Saturday, June 16, 2018

2014 Spring Valley Vineyard "Muleskinner" Merlot

So I keep reading in different places that this is Merlot month or something like that, so I figured since I'm always late to the party it might be good to open one of these wines of the month.  So tonight I've opened up a bottle that's been in my cellar for a year or two, the 2014 Spring Valley Vineyard "Muleskinner" Merlot. This particular wine is 100% Merlot from the Spring Valley Estate Vineyard in the Walla Walla AVA.  2014 was a somewhat warmer vintage, but not as warm as the following two vintages, so let's see how this wine tastes.


The wine is a deep inky purple at the center, with bright ruby along the edges.  The nose is very inviting, with aromas of leather and ripe black fruit, blackberry jam, plum and currant over a hint of dusty limestone.  The taste is rich, ripe and wonderfully smooth, with a rush of ripe fruit up front, black cherry, plum and current that transitions to some notes of green herbs and minerals midpalate. The tannins are quite subdued, leading to a lush, ripe and velvety dry finish that just beckons you to take another sip.

A little pre-cooked image tonight!

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, it's really a wonderful example of a quality Merlot with some nice aging potential.  This wine would be great with hard cheeses, steak, chops or barbecue, but tonight I am totally going Fred Flintstone and enjoying this wine with a big bone-in, USDA Prime ribeye that was on sale at Costco today, along with some grilled asparagus and corn on the cob.  It's been really hot out the past two days, so it seems appropriate to have a mid-summer dinner tonight, cheers!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

2014 Napa Underground Oakville Red Wine

Well, today I received a shipment of wine from Wines Till Sold Out, by far my favorite online wine seller.  I saw this wine on offer for $20 and figured it was worth a try, the 2014 Napa Underground Oakville Red Wine.  Although my view is that Washington does the best Bordeaux style blends, Napa has done some nice ones in the past so why not give this one a try.  This wine is a blend of Merlot (59%), Cabernet Sauvignon (32%), Cabernet Franc (4%), Petit Verdot (3%) and Malbec (2%), so this one should have a bit more of a right bank feel to it.  So let's see if this was worth the investment of s double sawbuck!


The wine is a lovely garnet color in the glass, expressing the dominance of Merlot in the blend.  The nose presents aromas of black raspberry, plum overlaid with hints of dried herbs.  The taste is somewhat surprising with a rush of rather sweet fruit up front that transitions to some notes of mocha and dark chocolate midpalate.  The tannins are still fairly tight but provide some nice backbone for the long, smooth dry finish.

Yeah I may have been a little too aggressive on the Brussels sprouts!

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8 as this would make a very nice, solid quality everyday red wine.  This would pair well with a broad array of hearty dishes, as nothing delicate would stand up to this wine, given the big, bold Napa character.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a rare grilled boneless ribeye, grilled Brussels sprouts and a baked potato with sour cream and chives.  Cheers!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

2016 Seven Hills Walla Walla Carmenere

Happy Wine Wednesday!  Tonight I've decided to open a bottle from a recent wine club (I think?) shipment from one of my favorite Walla Walla producers of one of my favorite varietals, the 2016 Seven Hills Walla Walla Carmenere!  Carmenere is one of those often overlooked varietals, which is unfortunate as it's an exceptionally food friends and easy drinking wine that everyone should enjoy!  So let's see how this latest vintage stacks up!


The wine is a beautiful garnet color in the glass.  The nose presents aromas of wonderfully ripe black fruit, blackberry, plum and currant over aromas of green herbs and light floral notes.  The taste us just a pleasure to behold, with a rush of ripe blackberry, plum and currant up front that transitions gracefully to notes of green herbs and a hint of white pepper midpalate.  The tannins are youthful but well developed, providing for a smooth, velvety dry finish with a reprise of tart cherry at the end.


Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it's just a pleasant drinking wine that would be good with just about anything, or even plain!  This would pair well with Italian, steak, barbecue, tacos, tapas, literally about anything, but tonight I'm enjoying this wine with some hot Italian sausage with onions and peppers and some spaghetti with garlic and olive oil, perfect combination of fruit from the wine with the spice of the dish.  Cheers!