Liberty Lake Wine Cellars

Liberty Lake Wine CellarLocated near Spokane, Liberty Lake Wine Cellars is a  boutique Washington state winery focusing on bold reds from Red Mountain. Our kind of wines, right? Right! As background, original owners Doug and Shelly Smith released the first 2005 vintage in 2007. Fast-forward to 2016. Mark and Sarah Lathrop took over the Liberty Lake operation, moving to a larger tasting room and production facility. They also created a second label, TAHIJA, for non-Red Mountain reds and whites.

Mark recently sent us samples of four bottles of Liberty Lake wine. First, we tasted 2018 Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, which won’t be released until next year. Second, we tried three releases coming out later this month: 2017 Cabernet Franc, 2018 Zinfandel and 2018 TAHIJA Sangiovese. Read on for details.

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The Consistent, Superb Quality of Ricasoli 1141 Wines

Ricasoli 1141 WinesFor the last month, we have participated in a weekly tasting of some excellent Ricasoli 1141 wines. The brand name underlines that the Ricasoli family has been linked to wine since 1141. This is the oldest winery in Italy and the fourth-oldest family business in the world. The result of all this experience is consistent, superb quality Chianti Classico at several price points. These wines flaunt their pedigree in the first sip. They will make excellent Valentine’s Day gifts for that special someone. Certainly, they will pair well with any celebration!

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Exquisite Long Shadows

We recently sat down with Gilles Nicault, talented winemaker  and director of winemaking and viticulture at the highly acclaimed Washington winery, Long Shadows.

Gilles, whom we’ve known for years, took time out of a busy day at the end of harvest to chat with us at the Walla Walla tasting room.

He also poured us a selection of the exquisite current releases. Not surprisingly, we were impressed with each one of them.

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Red Willow Vineyard and WA Wine Royalty

Jon Sauer, Karen Sauer and Mike Sauer stand in front of signs from Red Willow Vineyard.Last week, we had the honor of visiting Red Willow Vineyard and spending an afternoon with the incredible Sauer family, Washington wine royalty.

We toured part of the vineyard with Mike, Karen and their son, Jon, and later were joined by Jon’s wonderful wife Kelly and their five lovely children. In this photo, (from left) Jon, Karen and Mike stand in front of old signs of grapes planted at Red Willow. Of note, the sign for the 1986 Syrah represents the first grape planted in Washington state.

During our visit, Mike told us about the harvest, which was almost but not quite over. He also discussed his clone project, and we tasted three wines made from some of those clones.

Although we spent time with Mike and Karen at a wine event in 2017, we hadn’t been to Red Willow in nine years. It was an amazing experience.
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