Sunday, July 21, 2013

2008 Northstar Stella Maris Red Wine

Ahhh... another weekend winding down, so at least I could end it with a nice bottle of wine!  Tonight it's the 2008 Northstar Stella Maris Columbia Valley Red Wine, a bottle I picked up from a wine shop in Seattle a couple years ago I think, it's sad how I so easily forget where I get these bottles of wine, but at least I'll record my drinking them for posterity.  The wine itself is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (46%), Merlot (46%), Petit Verdot (3%), Cabernet Franc (3%) and Syrah (2%).  The fruit for this Columbia Valley blend were sourced from a number of great vineyards in the Columbia and Walla Walla Valleys, including Northstar Estate, Windrow, Minnick Hills, Horse Heaven Vineyard, Kiona and Shaw Red Mountain.

The wine is a deep ruby color in the glass with a lovely nose of ripe plum, blackberries, leather, anise and green cedar, with just a hint of baking spice.  The taste is lovely, with an explosion of black ripe fruit on the outset, but not sweet and jammy like some wines.  The fruit transitions smartly to some green grass and tart cherry notes midpalate that lead you right to a silky smooth finish supported by very well structured tannins.  The wine has such a lush mouthfeel, it's just a pleasure to sip, even on a summer afternoon!

Overall I would rate this wine a solid 8, I really enjoyed sipping it and could continue doing to for hours, but as I recall it was a bit more expensive, probably in the $25 range, so a little more expensive than an everyday red.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with some grilled Copper River Sockeye salmon, with a touch of dill cream sauce along with some steamed basmati rice and grilled rainbow carrots, so yummy!  The wine smoothly interacts with the fresh crisp flavors of the vegetables while not detracting from the lovely salmon flavor, a perfect Northwest treat!

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