion wine, look no further than DeLille’s 2014 Four Flags. Or if you want to pair a seductively rich Washington Cab with a summer barbecue, this wine is for you. Four Flags is drinking amazingly well now, but will be even better with a few years behind it.

We recently tasted the 2013 vintage at Northwest Wine Encounter at Semiahmoo Resort, and were fortunate to receive a sample of the 2014 vintage.

We highly recommend it.

Cheers,
Margot and Dave

 

Rosé Release and More from Lauren Ashton Cellars

There’s a reason we talk a lot about Lauren Ashton Cellars — Kit Singh makes great wine. It’s that simple.

His recent rosé release is solid proof, and two June releases — 2013 Cuvée Arlette and 2016 Cuvée Meline — seal the deal.

2016 Lauren Ashton Rosé ($21)
Just released on April 22, this is a perfect rosé for spring and summer. The blend of Grenache (52%), Counoise (28%) and Mourvedre (20%) features berry notes and some citrus and spices. This wine is bright, lively and fruity, yet dry. Pair it with salads, pasta and rice dishes, seafood, shellfish and cheesy dishes. Or simply drink it without food, pairing it with your patio or deck on a warm afternoon or evening.

A portion of proceeds during the Rosé release weekend will be donated to Susan G. Komen Puget Sound. “We have a belief in this community and a passion for giving back,” said Singh. “We are able to provide our wine and our time to recipients we believe in. With our Rosé release becoming so popular, we love doing something to get the community involved too.”

2013 Cuvée Arlette ($55)
We have loved every vintage of this beautiful, elegant red wine, and the upcoming June release somehow even exceeds previous years. Cuvée Arlette is a rich and complex blend of Merlot (59%), Cabernet Franc (23%) and Cabernet Sauvignon (15%), rounded off with a splash of Malbec (1.5%) and Petit Verdot (1.5%). Arlette is a layered, luxurious and structured wine with notes of dark fruit, cocoa and caramel, and hints of spiciness. Pair this beauty with steak, grilled meats, pork or lamb dishes.

2016 Cuvée Meline ($28)
Also to be released in June, Cuvée Meline is a clean, crisp blend of Sémillon (55%) and Sauvignon Blanc (45%), featuring freshness, balance, high acidity and some minerality. The opening notes are floral and tropical, turning into grapefruit and citrus zest on the finish. Another super summer sipper, serve Meline with cheeses and prawns on the deck, or pair it with fresh seafood. We served it with ling cod cheeks that had lots of garlic and zesty lemon — a delicious pairing!

Samples provided by Lauren Ashton Cellars. Of note, it is rare that we adore all samples from one winery, but that was definitely the case this time.

Cheers,
Margot and Dave

Snoqualmie Wines for Earth Day

April 22 is Earth Day, a great time to open a bottle of value wine from Snoqualmie Vineyards. According to the winery, they have the largest certified organic vineyard in Washington state.

“Whether it’s in our vineyard, the winery or in our packaging, Snoqualmie wines are made using sustainable and organic practices and are designed to showcase the best winemaking techniques and vineyard selections.”

  • Vineyard – Weather stations and soil moisture-measuring probes monitor water use and eliminate wasted water.
  • Winery – A recycling program includes paper, glass, cork and aluminum waste that reduces solid waste by more than 8%. Eco-friendly energy options in the winery have reduced electricity usage by 30% in the last five years.
  • Packaging – ECO glass bottles are among the lightest in the industry, printed materials are on 100% post-consumer waste material stock, and corks and labels are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Part of Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Snoqualmie Vineyards sent us a few samples of the latest releases of their good value, every-day wines to taste. We recommend them as a great entry-level experience into the world of wines – on Earth Day or any day of the year.

Snoqualmie 2015 ECO Chardonnay ($13)
Snoqualmie’s ECO wines are produced from 100% organically grown grapes from USDA-certified organic vineyards in the Columbia Valley. No oak was used in this Chardonnay, so the result is a refreshing taste of crisp fruit flavors. Pair it with crab, other seafood dishes, chicken or a summer salad.

Snoqualmie 2015 ECO Cabernet Sauvignon ($13)
This Cabernet Sauvignon is also made from organically grown fruit in the Columbia Valley. It is a good value if you like fruity Cabs; you’ll find it bursting with fruit aromas and jammy flavors. Pair it with most meat dishes or fragrant cheeses.

Snoqualmie 2014 Syrah Columbia Valley ($10)
This value Syrah offers dark fruit on the nose, with flavors of chocolate, smoke and a bit of spice, coffee and pepper. Pair it with pizza, lasagna or pasta.

Snoqualmie 2015 Winemaker’s Select Riesling ($8)
If you like your Rieslings crisp and refreshing, sweet but tart, give this Winemaker’s Select a try. Almost 6% of Viognier was added to round out the Riesling. The nose is a lovely blend of pear, apple, honey and apricot aromas, followed by a light mouthfeel of spice and fruit. Pair it with seafood dishes, crab or smoked salmon.

Cheers,
Margot and Dave