Taste of Tulalip Nov. 14-15

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 10.47.54 AMExcitement is growing for the sixth annual Taste of Tulalip, a major event that is widely recognized as one of the top Northwest foodie and wine “happenings.”

The superb reputation of Tulalip Resort Casino is underlined every year at this event, when its food and wine maestros — Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and his fabulous team of chefs, and Sommelier Tommy Thompson — unveil an explosion of flavors and aromas that merge into a premium, five-star experience.

This year, Food Network star Ming Tsai will prepare some signature dishes to complement pours at the Magnum party on Saturday Nov. 15, featuring  samples of limited and rare vintages from 21 elite wineries, including Chateau Cos d’Estournel, Krug Clos du Mesnil, Chateau La Mission Haut-Brion, Harlan Estate, Penfolds Grange, Chateau Lynch-Bages, Verite “La Muse,” M. Chapoutier L’Ermitage  Blanc, and CIRQ Pinot Noir.

Here are highlights of the other events planned this year:

The weekend kicks-off with Friday night’s multi-course Celebration Dinner, paired with premium wines from around the globe: Schramsberg Vineyards, Alleromb, Kosta Browne, Leonetti Cellar, Rasa Vineyards, and Inniskillin. This year’s Featured Winemaker is Sean Boyd of Woodinville Wine Cellars.

Saturday is action-packed with wine and food demos, chef challenges, a wine seminar, Rock & Roll Challenge, the Magnum party and the Grand Taste, featuring more than 120 wineries from Washington, Oregon, California, New Zealand and Germany, along with a craft beer “pool garden.” Washington state wineries include the stellar Quilceda Creek and Figgins.

Saturday’s “All Access” ticket is priced at $350 per person; the Celebration Dinner tickets cost $195 and the Grand Taste tickets are $95.

More details and tickets are available at the Taste of Tulalip website. Mark your calendars for Nov. 14 & 15 — we hope to see you there!

Cheers!

Caymus 40th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon

Screen Shot 2014-09-07 at 11.03.32 AMBring on a juicy steak and a glass of Caymus Vineyards 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon and celebrate the vineyard’s 40th anniversary in style. If you love big, velvety, opulent Cabernets, this one is for you.

So smooth and silky, this Cab glides across your palate, showing off the near-perfect conditions for the 2012 vintage in Napa Valley.  You don’t have to think twice about why Wine Spectator named this beauty “Wine of the Year.”

A true palate-pleaser, this luscious red packs in a lot of ripe, rich flavors with a long finish.

According to owner and winemaker Chuck Wagner: “This wine exemplifies our style of Cabernet out of a great vintage – deep color, rich, concentrated and balanced. 2012 celebrates 40 years of producing our pride and joy, Caymus Vineyards Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.”

We first tasted a sample given to us by the winery for a virtual tasting in June. We loved this stellar wine so much that we bought a few bottles a month later.

We are cellaring most of them for a couple of years, but this wine is already so stunning, we opened a bottle last weekend.

An additional highlight: The Caymus Vineyards 2012 40th Anniversary Cabernet Sauvignon features a special commemorative bottle and label.

Cheers!

 

 

Lauren Ashton Cellars

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 2.49.52 PMLauren Ashton Cellars launched in Washington wine country in 2009, when Kit Singh, a dentist, decided to apply his knowledge of chemistry with his appreciation of wine and his training in viticulture and enology. Keeping it in the family, he named his winery after his two children and reflected his wife’s Estonian heritage by creating bottle labels with photos of her home country.

By late 2012, Lauren Ashton Cellars wines emerged on the Seattle wine scene, and by the following year, rave reviews started to come in.

Shortly after that, we too became quick fans of Kit’s handcrafted wines after stopping by the Lauren Ashton Cellars booth at numerous Washington wine events. The winery’s motto “True Washington Character” was indeed reflected in every sip we tasted.

No wonder why Robert Parker called the 2009 Cuvee Mirabelle “a perfect blend of juiciness and richness.” Closer to home, Washington wine experts and writers Sean Sullivan and Paul Gregutt described some of the Lauren Ashton wines as impressive and exceptional.

Our first experience was with the 2011 Columbia Valley Syrah, a robust, complex 100% Syrah that is smooth and rich. The tasting notes recommend that this full-bodied wine pairs “perfectly with garlicky lamb, sausages and grilled meats, alongside asparagus, mushrooms and potatoes.” (Sample provided by the winery)

The 2011 Red Mountain Reserve Syrah is even better. This silky, elegant wine is only available at the Lauren Ashton Cellars Tasting Studio in Woodinville. The recommended pairing is “roast pork accompanied by fresh fig skewers or grilled meats of all kinds.”

Kit also created a handful of 2011 Columbia Valley red blends, which we can’t wait to taste; we are also hoping to stop by the tasting studio soon to try the 2011 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, which received 94 points from the Wine Enthusiast.

The 2011 blends also generated high scores from the Wine Enthusiast: Cuvee Arlette (94 points), Cuvee Meline (92 points), Proprieter’s Cuvee (92 points) and Cuvee Mirabelle (91 points).

Notably, the 2009 vintage of two blends were sourced from Red Mountain and received even higher scores from Robert Parker: 2009 Proprietor’s Cuvee (95 points) and 2009 Cuvee Mirabelle (94 points).

The bottom line: We highly recommend stopping by Lauren Ashton Cellars Tasting Studio in Woodinville or finding out more about these impressive wines at their website.

Cheers!