Montes and Kaiken Wines

We recently tasted three different releases of Cabernet Sauvignon and a Bordeaux blend from Montes Wines and Kaiken Wines, which we discussed during a Twitter chat with founder and winemaker Aurelio Montes Sr. — considered to be a founding father of the modern Chilean wine industry. Prior to the Twitter event, we enjoyed three other Montes wines that were sent to us in time for Thanksgiving. See below for details.
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Va Piano Vineyards

We’ve been fans of Va Piano Vineyards and owner/winemaker Justin Wiley since we met him in 2010 after the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla. How can you not like a winemaker who says, “My winemaking philosophy is very simple: Grow the best grapes we can and don’t screw it up in the cellar.”

More recently, Justin also founded Eritage Resort, located on 300 acres in the rolling fields of wheat and vineyards about six miles north of Walla Walla. Scheduled to open early next year, the resort will offer 10 luxury suites and a restaurant headed up by James Beard award-winning Seattle chef Jason Wilson.
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Thanksgiving Reds

Thanksgiving is only three days away, and we’re trying to decide what wines to pour. Do you know yet? Perhaps you’re looking for a good pairing for your turkey feast, or a special bottle to take to a family dinner or an evening with good friends.

Some people prefer whites such as Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling; others would rather sip on reds. Some pair well with turkey or sides, and others are best at parties. There is no right or wrong!

Here are some special-occasion red wines that we recently tasted and consider the Top 10 for our Thanksgiving festivities. They were crafted in Washington state, Oregon, California, British Columbia and New Zealand, with prices ranging from $30-$60. Continue reading

Amavi Cellars

A few months ago, we had a wonderful time at Amavi Cellars in Walla Walla, thanks to the friendly, fun and knowledgeable tasting room manager Lynne Anderson and associate Bryant Williams.

We tasted pours from five bottles of wine — three beautiful reds from the warm 2014 vintage and a 2016 white and a rosé. As we sipped through the wines, we noticed that Amavi tasting notes give you everything you might want to know before buying a bottle. So we decided to share their winemaker notes here, instead of our own. Thanks to winemaker Jean-François Pellet for outstanding wine and impressive tasting notes.

We enjoyed every single wine that we tasted, which is not always the case in our winery travels.
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