What a treat – we spent an afternoon with two exceptional Washington winemakers, John Bigelow of JM Cellars and Morgan Lee of Two Vintners Wines (et al) in April at their tasting rooms at The Vault in Maltby. Not surprisingly, their wines were exceptional and their stories kept us both intrigued and laughing at the same time. And we finally met Alice, Morgan’s sweet Black Lab, who has a stunning red wine named after her. We tasted that wine, along with several of Morgan’s mouthwatering Syrahs and his excellent Grenache Blanc, along with John’s stellar (and unreleased) Founder’s Reserve, and his amazing Grenache, Malbec, and two styles of Chardonnay. Read on for details.
Category Archives: Grenache
L’Ecole 41 is a third-generation, family-owned artisan winery. Most importantly, it is one of the most honored wineries in Washington state, and has generated national and international accolades over the years for producing superior quality wines. We’ve been fans of L’Ecole since we moved to Washington in 1999. As a result, we frequently visit their historic schoolhouse in Walla Walla, and know their talented winemakers Marty Clubb and Marcus Rafanelli, and their amazing wines. So, we were delighted to sample six L’Ecole 2023 releases. Once again, L’Ecole scored. These are the impressive wines we tasted: 2020 Ferguson Estate, 40th Anniversary Red, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc-Merlot; 2021 Sémillon, and 2022 Grenache Rosé.
Wow, we haven’t opened this much wine in months, since way before my knee surgery. But it was our anniversary wine celebration – and these three bottles were excellent choices. In honor of BC wine month, we began with 2019 Tantalus Blanc de Blancs, a simply stunning sparkler of 100% Chardonnay with fine bubbles, bright acidity and salinity. Next came 2018 Liminal High Canyon Syrah, WeatherEye Vineyard. This impressive 100% Syrah is a silky, smooth special-occasion wine. And to round out the night, Two Vintners 2019 Oliver, which includes 70% Grenache from WeatherEye Vineyard, along with 20% Syrah, and 5% each of Petite Sirah and Cinsault. What a cool blend. Oh, what a night!
Rosé isn’t just for summer sipping. It also has a place during other celebrations throughout the year. For many reasons, holiday rosé has a special place in our hearts. For instance, you can pair festive rosé with seafood, shellfish, smoked salmon, salads, pasta and Asian dishes. On the other hand, you can simply drink rosé without food. Pour it for your guests, or take it to a party. Above all, rosés are food-friendly and wallet-friendly wines. Vineyard Brands offers these Famille Perrin suggestions of four beautiful rosés from the south of France.