Saturday, November 18, 2017

2014 Seven Hills Pentad

Happy Saturday!  It's been a dreary and rainy day here, so I thought I'd brighten the mood a bit with a nice bottle of wine.  Tonight I've decided to open a bottle from one of my favorite wineries, Seven Hills and specifically a wine that's not produced every year, the Pentad!  This Bordeaux style blend is only produced when conditions are right, so although we have seen the release of a 2014 and just recently a 2015 vintage, prior to that we only saw the Pentad released in 2012, then earlier in 2009 and 2007, so in all, we have seen only 10 vintages released with the 2015.  The 2014 Vintage is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Carmenere, Malbec and Cabernet Franc from the Walla Walla Valley AVA, so let's see how last year's wine if faring!

The wine is a deep inky color with bright ruby along the edges, suggestive of the heavy presence of Cabernet Sauvignon in the blend.  The nose is a lovely combination of leather, blackberry, clove and dried spice that welcomes you to take a sip.  The taste is wonderfully smooth and balanced, with casual notes of ripe black fruit intermingled with mocha and dark chocolate that transitions to some lovely green herb notes just before the finish.  And the finish is lovely, with chewy tannins that make for a long, firm and exceptionally dry finish that lasts a minute or more.

Overall, this wine is really the gold standard in Walla Walla Bordeaux Style blends and I'd rate this one an easy 9, perhaps even a 9.5 with another couple years in the cellar.  This wine is very food friendly, and best enjoyed with a nice family dinner or some cheese and charcuterie with friends.  This wine would pair well with a variety of steaks and chops, heavier Italian pastas or beautiful autumn stews, but tonight I am enjoying this wine with a rare grilled New York strip along with some bucatini tossed with garlic, olive oil and broccoli rabe.  The wine really stands up well to beef, cheers!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

DaMa Cowgirl Blanc

Happy Sunday!  It's been a good day to stay indoors and watch old movies, as it's been cold and snowing/sleeting all afternoon.  And given the melancholy weather, it also seems appropriate to enjoy a little comfort food for dinner, which is what I plan for tonight.  But what wine to enjoy with this particular comfort food was a challenge, but one that I was up to when I got out a bottle of a recent wine club shipment from DaMa Wines, the non-vintage Cowgirl Blanc.  This wine is a blend of Chardonnay (65%) and Viognier (35%) from both the Mill Creek and Sagemoor Vineyards in the Columbia and Walla Walla Valley AVAs of Washington.  So let's see how this unusual evening of white wine progresses!

The wine has pleasant aromas of rich tropical fruit, mango, passion fruit and some apricot notes with some mineral notes over the top.  The taste is more subdued tropical fruit on the outset, which seems more dominated by citrus notes and bright acidity, which easily transitions into some earthy mineral notes midpalate.  The tropical fruit makes another appearance on the crisp refreshing finish, which is surprisingly long for a white wine.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8, as you know, white wines are really not my thing, but I could easily see this wine as a Thanksgiving favorite.  Tonight I am enjoying this one with my Mom's recipe for classic tuna noodle casserole, creamy goodness that of course is topped with crumbled potato chips, it doesn't get more comfortable than that.  Cheers!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

2014 L'Ecole No. 41 Perigee

What a day, full of gathering leaves and getting them up to the street for the city to take in a few weeks.  This is the time of year when we work outside in the cold, then come in to a nice warm meal and a glass of wine.  Tonight I've decided to open up a bottle from one of my long-time favorite wineries in Walla Walla, L'Ecole No. 41, and in particular, one of my perennial favorite blends, the Perigee.  The 2014 vintage is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (60%), Merlot (20%), Cabernet Franc (12%), Petit Verdot (5%) and Malbec (3%).  I brought this bottle back with me from my trip to Walla Walla back in August, so let's see how it tastes!

The wine is a deep ruby color in the glass, with nice clarity.  The nose is an elegant blend of leather, blueberry and smoky oak, that exudes richness and thoughtfulness in the blending.  The taste is a rush of ripe black fruit, blackberry and plum that evolve into dark chocolate and tobacco.  The tannins are youthful but refined providing an ideal base for the long, smooth and well structured finish that seems to last a minute or more.

Overall, I'd rate this wine a solid 9, as the Perigee is still one of my all time favorites.  This wine would be fairly versatile with food, but it really deserves to be paired with a nice steak, whether a prime filet mignon or as I'm enjoying tonight, an Angus Porterhouse with baked potato and grilled leeks.  Cheers!