Saturday, January 31, 2015

2012 Columbia Winery Merlot

Here we are, my last blog post before the big game!  And since I am hoping for a Seattle win, it only makes sense that my posts leading up to the game have focused on Washington wines, and tonight is no exception.  Tonight I am opening a 2012 Columbia Winery Merlot, a blend of Merlot (85%), Syrah (10%), Cabernet Sauvignon and other varietals (5%).  I recently found this wine at my local supermarket on sale for $12 so I decided to give it a try.

The wine is a bright ruby in the glass with very nice clarity.  The nose presents some light floral notes of lavender over some black fruit notes of cherry and plum.  The taste is a nice combination of black fruit that transitions easily to some mineral notes of graphite and toasted oak midpalate.  The tannins are quite fine, lending to a long, smooth dry finish,

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 7.5, it's a pleasant example of the varietal at very good value for just $12, one that could easily become an everyday wine.  This wine would pair well with a variety of hearty meat or Italian dishes, but tonight I am enjoying this wine with a rare grilled Angus ribeye along with a baked potato with butter and sour cream and some steamed cauliflower.  Something always just seems right with Merlot and meat and potatoes.  Cheers!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

2011 Forgeron Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Thursday!  Today I received a wonderful surprise from the Fedex guy at my office, my latest wine club delivery from Forgeron Cellars!  This club selection was the 2012 Primitivo and the 2011 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon which I decided to open for tonight's dinner (this Cabernet is actually a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (84%), Cabernet Franc (8%) and Petit Verdot (8%)).  Given that Seattle is playing in the big game on Sunday, I thought tonight would be a good night for a classic Pacific Northwest dinner to celebrate what I hope will be another Seahawks Lombardi trophy!

The wine is a lovely deep garnet color in the glass.  The nose is just dynamite, a rich earthy combination of leather, toasted oak and ripe plum bordering on prune.  The taste was quite a surprise, as you open with a lovely bit of floral presence, some lavender and rose petals that quickly transitions to some ripe plum and blackberry flavors midpalate.  The tannins are nicely structured, lending to the velvety mouthfeel and supprorting the long, smooth and very dry finish that seems to last a minute or more.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, one of my favorite Cabernets in quite a while, and one that's likely to improve with some time in the cellar.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a classic Northwest dinner of cedar planked Coho salmon filet served over a bed of baby kale tossed with a bit of aged white balsamic, some oven roasted potatoes and steamed cauliflower.  Yeah, I know, Cabernet is for steak, but isn't Coho just the steak of the fish world?  Sante!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2010 L'Ecole No. 41 Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon

Tonight I've decided to open a bottle of one of my favorite varietals from one of my all time favorite Walla Walla wineries, L'Ecole No. 41.  Specifically, I've opened a bottle of the 2010 L'Ecole No. 41 Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon, inspired by my finding a bottle of the 2009 vintage at my local wine store last weekend.

The wine is a deep purple at the center, with a bright ruby along the edges.  The nose is classic combination of rich leather, cocoa powder, a touch of green grass and some ripe cherry.  The taste is a blast of cherry cola which transitions to some lovely mineral notes of basalt and limestone along with some green herbs midpalate.  The finish is lovely, as the elegant tannins provide for a velvety mouthfeel and the basis for a long, sultry and exceptionally dry finish that just begs you to ask for more.

Overall I would rate this as a solid 9, as this is by far one of my favorite Cabernet Sauvignons!  Tonight I am enjoying this with a classic pairing, a nice prime New York Strip grilled rare with a big baked potato with all the trimmings and some steamed cauliflower.  The great tannins and solid backbone of this wine makes it just perfect for steaks!  Cheers!