Alexandria Nicole Cellars Mackay Duck Press Red

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If you like a full-bodied red wine with steak, the 2007 Mackay Duck Press Red by Alexandria Nicole Cellars is for you. This rich, robust red was barrel-aged for 22 months and just released in September. There’s no need to cellar it – it is oh-so drinkable right now.

The 2007 Duck Press Red was blended by ANC winemaker and co-owner Jarrod Boyle and the wine afficionados at Mackay Restaurants to pour at El Gaucho and Waterfront Seafood Grill. Envision the excellent meals you have had at these fine restaurants – this luxe wine would pair nicely with any of them.

With a deep ruby hue, this lush red blend offers aromas of bright red fruit, with black cherries and blackberry on the mid-palate. While we liked the 2006 Duck Press, we love the 2007 vintage, which is smooth with a long finish. I’m sure we prefer the 2007 because 18% Cab Franc and more Cab Sauv were added. 

  • 2006 Duck Press Red: 52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 14% Malbec and 10% Petit Verdot
  • 2007 Duck Press Red: 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cab Franc, 12% Merlot, 10% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot

In fact, I enjoyed this wine so much, I named 2007 Mackay Duck Press Red as my favorite wine of October, when asked by Sean Sullivan of Washington Wine Report .

Alexandria Nicole Cellars makes 12 varieties of wine, and we enjoyed so many of them that we became members of their wine club in 2007, when they first moved to Woodinville.  That same year, Paul Gregutt named ANC as #1 in his list of Top 12 Washington State Wine Clubs.

Over the years, Jarrod and his wife and co-owner Ali (for whom the winery is named) have become good friends of ours. These days, I help with their Twitter account. But it all began with their wine from the good fruit at their Estate vineyard, Destiny Ridge.

Cheers!

Resources for WA Initiatives 1100 & 1105

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There is only one week left until the Nov. 2 election and the vote on Washington State Initiatives 1100 & 1105. Please be informed – there is a lot of fine print to absorb. The initiatives are about a lot more than cheaper booze.

A recent post by well-known local wine expert, Paul Gregutt, sums up 1100 this way: “… this initiative is simply too broad and too vague – a clearcut rather than a cleanup.” He plans on “holding his nose” and voting no on both 1100 and 1105.

Here are more links that lead to positions on both sides of both initiatives;  this updates my previous post, Confused About Initiatives 1100 & 1105?

You can also find the complete text of both initiatives on the website for the Washington Secretary of State. The Municipal Research & Services Center of Washington also has many excellent resources to help you wind your way through the complex details.

Regardless of your opinion, please get out and vote on Nov. 2. And in the meantime, if you have other resources to share – on either side of both initiatives – we welcome your comments.

Cheers!

HalloWINE Happenings!

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It’s that time of year again – HalloWINE parties in Woodinville wine country! Here is our list of fun times from Oct. 29-31. Please add parties that you know about in the comments below!

Join these seven wineries for a HalloWINE party: Alder Ridge Winery, Canon De Sol Winery, Irlandes Winery, Goose Ridge Estate Winery, Airfield Estates Winery, Darby Winery & Village Wines. This party offers costume contests, prizes, music, tricks, treats, and more. Advance tickets at Village Wines: Taste at all seven venues for $8 or buy tickets at the door for $10. Oct. 29, 6-8:30 p.m.

Matthews Estate: Put on your favorite Halloween costume and come to Matthews Estate House for a HalloWINE celebration: “an evening of wine and laughter as we dress to impress and to frighten.” Awards will be given for the best costume. There will be music, complimentary appetizers, and wine sold by the glass starting at $6/glass. Oct. 29, 6-9:30 p.m.

Columbia Winery: Located in the winery’s “Haunted Barrel Room,” this party offers “a scary assortment of food and spine-tingling wines.” Costumes are encouraged. Prizes and wine discounts will be awarded throughout the evening. Oct. 30, 6:30-10:30 p.m.

Other HalloWINE (and Halloween) activities and deals:

Northwest Totem Cellars: Halloween Madness! Bring your own pack carrier – 20% mixed half-case discount as well as normal full case discount. October 30, 12-4 p.m.
 
Anton Ville Winery: Halloween Pairings October 30 & 31, 1-5:00 p.m.
 
Otis Kenyon: Pre-Halloween Wine Tasting Weekend Visit our orange and brown tasting room for great Walla Walla wines. If you wear a costume, there is no tasting fee. October 30 & 31.

Silver Lake Winery HalloWINE Enjoy a free tasting at Silver Lake Winery October 30 & 31 for wearing your costume while wine tasting.

Challenger Ridge: Trick or Treat! Free wine tasting. Wear a costume and you will receive 15% off on your wine purchases that day! October 31, 12-5 p.m.

We’re sure there are more parties and deals around, so please share what you know – and have a fun and safe HalloWINE.

Cheers!

Confused about Initiatives 1100 & 1105?

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Television ads tell very different stories about about Initiatives 1100 and 1105 on the November ballot in Washington state. Some wine makers/wine owners have opposite opinions than others when it comes to these two initiatives.

Bottom line: The details are complex. Our advice: Become informed before you vote.

The purpose of this post is to provide a number of resources to help you wind your way through the complicated path these two initiatives seem to take. Some of these links lead you to information that is as objective as possible, given the complexity of the initiatives. Others show you people with very strong points of view.

You can also find the complete text of both initiatives on the website for the Washington Secretary of State.

Regardless of your opinion, please get out and vote on November 2. And in the meantime, if you have other resources to share – on either side of both initiatives – we welcome your comments.

Cheers!

Cabernet Classic on Wine Wednesday

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Attention Cabernet lovers! The second annual Cabernet Classic in Seattle, presented by Seattle Uncorked, will be held on Wine Wednesday (an easy date to remember: 10-20-2010) at Bell Harbor International Conference Center.

It’s a great event to experience some of Washington state’s finest Cabs, and proceeds will help Rotary First Harvest provide produce to food banks and hot meal programs here.

We’ve heard there will be 100 wines from 35 Washington wineries; one winery from France and one from Sonoma are also participating. An assortment of hot and cold appetizers, cheeses and chocolates will be on-hand to pair with the wines.

We attended last year and had a wonderful time - tasting through big, bold Cabernet Sauvignons, rich, robust Cab Francs and a diverse range of Cab-based Bordeaux-style blends. The appetizers were pretty tasty too.

Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets. We hope to see you there!

Here are the participating wineries:
Apex at Alder Ridge
Andre Lurton (Bordeaux)
Bartholomew Winery
Big Daddy
Cedergreen Cellars
Davenport Cellars
DiStefano Winery
Dumas Station Wines
Eaton Hill Winery
Forgeron Cellars
Gard Vintners
Gamache Vintners
Gilbert Cellars
Ginkgo Forest
Goose Ridge Estate Winery
Horan Estates Winery
Irlandés Limited Reserve
JB Neufeld
J.Bookwalter
Kunde Family Estate (Sonoma)
Lowden Hills
Madsen Family Cellars
Milbrandt Vineyards
Nicholas Cole Cellars
Northwest Totem Cellars
Otis Kenyon
Pleasant Hill Cellars
Plaza Winery
Pondera Winery
Sorensen Cellars
St. Laurent Estate Winery
Skylite Cellars
Smasne Cellars
Tapteil Vineyard & Winery
Whidbey Island Winery
Willis Hall
Wilridge Winery
Windy Point
Woodhouse Wine Estates
Woodinville Wine Cellars

Cheers!

Wines We’ve Enjoyed Recently

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Regular readers of this blog know that I’ve been traveling more than usual in the last couple of months, which has affected the time I’ve had to write here. But it has not put a dent in our enjoyment of Washington state wines! Here are just a few that we’ve had the pleasure to sip and share lately.

Gramercy Cellars 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon – This is a really exceptional Cab from four vineyards: Pepper Bridge, Va Piano, Phinny Hill and Portteus.

Fielding Hills 2007 Cabernet Franc – A standout Cab Franc from Riverbend Vineyards, we purchased it during our recent trip to Cascade Valley Wine Country.

L’Ecole 41  2007 Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon - Elegant, dense and complex,this Cab paired perfectly with Chateau Briand.

Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2007 Duck Press Red - A full-bodied blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 18% Cab Franc, 12% Merlot, 10% Malbec and 2% Petit Verdot, this was just released two weeks ago at the winery’s Harvest in the Vines Party.

Efeste 2007 Big Papa Old Block Cabernet Sauvignon – We know firsthand why this bold, rich Cab received 93 from Wine Spectator and 92 from Wine Enthusiast.

Chateau Faire le Pont 2006 Milbrandt Syrah – Jammy and peppery, this Cascade Valley Syrah hits all the right notes.

William Church 2008 Syrah - William Church does it again with a 100% rich Syrah from three vineyards: Dineen Family, Red Willow and Stillwater Creek.

Forgeron Cellars 2003 Vinfinity - A hit at the recent BLEND event in Seattle, this beauty is a blend of 42% Merlot, 39% Cabernet Sauvignon and 19% Syrah.

Cheers!