2012 Kennedy Shah Merlot



By Kori ~ June 18th, 2015

2012 Kennedy Shah Merlot

The Woodhouse Wine Estates is a boutique winery located in Woodinville, Washington. Owners Bijal and Sinead Shah founded Woodhouse Wine Estates in 2004 along with Bijal’s uncle Tom Campbell. Winemaker Jean Claude Beck comes from several generations of French winemakers and has worked at various wineries in California and Washington. Woodhouse produces three tiers of Washington wines: Marketplace, Reserve, and Wine Club Exclusive.

Recently, we had the opportunity to taste their 2012 Kennedy Shah Merlot in a blind samples tasting. In addition to being a very good wine, it also delivers serious bang for your buck. It is named after Bijal and Sinead’s daughter and is one of the staples in their Marketplace tier of wines.

The Woodhouse Wine Estates Tasting Room is open daily. If you find yourself in Woodinville, I encourage you to visit.

2012 Kennedy Shah Merlot (Columbia Valley, Washington): 85% Merlot and 15% Cabernet Franc. Deep, dark purplish red in color. Aromatic with red cherry, plum, and a touch of evergreen on the nose. Cherry, licorice, and vegetal notes come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity, medium tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $14; Available elsewhere, $16



Filed under: American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Merlot, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25
 

Spotlight On: Campo Viejo



By Kori ~ June 5th, 2015

Campo Viejo in Rioja, Spain

Campo Viejo was founded in 1959 by two winemakers from Rioja, Spain, Bernardo Beristain and Jose Ortigüela. The winery name, Campo Viejo, was inspired by the land in El Villar de Arnedo where Jose Ortigüela spent his childhood. Directly translated from Spanish to English, “Campo Viejo” means “old field”. Situated in the heart of Rioja in the Ebro Valley on a high plateau near Logroño, the winery offers beautiful panoramic views of the vineyards and nearby mountain ranges. After 56 years, Campo Viejo is still going strong, producing accessible and approachable wines in Rioja. Campo Viejo is the #1 Rioja producer in terms of sales worldwide with annual production at 2.1 million cases. Many of the Campo Viejo wines are widely available in the United States.

Elena Adell has been the chief winemaker at Campo Viejo since 1998. Born in Logroño in 1958, Elena has over 30 years of experience in the wine industry. In 2001, Campo Viejo built a new state-of-the-art winery. Elena was very involved with the plans for the new winery from the beginning and was able to work with the architectural team to design a facility with tradition and sustainability in mind. The production facility is underground and utilizes gravity in their winemaking processes. When the grapes come into their production facility, they are separated by variety, region, and so forth. The way Elena and her team works allows them to make wine on a large scale but in the manner of a smaller producer. In 2012, Campo Viejo became the first Spanish winery to achieve Carbon Neutral certification.

Elena Adell, Campo Viejo chief winemaker

Recently, I had the pleasure to visit Campo Viejo on a press trip to Rioja. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Elena and getting a first-hand look at the Campo Viejo operation. The attention to detail in both the vineyards and winery is evident and quite amazing for a winery with such a large production level.

Rioja, located in north-central Spain, is probably the most well known wine region in Spain and one of the most prominent in the world. Red wines from Rioja are typically Tempranillo-based and may have some Garnacha (Grenache), Mazuelo, or Graciano blended in as well. Tempranillo is not particularly a fruit-driven wine, often showing aromas and flavors of wood and leather up front. Given this flavor profile, Tempranillo wines often seem older than they actually are. Taking its name from the Spanish word “temprano” which means early, Tempranillo tends to ripen early.

“I adore working with Tempranillo. It’s such a versatile grape. I love seeing the many different ways it can express its character in such a diverse range of wines.” –Elena Adell, Campo Viejo chief winemaker

Kori in the Campo Viejo vineyard

During my visit, we toured the vineyard located at the winery with Campo Viejo’s vineyard manager Mario Ezquerro. Rioja has diverse soils, geography, topography, and climates in its three sub-regions: Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja. The winery is located in Rioja Alta, but Campo Viejo sources grapes from all three sub-regions. They are committed to sustainability and traceability and require each of their 800 growers to keep detailed records so Mario, Elena, and their team at Campo Viejo can make important decisions such as when to pick the grapes during harvest.

Elena’s attention to detail and emphasis on controlling every aspect of the winemaking process in order to produce consistently high quality wines at affordable prices is remarkable. While many winemakers stress the importance of vineyard practices, blending decisions, and the like, Elena is the first winemaker I’ve met who has talked to me about her involvement in selecting the wood to be used to make the barrels in which her wines will age. Obviously, I’ve talked to winemakers who are particular about their barrels and have distinct opinions about their barrels with a preference for oak from a certain country, i.e. American oak vs. French oak vs. Hungarian oak. However, Elena and the Campo Viejo team take it even one step further by traveling to France each year to personally select the wood from certain forests which is then brought back to Spain and made into barrels by their coopers.

Campo Viejo’s barrel room

We had the opportunity to taste a number of samples of the same wine, aged in barrels made by the same cooper, but whose wood came from different forests in France. We also tasted samples of the same wine, aged in barrels whose wood came from the same forest, but was produced by different coopers. The differences were noticeable and remarkable. Elena has studied those differences and uses them to create the blend she wants in each of her wines.

Campo Viejo produces a broad product range including a number of Tempranillo-based red wines, Garnacha, two white wines, and Tempranillo Rosé as well as two sparkling wines.

In the coming weeks, I will be writing more about the Campo Viejo wines. And if you are planning a trip to Spain anytime soon (which I highly recommend), feel free to ask me any questions about the area in the comments below or via our Contact Us form. I’m happy to help if I can.

Salud!



Filed under: General Wine Information, Spanish Wine, Spotlight On, Tempranillo, Vineyards, Wine Travel
 

A Wine for Tonight: 2014 Ponzi Pinot Gris



By Kori ~ May 12th, 2015

2014 Ponzi Pinot Gris

Would you like a quick suggestion for a good wine to drink tonight (or this weekend) that won’t break your budget and is widely available? If so, you might want to check out the 2014 Ponzi Pinot Gris from the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

Our selection criteria include:

  • A very good Quality rating of >=3.5 stars (out of 5)
  • A price tag of <=$20
  • Must be widely available

Ponzi Vineyards, located in Sherwood, Oregon, has been one of Oregon’s most consistent Pinot Gris producers for over 30 years. Dick and Nancy Ponzi founded Ponzi Vineyards in 1970. They first produced Pinot Noir in 1974. Then, the Ponzi family began planting Pinot Gris, a varietal virtually unknown in the United States at the time in 1978. In 2012, sisters Luisa and Maria Ponzi took the reins from their parents as the winery’s owners and operators.

“This inviting nose has floral notes of meadow flowers, chamomile and rose hip entangled with brighter aromatics of tangerine, lychee, sweet mint and hints of vanilla and lemon cream throughout. The lively mouth and vibrant acidity are wrapped around hints of quince, kumquat, starfruit and orange zest balanced by a touch of sweetness.” –Winemaker Luisa Ponzi

2014 Ponzi Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley, Oregon): Pale straw yellow in color. Aromatic with lemon and floral notes on the nose. Citrus fruit, melon, and a touch of minerality come through on the palate. Dry and light-bodied with lively acidity and a long, refreshing finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $17; Available elsewhere, $17



Filed under: A Wine for Tonight, American Wine, Oregon Wine, Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, White Wine, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25
 

Fielding Hills’ Best Wine Yet: 2009 Estate Barrel Select Syrah [Wow! Alert]



By Kori ~ April 30th, 2015

Fielding Hills Winery, a small, family-owned winery in Wenatchee, is one of the top wineries in Washington State. Owner/winemaker Mike Wade and his wife Karen are longtime apple and cherry growers who turned a middle portion of their orchard near Mattawa into a vineyard. Their RiverBend Vineyard, planted in 1998, is in the Wahluke Slope AVA and is their sole source of grapes. We have tasted their wines from their inaugural vintage in 2000 through their current 2011 vintage and continue to be impressed. They are so consistent; it is not a question of whether their wines will be good but where they will fall on the quality spectrum between “very good” and “Wow!”

Well, last weekend, we were “wow”-ed once again. In my opinion, the 2009 Fielding Hills Estate Barrel Select Syrah is the best wine that Mike Wade has ever made. Beginning with the 2009 vintage, Mike held back his best barrel of each variety to make, in essence, a reserve wine.

“One vineyard, one variety, one barrel, and one vintage. With pinpoint purity and razor-sharp exactness, the rich and full bodied character of this unique varietal is revealed. Enjoy the truth.” –Mike Wade, owner/winemaker

The bad news is that this wine is all sold out. However, I encourage you to keep an eye out for future releases from the Barrel Select program.

Last fall, Fielding Hills opened a beautiful new tasting room in Chelan and also moved their winery production facilities there. If you are ever in the Lake Chelan area, Fielding Hills is a stop you do not want to miss.

2009 Fielding Hills Estate Barrel Select Syrah (RiverBend Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington): 100% Syrah. Dark, dense purple in color. Gorgeous nose with black cherry, blackberry, and earthy aromas. More blackberry, black cherry, and a velvety creaminess explodes on the palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity and smooth, silky tannins. Extremely well-balanced with amazing complexity and a very long, lingering finish. Wow!
Quality: 5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $60 [Sold out]



Filed under: American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Five-Star Quality Wines, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, Wines Over $25
 

Chateau Ste. Michelle Delivers Serious Bang for Your Buck



By Kori ~ February 11th, 2015

Chateau Ste. Michelle is Washington State’s founding winery with its roots dating back to the repeal of Prohibition. In 1976, Ste. Michelle built a French-style chateau in Woodinville, just northeast of Seattle. While all of Chateau Ste. Michelle’s vineyards are located on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, all of their white wines are made in Woodinville. Their red wines are made at Canoe Ridge Estate in eastern Washington.

No matter where you live in the United States, you are probably familiar with the wines of Chateau Ste. Michelle, particularly their Columbia Valley line. While those wines enjoy national distribution, Chateau Ste. Michelle also produces a number of other reserve and limited release wines that are not as widely available.

We recently had the opportunity to taste a number of the current releases from Chateau Ste. Michelle, in a blind samples tasting. The seven wines featured here, five whites and two reds, are all very good and, most importantly, deliver serious bang for your buck. Six of these wines received a QPR rating of 4 or 5. When it comes to good quality at an excellent value, the Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley line is hard to beat.

And, for those of you who generally stay away from white wines in the middle of winter when it is cold and/or wet, I encourage you to “let it go”. Especially when paired with the right foods, these wines can be enjoyed year-round.

2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle Horse Heaven Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc (Horse Heaven Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington): 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Pale straw yellow. Aromatic with citrus, particularly orange, and floral notes on both the nose and palate. Dry and light-bodied with racy acidity and a long, refreshing finish. Food pairing suggestions: mussels, halibut, chicken, goat cheese.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $15; Available elsewhere, $11 to $19

2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle Harvest Select Sweet Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington): 100% Riesling. Pale to medium, greenish straw yellow. Nice nose with apricot, peach, and a touch of honey aromas and flavors. Medium-sweet and medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish. Food pairing suggestions: fresh fruit, crab, Asian dishes, mild cheeses. Residual Sugar: 4.3%
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $10; Available elsewhere, $7 to $12

2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington): 100% Riesling. Pale, greenish straw yellow. Very aromatic with apple, apricot, and melon on both the nose and palate. Off-dry and light-bodied with lively acidity and a medium to long finish. Food pairing suggestions: fresh fruit, crab, mild cheeses, chicken. Residual Sugar: 2.01%
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $10; Available elsewhere, $7 to $12

2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle Merlot (Columbia Valley, Washington): 92% Merlot, 3% Syrah, and 5% blenders (Malbec, Grenache, Mourvedre and Petit Verdot). Deep, dark purplish red in color. Nice nose with black plum, black cherry, leather, and smoky aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied with lively acidity, smooth tannins, and a long finish. Food pairing suggestions: beef, lamb, grilled salmon, hearty pastas.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $15; Available elsewhere, $12 to $19

2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 4% Syrah, 2% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot, and 2% Mourvedre. Deep, dark purplish red. Beautiful nose with red and black fruit aromas and flavors as well as a touch of eucalyptus. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, silky tannins, and a long, smooth finish. Food pairing suggestions: beef, hearty pastas, dark chocolate, blue cheese.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $15; Available elsewhere, $12 to $16

2013 Chateau Ste. Michelle Gewurztraminer (Columbia Valley, Washington): 100% Gewurztraminer. Pale yellow in color. Aromatic with floral notes as well as green apple and citrus on both the nose and palate. Medium-sweet and light-bodied with lively acidity and a medium to long finish. Food pairing suggestions: crab, Asian dishes, chicken. Residual Sugar: 1.7%
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $10; Available elsewhere, $8 to $12

2013 Eroica Riesling [Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen] (Columbia Valley, Washington): 100% Riesling. Pale, greenish straw yellow. Beautiful nose with white peach and honeysuckle aromas. Granny Smith apple and floral notes come through on the palate. Off-dry and light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long, refreshing finish. Food pairing suggestions: Asian dishes, Indian curries, crab, scallops. Residual Sugar: 1.55%
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $20; Available elsewhere, $14 to $26



Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Merlot, Red Wine, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25
 

Happy 7th Birthday to Wine Peeps!



By Kori ~ January 9th, 2015

Today marks seven years since we started sharing our wine adventures with you here on Wine Peeps. What an exciting seven years it has been! We have written 1,269 posts and tasted over 6,500 wines. We have had the pleasure to meet so many wonderful people in the wine industry as well as fellow wine enthusiasts. This past year, we welcomed the many opportunities we had to expand our palates and taste wines from all around the world through our tasting dinners, private tastings, samples tastings, trade tastings, and other events.

Thank you so much to all of our readers! We love wine and love sharing that passion with you through this blog. We are humbled that you care to read what we write. Here’s to another great wine-filled year together.

Cheers from your Wine Peeps,
Kori, John, Colby, and LaGayle



Filed under: Birthday
 

Happy New Year!



By Kori ~ January 1st, 2015

Happy New Year! Best wishes for a happy, healthy, prosperous, and wine-filled 2015!



Filed under: Holiday
 

Merry Christmas from your Wine Peeps



By Kori ~ December 25th, 2014

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” (Luke 2:10-12)

Merry Christmas!



Filed under: Holiday
 

Fall Line Winery: Current and Upcoming Releases



By Kori ~ October 29th, 2014

Recently, we had the pleasure to catch up with winemaker Tim Sorenson and taste through Fall Line Winery’s current and upcoming releases. We tasted six of their current releases and also previewed three other wines that will be released in the fall of 2015. While we were very impressed with all nine wines, we thought that the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2012 Red Willow Vineyard were truly outstanding.

Tim and his wife Nancy Rivenburgh founded Fall Line Winery in 2003. Located in South Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood, the winery was officially licensed and bonded in 2004. Both Tim and Nancy are avid skiers and the name “Fall Line” refers to the natural line of descent on a slope. Tim is a retired economics professor. For years, he balanced his day job at Seattle University with his budding wine career. He completed an Introduction to Winemaking course at the University of California-Davis in 2000 and has never looked back. Tim met many local winemakers during his time working at a wine shop in downtown Seattle that led to a two-year ‘vinternship’ with Ben Smith at Cadence Winery from 2002 to 2004. The 2003 vintage was Fall Line’s inaugural commercial release. Fall Line produces about 1,800 to 2,000 cases annually.

The core of Fall Line’s lineup is comprised of three single-vineyard wines, all classic Bordeaux-style red blends. They also produce a Cabernet Sauvignon, a Tempranillo, and another red blend called Exhibition. Fall Line partners with three of the most well-regarded vineyards in Washington State, all located in the Yakima Valley AVA, Artz Vineyard, Boushey Vineyard, and Red Willow Vineyard.

Artz Vineyard, owned by grower Fred Artz, is located on Red Mountain adjacent to the famed Klipsun Vineyard. In fact, Artz was the vineyard manager of Klipsun for 20 years. Fall Line has used fruit from Artz Vineyard since 2004.

Boushey Vineyard is located in the central Yakima Valley, which is relatively cooler than Red Mountain. Owner Dick Boushey, one of the most respected growers in Washington State, has been producing much sought after fruit for over 30 years. Fall Line has partnered with Boushey Vineyard since 2003, and Dick planted a block of Tempranillo especially for Fall Line in 2007.

Red Willow Vineyard, which sits in the northwest corner of the Yakima Valley AVA, is located on the fourth-generation family farm established by grower Mike Sauer’s grandfather-in-law in the 1920’s. The iconic Monsignor Chapel sits atop Red Willow’s highest hill, built with native stones from the farm. Fall Line has been working with Red Willow since 2008 and introduced its Red Willow Vineyard Red Wine in 2010.

If you have not yet tried any Fall Line wines, I encourage you to seek them out. Not only are they excellent, but they deliver serious bang for your buck as well. Fall Line holds an open house for its mailing list members on the third Saturday in November each year. Other than that event, the winery is open by appointment only.

Current Releases:

2011 Fall Line Winery Artz Vineyard Red Wine (Artz Vineyard, Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Washington): 45% Cabernet Franc, 44% Merlot, and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, dark red in color. Beautiful nose with red and black fruit and cinnamon stick aromas. Black cherry, leather, and spice come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity, medium to high tannins, and a long, slightly hot, finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $30

2011 Fall Line Winery Boushey Vineyard Red Wine (Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Washington): 36% Cabernet Franc, 33% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 14% Petit Verdot. Deep, dark purplish red. Nice nose but a bit tight at first. Black fruit, smoked meat, and game come through on the palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity, and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a very long, smooth finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $30

2011 Fall Line Winery Red Willow Vineyard Red Wine (Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Washington): 47% Cabernet Franc, 39% Merlot, and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, dark purplish red. Gorgeous nose with blackberry, black cherry, and spice aromas. Fruit-forward with loads of cherry and spice as well as a touch of earth and herbal notes. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity and high tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $30

2012 Fall Line Winery Cabernet Sauvignon (Yakima Valley, Washington): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, dark purple in color. Nice nose with black fruit and floral notes. Blackcurrant, black cherry, leather, and smoked meat come through on the palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity and high tannins. Big and bold yet very smooth. Well-balanced with a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $30

2012 Fall Line Winery Exhibition Red Wine (Yakima Valley, Washington): 28% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Franc, 21% Petit Verdot, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Tempranillo. Deep, dark red. Nice nose but a bit tight. Black and red fruit and a touch of spice come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium tannins, and a long finish. Fruit-forward and very approachable.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $22

2012 Fall Line Winery Tempranillo (Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Washington): 100% Tempranillo. Deep purplish red. Nice nose with black fruit and floral notes. Black fruit, leather, smoked meat, and a touch of black pepper come through on the palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity, and big, bold tannins.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $22

Upcoming Releases:

2012 Fall Line Winery Artz Vineyard Red Wine (Artz Vineyard, Red Mountain, Yakima Valley, Washington): 50% Cabernet Franc, 46% Merlot, and 4% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, dark red. Nice nose with red and black fruit aromas. Bright fruit, especially red and black cherry, come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $35 [to be released Fall 2015]

2012 Purple Cafe Red Wine (Boushey Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Washington): Special wine produced exclusively for Purple Cafe by Fall Line Winery. 45% Merlot, 27% Petit Verdot, 25% Cabernet Franc, and 3% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, dark purple. Nice nose with black fruit aromas. Fruit-forward with bright, black cherry on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity, high tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: n/a
Where to buy: Purple Cafe, $n/a [to be released Fall 2015]

2012 Fall Line Winery Red Willow Vineyard Red Wine (Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Washington): 36% Cabernet Franc, 35% Merlot, 18% Petit Verdot, and 11% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, dark purple in color. Gorgeous nose with luscious black fruit aromas. Black cherry, blackberry, earth, leather, spice, and a hint of black pepper come through on the palate. Full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with good complexity, and a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $35 [to be released Fall 2015]



Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Tempranillo, Vineyards, Washington State Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $25
 

A Wine for Tonight: 2013 Cune Monopole Rioja Blanco



By Kori ~ October 15th, 2014

Would you like a quick suggestion for a good wine to drink tonight (or this weekend) that won’t break your budget and is widely available? If so, you might want to check out the 2013 Cune Monopole Rioja Blanco from the Rioja Alta appellation in Spain.

Our selection criteria include:

  • A very good Quality rating of >=3.5 stars (out of 5)
  • A price tag of <=$20
  • Must be widely available

Cune, also known as Compañía Vinícola del Norte de España, was founded in 1879 by brothers Eusebio and Raimundo Real de Asua in Haro, Rioja, and is still family-owned and family-operated by direct descendants of the founders. Monopole, produced by Cune since 1915, is the oldest white wine brand of Spain.

“Slight yellow greenish color. Seductive scent of spring, white flowers and fresh tropical fruit. In the mouth, it is nice and long, leaving a slight acidity that gives a feeling of freshness that results in an increased potential retronasal aroma. Ideal companion for appetizers, snacks, fish and seafood.” –Cune

2013 Cune Monopole Rioja Blanco (Rioja Alta, Spain): 100% Viura. Pale, straw yellow in color. Very aromatic with orange blossom and tropical notes on the nose. More floral notes as well as lime come through on the palate. Dry and light to medium-bodied with very crisp acidity. Well-balanced and refreshing with a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $15; Available elsewhere, $9 to $18



Filed under: A Wine for Tonight, Lesser Known Varietals, Spanish Wine, White Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25