Already looking to the weekend

It’s only Monday, and we’re already looking forward to some good wine times on the weekend. On Saturday, we’re going to a wine tasting at our favorite neighborhood wine bar, Vino Bello, to taste wines from Saviah Cellars and enjoy the blues music of J.D. Hobson. (This amazing musician gets down on vocals, guitar, harp and stompbox! We plan to go to Vino Bello whenever he is playing the blues. Don’t worry, Michelle, we also plan to visit frequently, regardless of who is entertaining.)

We didn’t get a chance to visit Saviah Cellars when we went to eastern Washington in April. But we are planning to stop by in September. We discovered Saviah’s 2005 The Jack at Vino Bello’s earlier this year, and it’s become our wine of choice there. Just ask Jake! (I’ve blogged about The Jack, Jake and Vino Bello before, and no doubt will again!) So we’re really looking forward to tasting some other Saviah wines on Saturday.

Our weekend fun will continue on Sunday, down the road in Woodinville at Woodhouse Family Cellars, where the Big Boy Merlot, the 2002 Maghee is available again. It’s going to go fast, so we’ve put in our order already! (I’ve also blogged about the Maghee before, and no doubt will again, along with other old-world-style wines from Woodhouse Cellars!)

To find out about more of our favorites, check out the featured picks on our Web site, Write for Wine.


Que Syrah, Syrah

Columbia Winery just released its 2004 Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard, South Chapel Block. Big name, and  a potentially big Syrah. Red Willow is located in the northwestern corner of the Yakima Valley Appellation. There are no other vineyards within 20 miles; it is fairly warm; and located at a high elevation. Red Willow had an exceptional year, and the result is a structured Syrah accented with a touch of raspberries and hints of smoke, and a long finish of strawberries and licorice.

The well-versed staff at Columbia Winery’s tasting room explained to us that in the 2004 release, the Syrah grapes were co-fermented with 10 percent Viognier. As a result, the wine is not as deep or smoky as the 2003 Syrah, Red Willow Vineyard, South Chapel Block, which was co-fermented with 93 percent Syrah and 7 percent Viognier. We tasted them side by side and our preference is the 2003, which is well balanced with soft tannins, and a bright, juicy finish.

Don’t get me wrong — the 2004 release was good, but it’s still too young. In the meantime, the 2003 release is still available and highly recommended.