Saturday, July 15, 2017

2014 Sleight of Hand Cellars "The Psychedelic Syrah"

So a few weeks ago I happened to be speaking with Julie Titus at Seven Hills Winery, making sure I had the wines that I thought I had (after my hard drive crash, it seems there are wineries that have a better idea of what's in my cellar than I do!) and she mentioned that she had recently enjoyed "one of the best Syrah's" she had ever had.  Of course I was intrigued, and she was kind enough to give me the contact information for the kind folks at Sleight of Hand Cellars so that I could get a few bottles of their 2014 "The Psychedelic Syrah"!!!  Now I do love me some Syrah, and this one is crafted from fruit of the Stoney Vine  Estate Vineyard in the Walla Walla AVA.  The folks at Sleight of Hand bill their wines as "Serious wines without the serious attitudes" so I think I could definitely get along with these guys!  I encourage you to check out their website (here: and see some of the interesting wines they are producing, but now let's get on with the show!

The wine is a deep ruby color in the glass.  The nose is just an explosion of everything that's great about Syrah, green grass, lavender, green olives, smoke and minerals with lovely undertones of ripe purple fruit.  The taste is like nothing I've experienced before, it just takes me right back to the many lovely tasting rooms in Walla Walla, with wild earthy flavors, bursts of ripe cherry, blackberry and blueberry, earthy limestone, licorice and smoke that just give you such a sense of the place that produced this wine.  The tannins are elegant, creating a velvety mouthfeel than envelops you creating a long, dry finish that's silky and very memorable.  This is appropriately names, as this was a psychedelic experience!

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9.5, as it's one of the best examples of the varietal that I've ever had the pleasure to drink.  I could tell you about pairings, but why ruin the experience?  Just sip this wine on the patio with a group of friends and you'll forget all about dinner.  Of course I'm hungry though, so tonight I am pairing this with a lovely grilled lemon herb halibut filet with some grilled organic rainbow carrots, earth meet sea!  Cheers!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

2014 Maison Bleue Voyageur Syrah

Happy wine Tuesday!  I know I'm a day early for Wine Wednesday, but what the heck?  Tonight I have decided to open a recent wine club selection from Maison Bleue Winery, one of my emerging favorite producers of Grenache, Syrah and GSM blends.  Now it's the 2014 Maison Bleue Voyageur Syrah, a blend of 100% Syrah from the Yellow Jacket Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley of Washington.  So let's see how this wine tastes!

The wine is a deep ruby color in the glass, with just the heft you'd like to see from a nice Syrah.  The nose is chock full of violets, blueberry and blackberry overlaid with hints of smoke and black pepper spice.  The taste a rush of ripe berries, that transitions nicely to some fresh herbs and chipotle spice midpalate.  There is a bit of a reprise of fruit and a bit of kirsch on the finish, with the soft tannins supporting the long, smooth and very dry finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, as it's just a pleasure to drink and a fine example of what this varietal can achieve on its own.  This wine would pair exceedingly well with a variety of hearty dishes, but could hold up just as well to some lighter fare for the summer.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a lovely cedar planked wild Alaskan Sockeye filet along with some garlic scapes and broccoli rabe sauteed in olive oil and tossed with linguine and parmesan.  The ripe fruit and spice notes of the wine play exceedingly well with the richness of good wild salmon.  Cheers!

Friday, July 7, 2017

2015 DaMa Columbia Valley Tempranillo

Happy Friday!  In a holiday shortened week, it's such a pleasure to get to the weekend so much sooner than normal!  To kick things off, I've decided to open a bottle of a recent wine club shipment from DaMa Wines in Walla Walla, the 2015 DaMa Columbia Valley Tempranillo.  This wine is a 100% Tempranillo from the Chene de Mille vineyard in the Columbia Valley.  So let's see how this one stacks up!

The wine is a lighter ruby color with great clarity, which is classic for the varietal.  The nose is chock full of spice, cardamom, nutmeg and lavender over lovely ripe fruit notes of strawberry and raspberry.  The taste is warm and inviting, with a vapor of fruit flavor at the outset that transitions to some lovely earthy mineral notes midpalate.  The tannins are smooth and well structured, though young, providing for a lovely, warm and dry finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8, as it really reminds me of some of the best Tempranillos of Spain, smooth fruit with a bit of a spicy edge.  This wine would pair well with a variety of summer dishes, from caprese salad to grilled salmon, but tonight I am enjoying this wine with some barbecued baby back ribs, corn on the cob and potato salad, it doesn't get more summery than that!  Cheers!