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

East to the Other Washington

I heart Hyatt hotels. A few weeks ago, I wrote about wine at my go-to hotel in my home town, Hyatt Vancouver. Then last week, we tasted wine in an amazing experience at the Grand Hyatt Washington D.C.

In fact, a funny thing happened on the way to the Grand Hyatt D.C. And it demonstrates the potential and the power of social media.

Shortly after arriving at the hotel, I received a message from Front Desk Agent Emanuel Lessey. He told me that he recently received an email from his sister with a link to my blog post about wine at the Hyatt Vancouver.

Emanuel has a sharp eye, in addition to a savvy business sense. And he gets social media.

He recognized my name on the his hotel’s guest list, and called to ask if we would be interested in a flight of local wine in Cure Bar & Bistro on the hotel’s main floor.

No surprise to you, I’m sure – the answer was yes, please.

Cure is a great, casual restaurant and bar that spans four floors, with high ceilings, an open fireplace, and stone and oak walls. The artisan cheese selection is almost as extensive as the wine list. We were treated to three wines from Barboursville Vineyards in Virginia, home to an incredible story as well as captivating wines.

Barboursville is located on the plantation of former Governor James Barbour, whose mansion was designed in 1814 by Thomas Jefferson, who also had a lifelong passion for fine wine. As it turns out, Jefferson envisioned a vineyard at this beautiful location, which finally happened more than 150 years later: in 1976, Gianni Zonin — 6th generation heir to a family wine enterprise active since 1821 in the Veneto — acquired the plantation.

Fast forward to April, 2012, when we enjoyed Barboursville Vintage Rose’, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay at Cure at the Grand Hyatt D.C., thanks to Emanuel Lessey.

The city had been hit with an unexpected heat wave, with 90 degrees that day, so we welcomed the cool Rose’ blend of Nebbiolo, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv and Merlot.

The Sauvignon Blanc was also refreshing, with aromas and flavors of grapefruit for me, although Dave got more of the tangerine and kiwi.

And if you prefer steel-barrel aging for a crisp Chardonnay, this one from Barboursville is for you.

Harun, who poured for us at Cure, was as knowledgeable about local wines as he was friendly. And a visit to our table by Cure’s popular and creative general manager, Ken Hood, added more insight into the wine list and the care given by everyone we met who worked at the Grand Hyatt D.C.

And then Emanuel took customer service one step further – by surprising me on my birthday, with a card from everyone at the front desk. Somehow, he found out that my birthday was taking place during our D.C. visit, and he helped make that day even more special.

So please join us in giving a round of applause to Emanuel and his sister, along with special cheer to Ken, Harun, the front desk staff and others at the Grand Hyatt D.C. We will return!

Cheers!