Archive for Tasting Notes

One more for the weekend.

A classic white to sip while you sit in the shade and try and calm the nerves from the loud planes overhead.

The Champalous (Didier and Catherine)  are masters of Loire Chenin Blanc, producing Vouvray in all styles.  If you know Vouvray you  love them them.  If you don’t know Vouvray this is a great introduction.

2019 Champalou, Vouvray  $24
Chenin Blanc
This still, dry rendition of Vouvray, aged in stainless steel, is gentle and refreshing on the palate, it boasts a delightful balance of stony minerality with luscious, almost honeyed fruit and flowery notes,
12.5% alcohol by volume

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Distinct Whites

Ever feel like you are choosing the same wines over and over to drink.  Well break out of the mold.  Here are some very delicious and distinct whites that aren’t easily pigeonholed.  A perfect exploration for any summer evening.

2020 Arzabro Harria Txakoli  $15
Hondarrabi Zuri
Harria (‘stone’ in the Basque language). Not much fizz here but the flavor is intense, with varietal aromas, particularly of citrus fruit (limes, grapefruit) and apples and other white pulp fruit. Fresh and harmonious in the mouth, with that elegant bitter hint typical of the grape variety.
Was $19 Now $15
12.5% alcohol by volume

2020 Hild Elbling Trocken  $18
The joy of Elbling is the uncompromising vigor and energy, the raucous and super-chalky acidity. This mineral aspect comes from the limestone soils (not slate!) that you find in the upper Mosel Valley It is here where the Elbling grape thrives & makes a delicious white wine.  Organic
11.5% alcohol by volume

2021 Cor Cellars Alba Cor  $19
55% Pinot Gris, 45% Gewurztraminer
A blend of two traditionally Alsatian varietals into one Columbia Gorge wine from the Celilo vineyard. Co-fermented in a concrete tank, the Alba shows notes of peach, melon and honeysuckle accentuated by spicy notes of pear and lychee.
13% alcohol by volume

2020 Leth Roter Veltliner Klassik  $20
It is not Gruner.  Subtle nose of red apple and sweet melon. A juicy, tropical fruit mix on the palate with a perfect balance of acid and a wisp of sweetness. Warm, creamy spice that lingers.  Organic
12.5% alcohol by volume

Vincent Couche Vooulez Vous Couche Avec Moi?  $42
65% Pinot Noir, 35 % Chardonnay
This wine is an unusual curiosity.  From vineyards in Champagne with clay and limestone soils, this wine is aged for 2 years in clay amphora and oak barrels.  It transports all the yeasty complexity of a champagne to a still white wine.
No sulphites, Organic
12.5% alcohol by volume

2021 Swick Wines The Hux $31
100% Huxelrebe
Willemette Valley
Huxelrebe [hooksal-reeba] is a crossing of Chasselas and Courtillier Musqué. This wine was destemmed and macerated on the skins for 30 days, plunged or foot-stomped twice daily. Umami is the predominant flavor here – like a lick of salt and damp earth.  Organic

2020 Marginalia Amber Wine $30
Semillon from Les Collines Vineyard on skins for two weeks before pressing to barrel; this is on the more structured end of the amber wine spectrum with a whole lot happening on the palate.
12.4% alcohol by volume

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Two Rosé For A Hot Day

Get ’em while it’s hot.  These two sizzling deals just arrived at the shop.  Pick them up and chill out.

2018 Leone de Castris, Il Medaglione Negroamaro Rosé  $10
This rosé, made with Negroamaro, has a rich cherry red color. The nose is very fresh, fruity and floral with aromas of rose, strawberry and cherry.  On the palate it is well-structured and dry, with red fruit flavors, lively acidity and a persistent finish.
Was $15 now $10

2018 Henri Bourgeois, Sancerre Jeunes Vignes Rosé  $18
Pinot Noir
This selection of grapes from young vines gives a fruity wine bursting with energy. Its freshness and acidity are clean and bright with berries.
Was $23 now $18

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Barolo, single-vineyard, Reserva,19-years-old, there has to be an occasion coming up that requires this wine!

2003 Sordo, Ceretta di Perno Reserva Barolo  $85
The bouquet is self-assured, intense, pervasive and broad-based. It tells of delicate hints of ripened fruit, cacao, fine woods, mint and sweet spices.  The flavors are a blend of resolved tannins, cherry fruit and tobacco notes. Very limited.

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Who needs Rosé? We have Lambrusco!

Lambrusco is the name of a sparkling red wine from northern Italy, as well as the family of red grapes that go into lambrusco wines. The most common varieties are Lambrusco Salamino, Lambrusco Grasparossa, Lambrusco Maestri, Lambrusco Marani, Lambrusco di Sorbara.  The wines are low alcohol, best served chilled and are a delight to drink on a hot afternoon and better than beer at a Barbeque.  Here is what we stock at the moment.

Paltrinieri Sant Agata, Lambrusco di Sorbara Rosé  $16
Sparkling rosé Lambrusco!!!! The nose is intense and elegant, with notes of forest fruits and a characteristic aroma of violet. The palate is fruity and dry, with refreshing acidity.
11% alcohol by volume

Cantina Coviolo, Lambrusco Biologico Secco  $12
30% Salamino, 30%, Marani, 30% Maestri, 10%, Ancellotta
Ruby red color with a purplish highlight; fresh and fruity bouquet which reminds to soft fruits and black cherry. Dry, intense, full bodied and harmonic on the palate.
11% alcohol by volume

Bertolani,Lambrusco Rosso All’Antica  $15
Salamino, Marani, Ancellotta
A good quality, traditional, dry Lambrusco offers aromas of ripe black plum, raspberry, sweet mint and river cobble; on the palate, black cherry mingles with a slightly bitter finish.
11.5% alcohol by volume

Cantina di Sorbara, Lambrusco Salamino  $13
Made from Salamino grapes.  Beautiful freshness here with freshly soaked blueberries, elderberries, spearmint and rosemary. Dry, balanced and medium-bodied, drawing on a fine thread of bubbles and precise, cutting acidity.
11% alcohol by volume

La Battagliola, Lambrusco 30 Dosage  $16
The wine pours an intense violet red with fruity aromas of currant, blackberry and cherry; in the palate it presents a mellow structure, with an acid-crisp making it fresh and lively.
12% alcohol by volume

Shop Hours:
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Any Day Wines From Domaine Couron

Wondering what to drink with your dinner on a weeknight?  Here are a pair of recent arrivals that are teaming up to fill the after work doldrums.

Domaine Couron is family-run estate that lies in the tiny hamlet of Saint Marcel d’Ardeche.  Wine has been grown here since antiquity.  Parcels are terraced at Couron, with one higher in elevation than the next.  Using sustainable and practicing organic farming techniques, Jean-Luc and Marie-Lise Dorthe craft, with loving hands, wines on land once cultivated by the Romans.

2021 Domaine Couron Ardeche Rosé  $10
100% Grenache
A bright, bountiful bouquet of fresh strawberries and watermelon with notes of citrus zest. Fresh, with great freshness and complexity. Full-flavored, but light-bodied mélange from light framboise and strawberry.

2019 Domaine Couron Maraselan  $11
Marselan is a cross of Cab Sauv and Grenache and this one from the Ardeche is savory and layered with black plum, dark wild berries and sweet earth.  It matches up with a wide range of food for everyday drinking.

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Northern Rhone

This weekend we continue with a few more wines from the Northern Rhone.  The vineyards are small and the prices can be as steep as the hillsides they are planted on.  The Northern Rhone is much cooler than its Southern neighbor and the Syrah are truly distinct and the whites full and rich.

2020 Yves Cuilleron, Crozes-Hermitage Blanc, Les Rouses $33
100% Marsanne
Aromas of fresh citrus and orchard fruits are joined by minerals and florals. Round and velvety on the palate, offering ripe pear, orange and honey flavors that show very good clarity and floral lift. The pear and floral notes carry through the supple, clinging finish, which leaves a hint of fresh fig behind

2019 Domaine Belle, Crozes Hermitage, Les Pierrelles  $25
The Les Pierrelles comes from sandy, pebbly soils and spent 14 months in 2- to 5-year-old barrels. Saturated purple/ruby-colored, with beautiful notes of blackberries, pepper, ground herbs, and hints of minerality, it hits the palate with a rounded, supple, elegant texture that carries terrific depth and richness. It’s a beautiful Crozes that will keep for 7-8 years, probably longer

2020 Chevalier, Crozes-Hermitage, Les Voleyses  $26
The Voleyses Cuvée is made from younger vine fruit and aged in stainless steel.  Fragrant nose of blackberries, plums, a hint of leather. Layers of fruit roll over the plate, very soft and appealing. Chewy texture, earthy finish.

2018 Domaine des Pierres Seches, Saint Joseph  $46
A stunning Saint-Joseph that captures the heart and soul of this appellation — indeed, it hails from villages that make up the southern part of Saint-Joseph, its original borders, where fruit is riper, earthy and very profound. Winemaker Sylvain Gauthier selects fruit from mostly older vines for this gem of a northern Syrah. Aromas of red and black fruit, licorice, soy, crushed stones, lots of peppery spice. Medium-bodied, juicy, fine-grained tannins. Very long

2019 Domaine Vincent Paris, Cornas Granit 30  $45
This Cornas Granit 30 designation refers to the soil, the approximate age of the vines, and the slope on which they are planted.  Aromas are a cloud of camphor, black pepper, lillies, gravel, roasted plums, smoked meat. It leads with pure dark fruit with a smoky mid-palate, and a savory, mineral finish. The tannins have a gentle grip. Prime northern Rhône Syrah with just enough force to reel you in.  Organic, Biodyanmic.

2019 Francois & Fils, Cote Rotie  $77
97% Syrah, 3% Viognier
This intense Côte-Rôtie has aromas of black fruits and violets. The tannins of great finesse offer a full and round substance to an already ample and tasty mouth.  Ready to drink now or leave to evolve in the cellar.

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Deal of the Day

2014 Jaboulet, Crozes Hermitage la Mule Blanche  $20
50% Marsanne, 50% Roussanne
Aged in 15% new French oak, with the balance in stainless steel and concrete eggs. Offering up lots of buttered citrus, lychee nut and white flowers, it’s medium-bodied, fresh and lively, if not racy on the palate. Possessing solid fruit and the overriding elegance that’s become the hallmark of the estate. Biodynamic
Was $35 Now $20

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Woodinville Wonders

Woodinville certainly has a lot of wineries for a place that doesn’t grow any grapes.  But even though the grapes are trucked across the Cascades, some good juice comes out of there.  Here are a few we have on the shelves at the moment.  Gorman is really made up in Maltby in Snohomish County (another place that doesn’t grow many grapes) but their tasting room is in Woodinville, so we included them here just to be sociable.

2020 Lauren Ashton, Rosé  $15
53% Mourvèdre, 47% Grenache
Provence style rosé from Columbia Valley.  Opening with strawberry and raspberry notes and essence of citrus zest on the palate and a lightly spiced finish
Was $20 Now $15

2021 Gorman, 42, 39, 56 Rosé  $15
A racy blend primarily made of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache, Merlot, Counoise and Mourvedre.  Zesty, aromatic and refreshing.

2020 Sparkman, Kindred Grenache  $20
This neutral barrel aged Washington Grenache shows off the fruit and spice notes without muddying up the flavors.

2020 Gorman Winery, The Devil Makes Three  $20
Cabernet Sauvignon
From Red Mountain fruit this Cab is aged for 9 months in once used French oak. Moderate Oak notes makes this full Red Mountain red intriguing with cigar Box aromas, raspberry chocolate with a kiss of sea salts.

2017 Ashton Troy, Cabernet Sauvignon  $18
Lauren Ashton’s 2nd label.  The Ashton Troy Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley AVA is rich and full-bodied, with an elegant tannin structure. It opens with aromas of black cherry, blackberry, and ripe plum and is followed by hints of spiciness and minerality.
Was $30 Now $18

2020 Darby, Purple Haze  $20
Cabernet, Malbec, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Franc, Syrah
Hazy on details but not on flavor, the sum is greater than its parts.  Dense and rich, with a muscular mix of dark currant, cherry, and plum with a hint of cedar.  Aged in 30% new French oak for 18 months

2015 Finn Hill, Merveille  $15
Stillwater Creek Vineyard Merlot
Aromas of red currant, dried cherry and toasty oak, the latter an indicator of the 21 months in 100% new French barrels.  On the palate is where it comes alive with more cherry and currant flavors with dusty tannins and age-worthy pomegranate acidity.
Was $30 now $15

2016 Finn Hill, Vivant  $18
Rosebud Vineyards
The 2016 vintage exhibits an inky purple-magenta color and wafts perfumed aromas of crushed black and red berries on wet gravel, with hints of molasses and bay leaf. The pour delivers predominant fruit notes of blackberry, boysenberry, red currant, and blueberry. The finish brings mellow plum-skin acidity and tannin.
Was $30, Now $18

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM

Deal of the Day

Berlucchi, Franciacorta Cuvée Imperiale Brut  $20
90% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Nero
Rich and lingering and complex with floral and fruit notes, and subtle fragrance of yeast and crusty bread. The palate is clean-cut and full-bodied with appealing, emphatic fruity notes and fine acidity.  Organic
Was $30 Now $20

Shop Hours
Wednesday-Sunday, 12-6PM