Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Hard Row to Hoe offers a new Amphora Cabernet Franc that is light, fresh and beautiful. This organically-grown Cab Franc is produced under the winery’s new Whole Picture label, which features wine made exclusively from their estate vineyard. Overall, the new packaging is a departure from the titillating brothel story that has been integral to the winery. Most importantly, it shows the growth of winemaking by co-owner Judy Phelps, and vineyard practices by her husband and co-owner, Don Phelps. Hard Row to Hoe has been one of our favorite Washington wineries for years. Certainly, this beautiful 2019 Amphora Cabernet Franc underlines why.
When we think of Saviah Cellars wine, we first think of Syrah. The next words that come to mind are Funk In The Rocks District. That’s because talented winemaker Richard Funk makes earthy, savory, funky Syrahs. Yes, his name is Richard Funk and he owns The Funk Vineyard. And he is one of our favorite Washington state winemakers.
From the special wine, The Funk, to The Stones Speak, to the every-day wine, The Jack, these wines rock. Yes, pun intended. But we recently discovered we adore Saviah Cellars Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon too.
We’ve been fans of Kevin Correll’s Barrage Cellars since we first met him in 2008. Kevin runs a one-man operation in the true Garagiste fashion with a focus on terroir and 100% varietals. Like many winemakers in Washington state, Kevin started making wine as a hobby in his garage; from there, he moved his craft to a winery in a remodeled barn. Put the two words barn and garage together – Bar+rage – and voila, Barrage Cellars was born.
Last month, we visited Kevin at his tasting room in the Woodinville Wine Warehouse District. We’ve always enjoyed his stellar wines. But let me tell you, Kevin’s wines simply get better and better with each vintage. Every time we think we’ve tasted his best wine yet, he surprises us the following year with an even better one.
Barrage Cellars has made our Top Washington Wineries of the Year list every year since it was created a decade ago. Here are two of our favorite Barrage Cellars wines.
Year after year, Burning Desire Estate Cabernet Franc from Hard Row to Hoe is one of our favorite Washington state Cab Francs. The 2016 vintage is no exception.
First, this fine wine from the Lake Chelan AVA is beautiful, rich, concentrated and elegant. Deep purple in color, the wine features notes of bright raspberries, violets, pencil lead, bell pepper and herbs. Classic Cab Franc from a unique Washington state winery with a memorable brand.
While definitely drinkable now, we suggest decanting it first. Or if you have patience, put it down for a couple of years. It will be worth the wait.
And considering the name, don’t you think this wine would make a great Valentine’s Day present?