2009 Waters Forgotten Hills Syrah

Syrah, Wine Comments Off

2009 Waters Syrah from Forgotten Hills vineyard is a wine that only comes along once every four years, so we were delighted to secure a few bottles for our cellar.

As winemaker Jamie Brown says, “This vineyard dances along the edge” because it is a cooler site composed of cobblestone, silt loam and sandy loam.

In the cool-climate years, the Syrah can’t get ripe enough. That’s why this exquisite wine was not produced in 2008, 2010 or 2011. And that’s one reason why we think it’s special.

The other reason: wow, this 100% Syrah is stunning, spectacular and stellar, complex with a perfect amount of earthy funk that represents the region.

According to our friend Paul Zitarelli of Full Pull Wines: “Because the folks at Waters know they won’t be able to release a new vintage of Forgotten Hills Syrah until 2013 at the earliest, they are holding the vast majority of the 2009 at the winery, to be doled out slowly through the tasting room over the next few years.”

From Jamie’s tasting notes: “Loaded with classic aromatics that scream Northern Rhône, expect notes of black fruits, oil-cured olives, smoky bacon fat and a gravelly minerality. Rich, ripe, round and pleasure-full, this wine leaves you wanting more. And the finish gives you just that—it’s so long, you’ll find yourself begging it to fade, just to have the next sip. A remarkable red plum-acidity provides a refreshing, balancing levity to a deliciously, deep and brooding wine. A gorgeous match for roasted meats.”

Only 514 cases were produced and because of its rarity, the price has increased to $60-$65, depending where you can find it.

If you have a special occasion in the future, this wine is for you.

Cheers!

Seattle Wine & Food Experience

Events, Washington wineries, Wine Comments Off

There’s only one week left to buy your tickets for the Seattle Wine and Food Experience at Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. If you like good wine, beer and food – and seriously, who doesn’t? – mark your calendars for this delicious experience on Feb. 26.

In addition to the wonderful wines of Washington, our neighbors to the south, Oregon, are also featured this year. And face it, there aren’t many events where plentiful choices of both Washington and Oregon wine are available for tasting.

Some of our Oregon favorites — Erath Winery, King Estate, Sokol Blosser and Willamette Valley Vineyards – will be side by side with our Washington friends from Barrage Cellars, Forgeron Cellars, Airfield Estates and Kiona, to name a few. And then there’s Watermill, which straddles both states and has some great juice too.

And let’s not forget Stag’s Leap, Francis Ford Coppola Winery  and other California wineries will also be pouring, along with wineries from Idaho and around the world (France, New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Australia and Argentina).

There’s something for everybody, including beer and cider and spirits, non-alcoholic beverages and coffee.

Did we mention food? Seattle Wine & Food Experience showcases too many Washington restaurants to name, so here is the list. You’ll be able to nibble on tasty treats such as barbequed beef slider, Kona coffee-rubbed filet, boeuf Bourguignon stew, seafood salad, roasted lamb leg, foie gras and much more.

The cost for this explosion of tastes is $49 in advance or $60 at the door (cash only).

Enjoy – and cheers!

Head Out to JM Cellars

Bordeaux Blend, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Syrah, Washington wineries, Wine Comments Off

If you’ve never been to JM Cellars in Woodinville, you are missing out on many wonderful Washington wines. Located on a hillside called Bramble Bump, JM Cellars offers first-class wines with a view.

Luck was with us a couple of weeks ago, when we stumbled upon an unexpected release party at JM Cellars. Winemaker/co-owner John Bigelow was pouring with a smile and our friend Paige Leighton welcomed us with hugs. And the wines – oh my.

We’ve been fans of JM Cellars signature blend Tre Fanciulli for years, so it was no surprise that we went home with the latest 2009 release. Tre Fanciulli is Italian for “three treasured lads” and named for John and Peggy Bigelow’s sons in 1999. With this new release, and the eleventh vintage, the name has been shortened to simply Tre. Love it!

Of the 11 vintages, this was the fifth we have savored. The 2009 Tre is a rich blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot and 18% Syrah – simply heaven in a glass.

The JM Cellars 2009 Boushey Vineyard Syrah is also outstanding. John told us the single-vineyard grapes came from old vines near the house of viticulturalist Dick Boushey, one of Washington’s finest grapegrowers. After Matt Sauer’s Red Willow Vineyard, Boushey was the next to plant Syrah grapes in Washington state. If you like big, peppery, savory Syrah, you simply must try this one.

Another one of John’s wines that we’re particularly fond of is the 2009 Margaret’s Vineyard Estate Red. We first tried this stellar wine as a pre-release at the Taste of Tulalip last November, and couldn’t wait to taste it a few months later at its official release party.

It’s the inaugural vintage of a Bordeaux blend from vines that were planted in 2007 on the southern border of the Walla Walla appellation at the then-newly named Margaret’s Vineyard. The wine blends 37% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 17% Cab Franc, 17% Malbec, 6% Petit Verdot and 6% Carmenere.

JM Cellars is known for elegant blended reds. And regular readers know my preference for Cab-based Bordeaux blends, so you know we took this beauty home with us!

Cheers!

Sogno Superbo

Bordeaux Blend, Cab Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Wine Comments Off

The first time we ever tasted Cabernet Franc is stamped in our memories because we immediately fell in love with this grape. The year was 1999, when we had just moved to Seattle and took our first drive to Woodinville wine country. The winery was DiStefano. We became instant fans and remain so today.

Slightly more than a year ago, we included DiStefano’s 2005 Sogno Cab Franc in our Top 11 Washington state wineries that produce the Cab Franc grape as a shining single-varietal wine.

We now add 2007 Sogno Reserve to the list. Wow!

Released in July 2011, only 150 cases were made of this powerful 100% Cab Franc. From the tasting notes:

“Intense dark chocolate, raspberry and toasted hazelnut push their way out of the glass. The palate is rich with silky chocolate and dried cherries, with hints of spicy oak, black pepper on the finish.”

Cab Franc is typically used as a blending wine to add more complexity to Cabernet Sauvignon or more structure to Merlot.

But when Cab Franc is created as a stand-alone wine and done well, like 2007 Sogno Reserve, it’s magic. Glorious. Superbo!

Did we mention only 150 cases were produced? What are you waiting for?

Cheers!