Wednesday, June 21, 2017

2014 Seven Hills Klipsun Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Wine Wednesday!  It's been a harrowing week thus far, so I'm glad we made it past hump day!  Traveling for business is not as glamorous as you may think and this week was no exception with flight delays galore, but I'm home now and it's time for a nice glass of wine.  Tonight I've decided to open a bottle from one of my all-time favorite wineries, Seven Hills from Walla Walla.  Tonight I'm enjoying the 2014 Seven Hills Klipsun Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, a 100% Cabernet from the Red Mountain AVA of Washigton.  So let's see if it tastes as good as the aromas I've been inhaling as I type!


The wine is a deep, brooding inky black at the center with bright ruby along the edges.  The nose is a lovely combination of leather, basalt and lovely ripe berries, blackberry, cherry and black raspberry.  The taste is wonderfully elegant, with a some lovely fruit up front, cherry and blackberries, that transitions to some earthy mineral notes midpalate that is a wonderful marriage of old world and new world.  The finish is just lovely, with fine grain tannins that provide multiple levels of complexity on the smooth, velvety and wonderfully dry finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, as it's just a wonderful example of the potential for Cabernet from the Red Mountain.  This wine is an ideal steak wine, but would be nice with some rich pasta dishes, or earthy mushroom risotto.  But fortunately for me, tonight I am grilling a nice USDA Prime New York Strip, along with a baked potato with sour cream and fresh chives and some steamed broccoli.  Cheers!

Friday, June 16, 2017

2014 Seven Hills McClellan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Friday!  I have to admit, I've been looking forward to the weekend for many reasons, not the least of which is my upcoming steam train excursion on Sunday, but also for the chance to open up a good bottle or two of wine!  Tonight is no exception as I'm opening up one of my favorite varietals from one of my favorite vineyards made by one of my favorite producers, the 2014 Seven Hills McClellan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon!  So let's see how this one tastes!


The wine is a deep black color at the center with bright garnet along the edges.  The nose is a lovely breath of leather, dark cherry and smoky oak over the faintest hints of earthy minerals.  The taste is just divine, with some lovely black fruit notes of cherry, blackberry and plum that transition nicely to some notes of dusty limestone midpalate.  The finish is as pleasant as could be, with a bit of black pepper spice amid the well integrated tannins, providing a long, smooth and very dry finish that just make me want another sip.

Overall, I would rate this one a solid 9, as once again this great wine doesn't disappoint.  This would be a great wine for grilling, which is a good thing since I have a nice prime New York strip ready to grill along with some fresh asparagus from Michigan.  The rich black fruit and dusty mineral notes are perfect to pair with a nice charred prime steak, cheers!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

2014 Sullivan Artist Series Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Happy Thirsty Thursday!  It's been very hot and humid here all week long, so you might expect that I'd be opening a nice chilled rose on this sultry evening, but you'd be wrong!  It's so hot I don't even want to venture out of the air conditioning, so I've gone the other way and opened a big, bold Cabernet Sauvignon!  Tonight I will enjoy the 2014 Sullivan Artist Series Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon that I recently bough at a Wines Till Sold Out Napa Valley marathon, so let's see how it tastes!


The wine is a deep, inky black at the center with bright ruby along the edges, classic for a Napa Cabernet.  The nose presents aromas of blackberry, black plum and a hint of mint over the top.  The taste is a wonderful marriage of fruit and spice, with some ripe fruit up front that gives a hint of sweetness, with notes of kirsch and ripe plum intermingled with some white pepper and Asian spice notes.  The finish is quite nice, with a reprise of fruit sweetness along with the well structured tannins providing for a long, smooth and very dry finish that has you asking for more.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5 as it's a very nice quality Napa Valley Cabernet that was also a bargain as I snagged this $85 bottle for just $30 on WTSO!  This would be a nice steak wine, but I could also see it pairing well wits braised short ribs or steak kabobs. But alas, since I don't want to go out to grill, I'm enjoying this one tonight with some spinach ravioli and tomato basil cream sauce.  Cheers!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

2014 Maison Bleue "Bourgeois" Grenache

Happy Sunday!  It sure feels like summer here, and it's supposed to be above 90 degrees for the next 5 days!  Given the heat, it seems like a nice time to open some lighter, more summer friendly red wines, and tonight's is a treat.  The 2014 Maison Bleue "Bourgeois" Grenache is a 100% Grenache from Monette's Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley of Washington, so let's see how this one tastes!


The wine is somewhat lighter in color with vivid garnet color and great clarity, as you'd expect for a nice Grenache.  The nose offers aromas of red currant, kirsch with undertones of earth and white pepper spice.  The taste is wonderfully light, with a lively bit of red fruit up front, cherry, raspberry and currant that transitions nicely to some notes of peppery spice, and earthy notes of peat and pipe tobacco midpalate.  The fine grain tannins offer great support for the long, smooth and very dry finish that beckons you for another sip.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5 as it's just a light, pleasant and complex red wine for summer that pairs well with food, but could also be easily sipped on the patio on a nice warm evening.  This wine would be great with pasta, summer salads or seafood.  Tonight I am enjoying this wine with a lovely cedar planked sockeye salmon with a maple glaze along with some steamed asparagus and jasmine rice.  The fruit and acidity are perfect against the richness of the salmon, cheers!

Friday, June 9, 2017

2014 Reininger Walla Walla Carmenere

Happy Friday!  It's been an adventure this week as my hard drive failed last weekend and it took a few days for my good friend David to make the repairs (I still have many files to try to recreate and passwords to reset, but I think I'll live!).  So tonight we get a new blog post as it's my first opportunity to get back to reviewing wine (though trust me, I've certainly been drinking it during the technological hiatus!).  Tonight I've decided to open a bottle of 2014 Reininger Walla Walla Carmenere, a 100% Carmenere from the Seven Hills Vineyard, so let's see how this one tastes!


The wine is a deep, inky black at the center with bright garnet along the edges.  The nose is a lovely combination of green grass, tart cherry and earthy notes of mushroom and black pepper spice.  The taste is lovely with a nice array of ripe black fruit up front that transitions effortlessly to some pepper spice and dark chocolate midpalate.  The finish is supported by some nicely integrated tannins that reveal a somewhat earthy, long and very smooth dry finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it's a lovely example of the varietal but still has some potential to improve over the next few years.  The wine would pair well with some hearty meat dishes, but tonight I am enjoying this wine with some wild mushroom ravioli topped with a bit of creamy tomato basil sauce.  The earthy notes of the wine really accent the earthy flavors of the wild mushroom.  Cheers!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

2015 Forgeron Rose of Sangiovese

Happy Sunday!  Boy it sure feels like summer here now, I was mowing the grass today and was sweating like mad as it reached the upper-80s today!  Hot is the perfect weather for a summer favorite, rose!  Today I've decided to open a bottle of our office wine club selection for June, the 2015 Forgeron Rose of Sangiovese from the Walla Walla Valley of Washington!  I reviewed the 2014 vintage (you can see that here) so let's see how the 2015 stacks up!


The wine is a very light peach color, perfect for a dry rose for summer!  The nose is a lovely combination of grapefruit, strawberry and orange blossom notes, with just a bit of minerality in the background.  The taste is a lovely rush of sweet strawberry and tropical fruit up front that transitions to some wonderful floral notes midpalate.  The finish is crisp, with mild acidity and a smooth, very dry ending.


Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 8.5, as it's one of my favorite roses for summer, perfect for sipping on the patio on a warm evening light tonight.  This wine would pair well with a variety of summer fare, from caprese salad to lighter fish dishes, but tonight I am enjoying this wine with some pan seared sea scallops along with some bucatini tossed with broccoli rabe sauteed with garlic and olive oil topped with a bit of shaved parmesan.  Sante!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

1996 Vigna La Villa Paiagallo Barolo

Happy Saturday!  It's the first Saturday of the new month, which means it's Cellar Saturday, when I raid the cellar and enjoy a wine that's at least a decade old.  Well of course some of you may have noticed that I didn't have a Cellar Saturday last month, and that's because I just totally forgot!  Yeah age-related memory loss really is a thing!  So to make up for it, I've doubled the normal 10-year requirement for this month's Cellar Saturday going back more than two decades and opening a bottle of 1996 Vigna La Villa Paiagallo Barolo!  Now a good Barolo needs at least a decade just to be drinkable in my opinion, but they usually begin to sing once they get to 20 years old, so this one should be singing by now.  I've decanted this wine for about an hour so let's see how she tastes!


The wine still has some nice garnet color at the center, with some orange-brown along the edges.  The nose is classic Barolo, with some wonderful floral notes overlaying some nice mint and spice aromas under the surface.  The taste is just marvelous, with some mild fruit notes up front, strawberry and cherry that transition to come lovely notes of mint and earth midpalate.  The finish is classic Barolo, with well structured tannins that leave you breathless on the long, smooth and meticulously dry finish.

Overall, I would rate this wine a solid 9, as it's a really lovely example of Barolo and the potential for Nebbiolo over time.  This wine would be ideal with a variety of northern Italian dishes, but tonight I am enjoying this one with a rare grilled New York strip, grilled leeks and grilled broccoli rabe, and roasted red potatoes.  The bitterness of the broccoli rabe really plays well with the spice of the wine.  Cheers!