Love Tempranillo? Head to Fall Line in Seattle Now!

Fall Line Winery just released one of the best Washington state Tempranillos we have ever tasted.

This 2009 Yakima Valley Tempranillo is a new addition to Fall Line’s lineup, appropriately called El Otro (“The Other One”) because it’s a departure from the other red wines beautifully crafted by Tim Sorenson.

El Otro is 100% Tempranillo planted specially for Fall Line at Boushey Vineyard; it’s also 100% drinkable now. Believe me, this dark ruby wine has the WOW factor – it is silky, structured and so layered, I actually said “wow” when I tasted it. Seriously.

Wine Advocate awarded it 92 points last month: “Spice box, cedar, rose petal, and black cherry aromas set the stage for a lingering, already complex, lengthy offering that is a fine example of the potential for Tempranillo in eastern Washington. Drink this outstanding wine from 2012 to 2021.”

Only 166 cases were made, with a low price point of $25 for a wine this elegant. So if you are a big fan of Tempranillo, head to Fall Line soon, because this beauty will sell out quickly.

While you’re there, try some of Fall Line’s other red wines too. We’ve been fans of Tim’s wine for years – my first post about Fall Line was on June 9, 2007, just six days after I started this blog (and when people still referred to “the blogosphere”)!

I fell in love with his 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon — 100% Cab sourced from Boushey Vineyards in Yakima Valley, Artz Vineyards in Red Mountain, and Destiny Ridge Vineyards in Horse Heaven Hills. To my surprise, the next vintage was even better, as I wrote on Feb. 18, 2008: Fall Line Does It Again.

Fast forward to November 2011, and I am once again applauding Fall Line’s 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon.  Not surprisingly, this enticing wine was also awarded 92 points from Wine Advocate last month: “A hint of mint, exotic spices, incense, violets, and assorted black fruits lead to a firm, sweetly-fruited, elegant offering. This well-balanced, lengthy effort will benefit from another 2-3 years of cellaring and will be at its best from 2013 to 2024.”

Fall Line’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Tempranillo are joined by four unique blends – Yakima Valley Boushey Vineyard Bordeaux-style blend (91 points), Red Mountain Artz Bordeaux-style blend (90 points), Yakima Valley Exhibition Red, and Yakima Valley Red Willow Bordeaux-style blend – to round out the 2009 lineup.

You can taste Fall Line wines and join Tim at West Seattle Cellars on Dec. 3 or at his Georgetown winery for a holiday tasting on Dec. 10. More details are available on the Fall Line website.

Once you sip these fantastic-value reds (and find out their price points), you likely will want to buy some for your holiday dinner or to take with you to a special holiday party.


Murphy, R.I.P.

This is a tribute to one of our favorite winery dogs, Murphy of Barrage Cellars, whom we were saddened to recently find out went to doggy heaven.

Murphy, a simply gorgeous chocolate lab, was always hanging around the tasting room to greet us with a big smile and a wagging tail. Winemaker Kevin Correll once said all Murphy wanted was love – and this absolutely wonderful dog got love by the barrel from Kevin and Rebecca.

Last April, Murphy shone in the “coffee table” book of photographs, Winery Dogs of Washington, and he even “signed” books for those who “pawchased” them. What a star! And oh so photogenic!

Around that time, Kevin released a new wine label in their dog’s honor. Underlining Murphy’s playfulness and surreptitiousness around the wine barrels, “Stealth,” a red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cab Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, sold out almost immediately. On release day, word had it that Murphy signed bottles as well as books, but we were out of town and unfortunately had to miss that joyous occasion.

Earlier this month, Barrage Cellars was honored as the official winery partner of Taste of Tulalip, so Kevin and Rebecca renamed Stealth as “Murphy’s Blend,” which was lovingly poured into engraved bottles that were featured at the wine and food extravaganza at Tulalip Resort.

After the photo shoot for the Winery Dogs of Washington book, Kevin and Rebecca took this photo of Murphy, saying he was all tired out and resting after all the posing and fanfare.

And now we know he is resting in peace in doggy heaven.

Kevin and Rebecca, our hearts hurt with yours. Murphy was your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You were his life, his love, his friend.

We miss you too, Murphy. And we hope, from the bottom of our hearts that our dogs Sam and Shadow met you on the bridge to doggy heaven and you’re romping around with them right now.

We raise a glass (or two) of our favorite Barrage Cellars wine to you! Murphy, R.I.P.

Tweets from Taste of Tulalip

We had an exceptional time at Taste of Tulalip, where we were guests of the Tulalip Resort. In the next couple of weeks, I plan to write a full blog post about our two days there – from the Celebratory dinner to the Magnum Party of elite wines and the Grand Tasting. Until then, here is a sample of some of my tweets live from Taste of Tulalip.

Friday Night Celebratory Dinner

Saturday Magnum Party

Grand Tasting

As you can see, there was an explosion of tastes and flavors at Taste of Tulalip. The resort is beautiful and the staff superb. Special thanks to Allan, Norma, Cheryl Kyle, Chef Perry Mascitti and his fabulous team, Sommelier Tommy Thompson, and Lisa Severn.

We will be back!



Time for Taste of Tulalip!

It’s here, the Taste of Tulalip weekend wine and food spectacular at Tulalip Resort Casino! See my previous posts, listed below, for information about activities, times, locations and ticket information.

I will be there for many of the seminars, tastings and parties – you can follow me over the weekend on Twitter @writeforwine and you can also follow many wine tweeps and foodies on the Twitter stream at #tasteoftulalip

Previous Posts:

  • Still Tickets to Taste of Tulalip
  • Do Not Miss Taste of Tulalip

Hope to see you there!


Still Tickets Left for Taste of Tulalip

You’re in luck – there are still tickets left for the Grand Tasting and All-Access Pass on Saturday at Taste of Tulalip, held each year at Tulalip Resort Casino, and recognized as one of the top Northwest foodie “happenings.”

This is one of our favorite events of the year. For the Grand Tasting, Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and his fabulous team, and Sommelier Tommy Thompson go all out for guests with an array of mouthwatering bites, and pours from 65 Washington wineries, 20+ from Napa and more than 20 from Italy.

The All-Access Pass includes this exciting lineup:

  • 12:00 PM – VIP Seminar featuring Carla Hall, who will “wow” you as she performs a cooking demonstration, table talk and a question and answer session with Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and Sommelier Tommy Thompson.
  • Private Magnum Party in mpulse lounge hosted by “Liquid Kitchen” star Kathy Casey. You’ll be treated to some of the most elite wines from around the world, selected by Sommelier Tommy Thompson and sample some of Kathy Casey’s tasty appetizers. (We can’t wait for this event!)
  • 1:30 PM – Early entrance into the Grand Taste
  • 3:30 PM – Rock-n-Roll Cooking Challenge judged by “Thirsty Girl” Leslie Sbrocco and Carla Hall

You can purchase tickets right now!

And of course, if you don’t feel like driving home after such a wonderful day, the Tulalip Resort has a beautiful hotel to relax in.

We hope to see you at the 2011 Taste of Tulalip! You can follow me on Twitter @writeforwine and you can follow the Twitter stream at #tasteoftulalip


Want to Take Wine on Your Holiday Travels?

I’ve been traveling a lot lately, mainly by plane and car, for both work and play. And with a crazy work schedule continuing in the next couple of months, there will be even more travel in my future – and with the holidays just weeks away, most likely in your future, too.

Well, there is a way to take that bottle or two of amazing Washington wine with you to share with friends and colleagues in other states, provinces and countries. You can also buy local wine on a trip or take a gift home.

How can that be? Airport security restrictions require us to pack wine bottles in our checked suitcases. I used to worry that my clothes and other items would be wrecked if a bottle broke en route and a mess was made. In the past, I tried wineskins and other containers for my precious cargo. They offered some protection, but occasionally stuff happens, right?

Then I heard about the Jet Bag, which promises to protect your wine, even if your checked suitcase is thrown onto luggage belts or tossed around an airport. So I packed a special bottle of Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon from Goosecross Cellars in a Jet Bag and placed it in my checked luggage, so we could toast Dave’s birthday while we were on vacation last month. It worked!

What makes this travel solution better than others is the same reason why the Jet Bag used to be described as a “wine diaper” — it’s lined with the same absorbent materials found in baby diapers. So if by chance a bottle does break, the Jet Bag rapidly absorbs the spill and keeps the messy liquid away from your clothing and other important articles that you packed in your suitcase.

This handy, biodegradable carrier is 18 inches tall, weighs only a third of an ounce and can easily hold a 750 mL bottle of wine within its protective padding. With a re-sealable closure, you also can use it over and over – as long as a bottle doesn’t break in it. Ours didn’t.

It’s reasonably priced, too – so it’s perfect to give as a gift or to share with friends and family who are traveling with you. The company’s official Web site offers a three-pack of Jet Bags for $15.

Of course, you can also use the Jet Bag in the car or on a boat; and you can carry other liquids, from water bottles to liquor, in it, too.

Note: I was given a free sample of a JetBag, which I took on our recent trip.

Safe travels, and happy times!