Sunday, July 24, 2016

2015 Helix Columbia Valley Rose

Happy Sunday!  It's been unbelievably hot and humid here, today it's 91 and 69% humidity which makes it feel like 104!  I had to laugh last week when I was in California and a couple at the hotel were complaining about how humid it was that day and the humidity was only 31%!  They had no idea what heat and humidity were!  Although I immediately start sweating when I go outside, the only good thing is that we are smack dab in the heart of rose season, and tonight I've opened a bottle that's been sitting here for a couple months - I promised not to open it since it was shipped to me so close to bottling and it needed to settle, so I couldn't open it until at least the 4th of July, but you know how patient I can be!  This latest wine for the Summer of Rose is the 2015 Helix Columbia Valley Rose from the Reininger Winery in Walla Walla.

The wine is a deep pink color in the glass that makes it almost look like a red wine.  The nose presents aromas of watermelon, strawberry and cut grass, with just a hint of citrus along with some floral notes of rose petals.  The taste is lovely, with some fresh fruit notes up front, strawberry and some bright citrus that transitions to some wonderful mineral notes midpalate.  The finish is crisp and very dry, perfect for a warm summer evening on the patio.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8, it's a great summer rose with a lot of complexity and a great value at under $20!  This would be a great summer salad wine, perfect for fresh greens or a nice caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil.  But tonight I'm going a more traditional Pacific Northwest route and am enjoying this wine with an alder planked wild Alaska coho salmon filet with lemon and fresh dill along with some steamed basmati rice and oven roasted Brussels sprouts.  The crispness of the wine is a perfect accent to the richness of the salmon.  Cheers!

Friday, July 22, 2016

2012 Stella Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Friday!  Yes, this has been a crazy month with me traveling a lot and crazy and unpredictable schedule, but I've made some time to enjoy a nice dinner at home tonight, so what shall I do?  I know, I'll open a bottle of wine!  Tonight I've decided to open a recent purchase from Wines Till Sold Out, the 2012 Stella Reserve Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon!  And yes, I know it's unbearably hot out, but I'm in the air conditioning so a Cabernet seems like an ideal choice!

The wine is a lovely deep purple color at the center with bright ruby along the edges.  The nose presents lovely aromas of ripe fruit, blueberries, cherries and blackberries, with an overlay of rich leather.  The taste is classic Napa Cabernet, with come lovely fruit up front that transitions to some wonderful notes of vanilla and green tea intermingled with some nice mineral notes midpalate.  The finish is exceptional, with some fine tannins supporting a long, dry and voluptuous finish that seems to last a minute or more.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as this is a wonderful Napa Cabernet from a strong vintage, and it was a great value at just $20!  Tonight I am enjoying this wonderful wine with a wonderful dinner of rare grilled prime filet mignon with grilled leeks, oven roasted fingerling potatoes and haricots verts almondine.  This is a great steak wine, with rich fruit and balanced mineral notes that are perfect for big meat!  Cheers!

Friday, July 15, 2016

2013 Spring Valley "Derby" Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Friday!  Well, it's been a long, busy week (have I mentioned July is the busiest travel month of my year?) and with flight cancellations and everything else going on, I could sure use a break.  So tonight I've decided to open a recent wine club selection from Spring Valley Vineyard, the 2013 "Derby" Cabernet Sauvignon, a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from the Spring Valley Vineyard in Walla Walla.  So when all else fails, open a good bottle of wine and enjoy!

The wine is a lovely deep ruby color in the glass.  The nose presents aromas of leather, green grass and plum with just a hint of violet.  The taste is just wonderful, with a good bit of black fruit juxtaposted with some tart green notes up front that washes into soft, earthy mineral notes of basalt and mossy oak midpalate with just a bit of black pepper spice.  The tannins are youthful but nicely integrated for the long, elegant finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it's drinking very nicely now, but will likely mature a bit with a few years in the cellar.  This is a nice food wine, perfect for big steaks, roasts or barbecue, but tonight I'm going off script and enjoying this with a bit of chicken Tikka Masala, who says Cabernet isn't for Indian food?  Cheers!