Attention Cabernet lovers! The sixth annual Cabernet Classic, presented by Seattle Uncorked, will be held on Saturday Feb. 6 at the new Porsche Bellevue dealership — the first time this prestigious event has been held in Bellevue.
This is a perfect time to experience some of Washington state’s finest Cabs from 28 exclusive wineries. Current releases of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cab-based blends will be poured as well as library selections. Light appetizers will be served by Bin On The Lake.
The special evening is from 6-9 p.m. The cost is $100, with net proceeds going to Talk It Up TV & The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Complimentary valet parking will be provided by Butler Valet.
Cabernet is King in our household, and if it is in yours too, this is one event you won’t want to miss.
Looking for a reasonably priced big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon to take to that holiday party? Or maybe you want to serve it at your holiday open house? Perhaps you want to pour it before or during a holiday meal?
If so, you’ve come to the right place. Over the last few months we’ve found some big Cabs at good price points.
Winemaker’s Notes: “Ripe black cherry and boysenberry layered with notes of caramel, mocha and black tea. Concentrated, full body with a smooth lasting finish.”
Wine Enthusiast: “This wine has immediate appeal showing aromas of milk chocolate, cherry and dried herbs. The flavors are plump and rich in feel yet backed by soft tannins.”
**************************************************************************************** Columbia Crest2012 and 2013 H3 Cabernet Sauvignon ($10-$14, depending on where you shop) 99% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Cabernet Franc
Winemaker’s Notes: “This bold Cabernet opens with flavors of black cherries and blackberries with a touch of currants and vanilla, complemented by earth and mineral notes. Deep berry flavors lead to a soft tannin cocoa finish.”
Giant Wine, 2013 Ghost of 413 Cabernet Sauvignon ($16-$19, depending on where you shop) This is the fourth vintage of a great red wine created by Chris Gorman from Gorman Winery and Mark McNeill from Mark Ryan.
Full Pull Tasting Notes by Editor-in-Chief Paul Zitarelli: This begins with a nose of smoky crème de cassis fruit, complicated by notes of dried herb and soil. At its heart, it is a deep, black-fruit driven Cab, full of blackcurrants and blackberries and black plums.
If you’re one of those people who look for good-value wines at a $10-$15 price point, this blog post is for you. We are very pleased with some Columbia Crest winery samples that pair well with the fall season.
First, you might recall that we praised Columbia CrestH3 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon In a July post about Good Value BBQ Reds. H3 became our go-to, every-day wine over the summer ($10-$15, depending on where you look). We were not surprised to find out that H3 was a Double Gold winner at the 2015 Seattle Wine Awards.
And now, Columbia Crest offers their 2013 Limited Release “Gold” Red Wine Blend, in addition to several other new 2013 releases, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot Pinot Gris and Chardonnay.
We particularly enjoyed these four wines, all from Columbia Valley, all priced at $12.
Columbia Crest 2013 Limited Release “Gold” Red Wine Blend According to the winery, a couple barrels of wine that represent the “gold standard” of Columbia Valley grapes are blended into this limited release Gold Red Wine. Harvested in September 2012, when Cabernet Franc had an excellent year, this wine features 52% Cab Franc, 38% Syrah, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Merlot. Think spicy, rich and textured – and great to pair with grilled beef, lamb, rich stews or simply with strong cheese.
Columbia Crest 2012 Grand Estates Red Blend This is a Syrah-Cab Sauv blend, specifically 57% Syrah, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Viognier, 6% Merlot and 3% other varietals. Tasting Notes: “This complex red blend marries together a variety of characteristics and layers that complement each other, including lively flavors of red and black fruit punctuated with layers of spice and caramel on the finish.” We paired it with rich spaghetti and meatballs, and it was delicious.
Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estates Cabernet Sauvignon The 81% Cab Sauv is rounded out with 15% Merlot, 2% Syrah and 2% of other varietals. Tasting Notes: “This bold style Cabernet Sauvignon displays great complexity and structure. There are aromas of dark berry fruits and plum on the nose with chocolate and vanilla on the palate. This wine pairs well with beef tenderloin or hearty pasta.” We think it also is wonderful paired with blue cheese and/or dark chocolate.
Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estates Syrah In this classic, 95% Syrah is co-fermented with 5% Viognier. Tasting Notes: “Elegant smoky tones lead to notes of currant, dried herbs and hints of pepper. The supple texture is complemented by flavors of cedar and dark fruits.” Pair with grilled salmon, pork tenderloin or soft cheeses.
Although we haven’t yet tasted Columbia Crest 2013 Grand Estates Unoaked Chardonnay, Wine Spectator called it out as providing the biggest bang for your buck.
We know it seems too early to start thinking about holiday wines, but at this price point, do you really want to wait? You can pour them at any party – your own or ones you attend as a guest — from Hallowe’en to Thanksgiving and beyond.
Now that we don’t live in Seattle anymore, we couldn’t visit Charles Smith Wines Jet City when it opened on July 25. So we decided to go on a road trip with our friends Jenise and Bob Stone (both have excellent palates), to see the new 32,000-square-foot winery in the Georgetown neighborhood, across from Boeing Field.
Jet City is located in a former Dr. Pepper bottling plant, which received a massive makeover by architect Tom Kundig. What a fantastic combination of steel, glass, concrete, barrels and big tanks, with 21-foot-tall windows looking out on the magnificent Mt. Rainier and the Boeing Field runways.
The downstairs tasting room also looks onto the first-floor production area. Unfortunately, the second floor, with its commercial kitchen, isn’t open yet, so we didn’t get a chance to check it out too. But according to reports from the grand opening, the area has an aviation theme, and the kitchen will be used to host harvest lunches and catered events.
As Charles said recently to the media, “Is this a restaurant? No. But will we have amazing dinners here? Yes. Is this a concert venue? No. But will we have great bands play live shows here? Yes.”
Jet City is billed as the largest urban winery on the west coast. What a giant place for such a giant personality with giant hair, giant billboards and a giant production of wines — 750,000 cases a year.
Charles has said he wants Jet City to be “big and loud and rock n’ roll.”
Charles Smith, Jet City, Seattle
Fitting since Charles is one of Washington state’s rock-and-roll winemakers, along with our friend Brennon Leighton, former winemaker at Efeste who now leads the Jet City team. We were delighted see Brennon again yesterday and to discover that his new B. Leighton label is also available at Jet City.
We first met Charles at the 2010 Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla. At midnight, he took some wine bloggers to his winery, where his rock and burlesque shows are legendary.
Charles has a commanding presence that is unique in the local wine industry. His showmanship could, but does not, overtake the impact of the wines he makes.
His largest-production wines are Wines of Substance Cabernet Sauvignon and Kung Fu Girl Riesling.
His first release,1999 K Syrah from Walla Walla Valley, initiated his wine-making style that continues today: “Small lots of single vineyard Syrahs and blends of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Tempranillo and Viognier, all of which are hand-picked, foot-stomped, fermented with naturally occurring yeasts and basket pressed.”
In 2006, he created Charles Smith Wines, which are ready to be consumed immediately. These casual wines include Boom Boom Syrah! and The Velvet Devil Merlot, with funky black and white images on the labels.
Most recently, he created his sixth label, appropriately named Sixto, which features only Chardonnay, and is made in partnership with Brennon and Andrew Latta.
We wonder if there will soon be a new label, Charles Smith Wines Jet City. Until then, if the crowd there yesterday afternoon is any indication, Jet City looks like a success.