For 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!
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.
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.
Stottle Winery, based in Lacey, just north of Olympia, has spring releases of some of its unique red wines, four of which we recently had the opportunity to taste.
Owner and winemaker Josh Stottlemyer is skilled at blending reds, as we experienced with the 2014 Stottle Big Eddie and Hombre. He also does well with the 2014 Tempranillo (100%) and Sangiovese (99%, topped with 1% Cabernet Sauvignon).
As in the past, our palates prefer Big Eddie, but all four wines will pair well with a late spring or summer dinner or barbecue on the deck or patio. Or sip them lakeside or poolside, with some tasty cheeses and charcuterie.