Friday, September 15, 2017

2008 L'Ecole No. 41 Apogee

Happy Friday!  I trust you all has a wonderful week, mine was somewhat busy, particularly this afternoon as I was rushing around to get everything I need for my "Taste My Vacation" dinner party tomorrow night (more on that in another post!).  But at least during all that rushing around, I found a wonderful piece of meat for my dinner tonight and when I got home I found a lovely bottle of wine to have with it, the 2008 L'Ecole No. 41 Apogee, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (29%), Malbec (8%) and Cabernet Franc (3%) from the Pepper Bridge Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley.

The wine is a deep, inky black at the center, with bright ruby along the edges.  The nose is that of a classic Bordeaux style blend, ripe blackberries, cherries and cassis with undertones of leather and basalt.  The taste is much less fruit forward than I was expecting, but really starting to sing beautifully, as an initial rush of cherries and black stone fruit give way to pleasing notes of cherry cola, dark chocolate and dusty limestone midpalate.  The finish is just lovely, as you have notes of fresh herbs and wonderfully integrated tannins that give this wine a wonderfully smooth, voluptuous and very dry finish that seems to last until your next sip.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9.5, as Walla Walla Bordeaux Style blends don't often come better than this one.  This wine would pair beautifully with hard aged cheeses, braised short ribs, or my choice tonight, a rare grilled USDA Prime tomahawk ribeye, with grilled asparagus and steamed red potatoes with butter and parsley.  The wonderful fruit and dry finish of this wine is perfect to accent a rich, prime ribeye, cheers!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

2013 Waterbrook Icon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Wine Wednesday!  It's been a bit of a rainy day here in Indiana as the remnants of Hurricane Irma make their way up to the Ohio Valley, but at least I got a few errands done and made it to the gym this evening, where I saw an older gentleman wearing a bandanna ties around his silver hair that just reminded me of Lloyd Bridges when he played Izzy Mandelbaum on Seinfeld...good times... Anyway, tonight I've decided to open a bottle of the last office wine club selection, the 2013 Waterbrook Icon Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from the Columbia Valley of Washington.  You can see my review of the 2012 vintage here, so let's see what this vintage has to offer!

The wine is a deep indigo at the center, with nice garnet tones around the edges, very typical of a Columbia Valley Cabernet.  The nose is a lovely combination of leather, oak and black fruit that's very appealing.  The taste is a rush of black cherry and blackberry up front that transitions to some modest notes of mocha and spice box midpalate.  The finish is quite nice, with well structured tannins providing for the long, smooth and very dry finish.

Overall, I'd rate this wine a solid 8, as I do prefer this vintage over the 2012, since it's much more of a classic Cabernet.  This wine would pair well with a nice steak, hearty Italian dishes, or as autumn approaches rapidly, hearty roasts and stews.  But tonight, I am enjoying this wine with a Thai chili rubbed prime sirloin, grilled leeks and asparagus and a nice baked potato.  Cheers!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

2015 Intrinsic Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Taco Tuesday!  Tonight I've decided to open a new bottle of Washington Cabernet that I picked up at the local Costco, the 2015 Intrinsic Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a second label from Columbia Crest.  From what I've read, the winemaker has been experimenting with some extended maceration on these particular wines, resulting in a remarkably different flavor profile and finish than Columbia Crest's traditional Cabernet.  So let's see how this one stacks up!

The wine is a deep ruby color in the glass, with nice clarity.  The nose presents aromas of black fruit, vanilla bean and cassis.  The taste is a somewhat subdued expression of fruit up front, with a bit of black cherry and some earthy mineral notes.  The fruit seems to linger as the somewhat youthful tannins pick of the pace, resulting in a long and very dry finish that's quite a departure from the warm finish that I usually associate with the parent label.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8, it's different than many Columbia Valley Cabernets, but in a pleasant and approachable way.  It was also a solid value as I recall this one was under $20 at Costco.  I am enjoying this wine tonight with tacos of course, tonight it's carne asada steak tacos, with all the trimmings, as the fruit and dry finish of this wine really accentuates the rich spiciness of my dinner.  Cheers!