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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Saviah Cellars Syrah

When we think of Saviah Cellars, the first words that come to mind are: “Syrah. Funk. In the Rocks District. Earthy, Savory, Funky. Excellent winemaker Richard Funk. The Funk Estate Vineyard.”

As our friend Paul Zitarelli from Full Pull Wines aptly put it: “Is any winemaker more suitably named to make funky Syrah than Richard Funk?” To which we also wonder: Could any vineyard be better named than The Funk Estate Vineyard? 

The estate vineyard is located in The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater — mostly basalt pebbles, cobbles and boulders washed from the Blue Mountains.

Although the Walla Walla winery also produces many other varieties, including Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Barbera and Malbec, what caught our attention was these three Syrahs at different price points — all of which are currently in our cellar.
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Delectable Dunham Cellars

We have been fans of Dunham Cellars since their inaugural vintage, a 1995 Cabernet Sauvignon. In 2007, when Write for Wine launched, we first visited Dunham’s friendly tasting room in a remodeled World-War II-era airplane hangar in Walla Walla.

Our most recent visit was in May, where we tasted through a wonderful lineup and enjoyed a lengthy conversation, and a trip down memory lane, with general manager John Blair. While all the wines are noteworthy, we thought the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon XIX topped the charts of all the Dunham wines we’ve enjoyed over the years.
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