Riesling, Riesling, and more Riesling



By Kori ~ July 24th, 2013

The fourth Riesling Rendezvous, hosted by Chateau Ste. Michelle of Washington State and Dr. Loosen of Germany, was held last week in Seattle. More than 60 producers from seven countries and seven U.S. states traveled to Washington State to celebrate, explore, and promote Riesling.

Riesling is one of the most versatile grape varieties. It can be made in many different styles from bone dry to very sweet, reflects the regional character of where it is grown, and is extremely food-friendly. And, it is probably the most age worthy of all white wine varieties. Unfortunately, though, many consumers still mistakenly dismiss it as being cheap and sweet.

As a result of discussions that took place at the first Riesling Rendezvous in 2007, the International Riesling Foundation was formed to help consumers better appreciate the many virtues of Riesling. One of their first orders of business was to develop a system to help consumers know what to expect in a particular bottle of Riesling. The IRF created a Riesling Taste Profile which producers may use on their back labels and other merchandising materials. The winery determines where the arrow should go based on a set of technical guidelines combined with their own judgment from tasting the wine. The Riesling Taste Profile now appears on over 26 million bottles in the U.S. market.

I attended all three days of the Riesling Rendezvous, which included a Grand Tasting, blind tastings, and breakout sessions. Once again, it was wonderful to have so many producers and enthusiasts from all around the world together for a total Riesling immersion. While my eyes were really opened to the ageability of Riesling when I attended the 2010 event, my focus during this year’s Rendezvous was on the food-friendliness of Riesling. Riesling has frequently been a great choice in our challenging wine pairings so it was great to put its food-friendliness under the microscope during some of the tastings and breakout sessions.

“To be a good Riesling, it has to have noticeable acidity. It’s that acidity that makes it work so well with so many foods. Riesling can cut through rich, creamy dishes.” –Paul Lukacs, Wine Writer, Educator, and Advisor

That characteristic acidity as well as the sugar present in the off-dry and sweeter style Rieslings work well with spicy foods. It helps cut the spice and really bring out the flavors.

“Sugar blocks pain receptors in the mouth. That is why off-dry and sweeter wines work so well with spicy dishes.” –Emily Wines MS

Since I tasted 120+ Rieslings during this three-day Riesling immersion, I’ll spare you a laundry list of all of the wines. However, here are ten wines (listed oldest to youngest) that really grabbed my attention, and I encourage you to give them a try if you have the opportunity.

1978 Dr. Loosen Erdener Treppchen Riesling Kabinett (Mosel, Germany)
2007 Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Single Berry Select (Columbia Valley, Washington)
2008 Tantalus Vineyards Old Vines Riesling (Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada)
2009 Anthony Road Wine Company Martini-Reinhardt Selection Riesling (Finger Lakes, New York)
2011 Donnhoff Niederhauser Hermannshohle Riesling Trocken Grosses Gewachs (Nahe, Germany)
2011 Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Ice Wine (Okanagan Valley, British Columbia, Canada)
2011 Donnhoff Felsenberg Riesling Grosses Gewachs (Nahe, Germany)
2011 Fritz Haag Brauneberger Juffer Spatlese (Mosel, Germany)
2012 Donnhoff Oberhauser Brucke Riesling Spatlese (Nahe, Germany)
2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle & Dr. Loosen Eroica Gold Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington)

So whether you are looking for a “deck” wine to enjoy on a warm summer day or are trying to decide what to pair with dinner tonight, think Riesling. Do some experimenting. Look for the IRF Riesling Taste Profile on the bottle and try some different styles to determine what you like best.

Cheers!



Filed under: American Wine, Canadian Wine, Food & Wine, German Wine, New York Wine, Riesling, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wine Activities/Events
 

Wine Gadget: Angle 33 Wine Thermals



By Kori ~ July 17th, 2013

Have you ever wanted an easier way to keep a bottle of wine cold than using an ice bucket? What about keeping a bottle of white wine chilled that you are taking outside for a meal in the backyard? How about keeping a bottle of red wine from getting too warm on a hot summer night?

If any of these situations have come up for you as they often do for us during these warm summer months, I encourage you to check out the Angle 33 wine thermals. Made in Missoula, Montana, Angle 33 wine thermals are made of concrete and utilize the laws of thermal mass, not ice, to keep your bottle of wine at its ideal serving temperature.

Angle 33 offers the wine thermals in three sizes and five different colors to meet both your wine and decorative needs. While not inexpensive (the standard size retails for $64.99), these wine thermals can be an excellent addition to your entertaining repertoire. Since many months of the year we are forced inside by the Seattle rain, we love spending as much time as possible in our backyard during the summer. Whether it’s a weeknight meal or a weekend BBQ with friends and family, we frequently enjoy wine with food. The last thing we want is for our Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé, or Cabernet Sauvignon to warm up too fast.

Recently, we received an Angle 33 wine thermal as a sample. The one we tried is the wine thermal, which holds standard Bordeaux-style bottles. The pepper color, as you might expect, is dark gray to almost black and complements our décor very nicely. Over the course of the last couple of weeks, we have put the Angle 33 wine thermal to the test. It has been a very attractive addition to our table. And, most importantly, it works as advertised.

Matt and Marge Baack are the owners and founders of Angle 33. Matt has been in the concrete business for over 14 years. He also owns and operates Stamping Ground Studios, which specializes in decorative concrete countertops, concrete furniture, and stained concrete floors. The idea for Angle 33 wine thermals was born after Matt and Marge had a disastrous dinner experience with a messy, drippy ice bucket at an upscale restaurant. The seed was planted and Matt set out to create a solution using the medium of concrete.

It is important to note that the most important thing you can do for your wine is to store it at its ideal temperature. Assuming you’ve done that, you can grab a wine thermal off of your kitchen counter to keep a chilled bottle of white or rosé cool for up to 45 minutes or a bottle of red at cellar temperature for up to 90 minutes. To extend the amount of time that the thermal will keep your wine at its ideal temperature, you may pre-chill the thermal in your refrigerator or, in a pinch, in your freezer. That said, we have found that we most often keep the thermal at room temperature and grab it as we head outside with a chilled bottle. And, let’s be honest, folks, it’s not often that an open bottle lasts more than 45 minutes anyway.

While our use of the Angle 33 wine thermal is from the perspective of a consumer, it is also an ideal solution for restaurants and winery tasting rooms. Thermals can even be customized with a business’s logo or with other artwork for a special occasion.

Have you used the Angle 33 wine thermals? If so, how have they worked for you?

Full Disclosure: We received this thermal as a review sample.



Filed under: Wine Gadget, Wine Gifts/Accessories
 

Buty Winery: Making Beautiful Wines in Walla Walla



By Kori ~ July 10th, 2013

Founded in 2000 by Nina Buty and Caleb Foster, Buty Winery has become one of the most highly regarded wineries in Washington State. While Caleb has gone on to other ventures, Nina continues to run the winery. She works closely with winemaker Chris Dowsett and consulting winemaker Zelma Long. Chris gained valuable winemaking experience in Oregon, Australia, and California before moving to Walla Walla in 1996 and joining the Buty team in 2008. In addition to his duties at Buty, Chris also has his own Dowsett Family Winery.

Located in Walla Walla, Washington, Buty remains a small, family winery producing 3,000 cases per year. It focuses on several proprietary blends. Buty’s flagship red wines are two Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah blends, the Columbia Rediviva (usually Cab-heavy) from the Horse Heaven Hills and the Rediviva of the Stones (usually Syrah-heavy) from the Walla Walla Valley. It also produces a lovely white Bordeaux-style blend called Semillon, Sauvignon & Muscadelle.

Buty boasts an outstanding vineyard program, sourcing its fruit from a number of the Northwest’s top vineyards including their own Rockgarden Estate and a 9-acre block of Phinny Hill Vineyard. Rockgarden is located in the prized “rocks” region just across the Oregon state line in the Walla Walla Valley, and Phinny Hill is located close to Champoux Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills

Through the years, we’ve had the pleasure of tasting a number of Buty wines. Recently, we had the opportunity to taste the 2009 Columbia Rediviva, the 2011 Conner Lee Chardonnay, the 2011 Semillon, Sauvignon & Muscadelle, the 2009 Rediviva of the Stones, and the 2010 Merlot & Cabernet Franc in a blind samples tasting. All five wines are very good, but we especially enjoyed the Columbia Rediviva. This Cab-dominant blend is outstanding and delivers serious bang for your buck.

If you are ever in the Walla Walla area, I highly encourage you to visit Buty.

2009 Buty Columbia Rediviva (Phinny Hill Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington): 76% Cabernet Sauvignon and 24% Syrah. Dark purple. Beautiful nose with black fruit and floral aromas. More luscious black fruit and floral notes come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high, smooth tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $50; Available elsewhere, $40 to $52

2011 Buty Conner Lee Vineyard Chardonnay (Conner Lee Vineyard, Columbia Valley, Washington): 100% Chardonnay. Pale, greenish straw yellow. Nice nose with apple and pear aromas. More apple and pear as well as a touch of oak come through on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with lively acidity. Well-balanced with a very long, smooth finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $40; Available elsewhere, $28 to $45

2011 Buty Semillon, Sauvignon & Muscadelle (Columbia Valley, Washington): 60% Semillon, 19% Sauvignon Blanc, and 21% Muscadelle. Pale, greenish straw yellow. Aromatic with grass and lemon on the nose. Citrus fruits, grass, and floral notes come through on the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a very long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 1 bang for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $25; Available elsewhere, $19 to $27

2009 Buty Rediviva of the Stones (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): 77% Syrah and 23% Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark purple. Aromatic with game, earth, and barnyard notes on both the nose and palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity, medium to high, dry tannins, and a very long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 1 bang for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $60; Available elsewhere, $43 to $59

2010 Buty Merlot & Cabernet Franc (Columbia Valley, Washington): 58% Merlot and 42% Cabernet Franc. Deep, dark red. Aromatic with oak and spice on the nose. Oak, spice, and red and black fruit come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, sweet tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 1 bang for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $45; Available elsewhere, $46



Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Semillon, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Over $25
 

Happy 4th of July!



By Kori ~ July 4th, 2013

On this day in 1776, the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation, approved the Declaration of Independence. As always, this most American of holidays will be marked by parades, fireworks, and backyard barbecues across the country.

We wish you all a very happy 4th of July and hope you enjoy your day with family, friends, good food, and great wine. Cheers!



Filed under: Holiday
 

Challenging Wine Pairing: Lobster Casserole



By LaGayle ~ July 3rd, 2013

Recently, we hosted a party for close family friends prior to their move to Maine, and the theme was all things Maine…lobster, corn on the cob, blueberries, whoopie pies, and so forth. The children even enjoyed a fun game of pin the tail on the lobster.

The “Maine” dish was lobster casserole bites. After having the lobster casserole bites at the party, we decided it would be a great dish for a challenging wine pairing. As we are approaching summer when people frequently enjoy white wines, we decided that the timing was right for this challenge.

Our menu consisted of mixed greens topped with fresh mango and pineapple drizzled with mango balsamic vinegar, the lobster casserole, corn on the cob, and sautéed zucchini with roasted red bell pepper and sun dried tomatoes.

Once again, we referred to the book, What to Drink with What You Eat, and decided to go with a Sparkling Wine and a Chardonnay. We selected the J Vineyards Cuvée 20 Sparkling Wine from California and the 2010 Columbia Crest Reserve Chardonnay from Washington State. Both wines were very good; however, the consensus favorite both before dinner and paired with the lobster casserole was the Sparkling Wine.

What would you have paired with this meal?  And, as always, we welcome your suggestions for future challenging wine pairings.

Bon Appétit!

NV J Vineyards Cuvée 20 Sparkling Wine (Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California): Small, very fast bead of bubbles. Pale straw yellow. Nice nose with pear, apple, and lemon aromas. Granny Smith apple and lemon 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: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $28; Available elsewhere, $17 to $31

2010 Columbia Crest Reserve Chardonnay (Horse Heaven Hills, Washington): Pale, greenish straw yellow. Nose is a bit tight at first and then butter, oak, and floral notes come through. Apple and butter dominate the palate. Dry and medium-bodied with lively acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $20



Filed under: American Wine, California Wine, Challenging Wine Pairing, Chardonnay, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, Sparkling Wine, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25
 

Long Shadows Vintners: 2012 Poet’s Leap, 2009 Saggi, 2009 Chester-Kidder



By Kori ~ June 26th, 2013

Founded by Washington wine pioneer Allen Shoup, Long Shadows Vintners is a collection of ultra-premium wineries comprised of internationally acclaimed winemakers from the major wine regions of the world. Each winemaker is a partner in a unique winery dedicated to producing a single Columbia Valley wine representing a “best of type” that reflects the winemaker’s signature style.

Allen Shoup is considered one of the pioneers of the Washington wine industry. He was the CEO of Stimson Lane wine group for years. During that time, he oversaw their portfolio of wineries, including Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Crest, and forged relationships with many important players in the wine business around the world. Upon retirement, he pursued his dream of bringing some of the most highly acclaimed winemakers from different regions around the world to Washington to make world-class wines from Washington grapes comparable to the wines they make in their native wine regions. The Long Shadows winemaker-partners began crafting their signature wines in 2003.

Through the years, we’ve had the pleasure of tasting a number of Long Shadows wines. Recently, we had the opportunity to taste the 2012 Poet’s Leap, the 2009 Saggi, and the 2009 Chester-Kidder in a blind samples tasting. All three wines are very good, but we especially enjoyed the Poet’s Leap. It is outstanding and delivers serious bang for your buck.

Poet’s Leap is a Riesling made by Armin Diel of Schlossgut Diel in Germany. Saggi is a Super Tuscan-style blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah, made by Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari, a father-son winemaking team from Italy. Chester-Kidder is a red blend made by winemaker Gilles Nicault and is named for founder Allen Shoup’s grandfather, Charles Chester, and his grandmother, Maggie Kidder.

2012 Poet’s Leap Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington): Pale straw yellow. Beautiful nose with white peach and floral aromas. White peach, lime, and floral notes come through on the palate. Off-dry and light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a very long, refreshing finish. Residual Sugar: 1.25%
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $20

2009 Saggi Red Wine (Columbia Valley, Washington): 62% Sangiovese, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 9% Syrah. Deep, dark purple. Aromatic with plum, oak, and spice on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium tannins, and a long 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 $45; Available elsewhere, $41 to $44

2009 Chester-Kidder Red Wine (Columbia Valley, Washington): 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Syrah, 17% Petit Verdot, and 5% Cabernet Franc. Aromatic with black cherry, blackberry, oak, and a touch of chocolate on both the nose and palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity, medium to high tannins, and a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 1 bang for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $50



Filed under: American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Riesling, Sangiovese, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25
 

Chateau Ste. Michelle Riesling: Something for Everyone



By Kori ~ June 19th, 2013

Riesling has become known as Washington State’s signature white variety. Washington is the largest Riesling producing state in the United States. And, Washington State’s own Chateau Ste. Michelle is the largest Riesling producer in the world. 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.

Riesling is one of the most versatile grape varieties. It can be made in many different styles from bone dry to very sweet, reflect the regional character of where it is grown, and is extremely food-friendly. And, it is probably the most age worthy of all white wine varieties.

We recently had the opportunity to taste a couple of Chateau Ste. Michelle Rieslings in a blind samples tasting, the 2012 Dry Riesling and the 2012 Harvest Select Sweet Riesling. Both wines are very good, so no matter your preference on the sweetness scale, Chateau Ste. Michelle has you covered. And with suggested retail prices of $10, and which can frequently be found for far less, these wines deliver serious bang for your buck.

2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington): Pale straw yellow. Beautiful nose with white peach, citrus, and floral aromas. White peach and lime come through on the palate. Dry and light-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a very long, refreshing finish. Residual Sugar: 0.71%
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $10; Available elsewhere, $6 to $12

2012 Chateau Ste. Michelle Harvest Select Sweet Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington): Very pale, straw yellow. Aromatic with peach blossoms and honeysuckle on the nose. Peach, apricot, and floral notes come through on the palate. Medium sweet and light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a very long finish. Residual Sugar: 4.71%
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, $8 to $10



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

House Wine: Weeknight Food & Wine Pairing Made Easy



By Kori ~ June 12th, 2013

Charles Smith of K Vintners founded Magnificent Wine Company in 2004. In the fall of 2006, a majority of Magnificent Wine Company was sold to Washington State-based Precept Brands. Magnificent’s flagship brand is House Wine, originally just offering two wines, a red Cabernet blend and a white Chardonnay blend. Since then, the House Wine line has expanded to include additional wines. When people refer to a “house” wine, they generally mean something they would drink anytime with anything and that is affordable. That is exactly what these wines are designed to deliver. The House Wines have easily recognizable black and white labels.

Recently, we had the opportunity to taste several of the House Wines in a blind samples tasting, the 2012 Fish House Sauvignon Blanc, the 2012 Market Moscato, and the 2010 Steak House Cabernet Sauvignon. All three wines are good and make weeknight food and wine pairing easy.

Fish House pairs well with fish or chicken, and Steak House works well with steak, burgers, and even pasta with red sauce. The Market Moscato is nice with fruit or a light summer dessert or can be enjoyed on its own after dinner. The top line retail price for these three wines is $12, but they can frequently be found for under $10.

2012 Fish House Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley, Washington): 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Pale, straw yellow. Aromatic with melon, floral notes, and a touch of honey on both the nose and palate. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a very long, refreshing finish. Residual Sugar: 0.12%
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $12; Available elsewhere, $12

2012 Market Moscato (Columbia Valley, Washington): 100% Moscato. Pale, straw yellow. Nice nose with apricot and honey aromas and flavors. Medium sweet and medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish. Residual Sugar: 5.4%
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $12

2010 Steak House Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, and 5% Syrah. Deep, dark ruby red. Aromatic with black fruit and spice on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium to high tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $12; Available elsewhere, $8 to $15



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

Current Releases from Fielding Hills, 2010 Vintage [Wow! Alert]



By Kori ~ June 5th, 2013

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 have 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. Strictly red wine producers, Fielding Hills increased their production from 850 cases to about 1400 cases with the 2009 vintage. We have tasted their wines from their inaugural vintage in 2000 through their current 2010 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!”

We have had the opportunity to taste all five current releases from Fielding Hills on three different occasions. Dad (John) and Mom (LaGayle) attended the 2010 vintage release dinner in November, Dad and I had them in another tasting in January, and most recently, we tasted them again in a blind samples tasting. Over the course of the seven months since they were first released, these wines continue to evolve and are getting even better.

Fielding Hills has done it again. We were “wow-ed” by the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, rating it 5 stars (out of 5). The four other current releases from Fielding Hills are also quite impressive. The 2010 Cabernet Franc and 2010 Syrah received 4.5 stars (out of 5), and the 2010 Merlot and 2010 Tribute Red Wine received 4 stars (out of 5).

If you are ever in the Wenatchee area, Fielding Hills is a stop you do not want to miss. I encourage you to give Mike and Karen a call to make an appointment to visit the winery. Within the next year, Fielding Hills has plans to open a tasting room in Lake Chelan. Regardless of whether you are able to visit or not, I encourage you to get your hands on a bottle or two of Fielding Hills wine and enjoy.

2010 Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (RiverBend Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington): 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Syrah, 3% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc. Dark, dense purple. Gorgeous nose with black cherry, blackberry, spice, and leather aromas. Black cherry, blackcurrant, spice, and leather come through on the palate. Full-bodied with crisp acidity and high, dry tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with good 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: Received as sample, suggested retail $42

2010 Fielding Hills Cabernet Franc (RiverBend Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington): 85% Cabernet Franc, 5% Syrah, 5% Merlot, and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, dark red in color. Beautiful nose black cherry, cinnamon, and clove aromas. Black cherry, cinnamon, and clove come through on the palate. Full-bodied with crisp acidity, and high, dry tannins. Well-balanced and smooth with a long finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $30

2010 Fielding Hills Syrah (RiverBend Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington): 94% Syrah, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Franc. Dark, dense purple. Gorgeous nose with blackberry, spice, and black pepper aromas. More blackberry, spice, and black pepper come through on the palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity and high, dry tannins. Well-balanced with a very long, smooth finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $38

2010 Fielding Hills Merlot (RiverBend Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington): 93% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 3% Syrah. Deep, dark purplish red. Aromatic with black cherry and spice rack aromas and flavors. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high, smooth tannins. Well-balanced with a very long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $36

2010 Fielding Hills Tribute Red Wine (RiverBend Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington): 31% Cabernet Franc, 30% Syrah, 20% Merlot, and 19% Cabernet Sauvignon. Dark purplish red. Nice nose with black fruit and spice aromas. Black cherry, blackberry, spice, and oak come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced and smooth 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 $32



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

A Wine for Tonight: 2011 Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui



By Kori ~ May 29th, 2013

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 2011 Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui from the Piedmont region of Italy.

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

In 1979, John and Harry Mariani, owners of Banfi Vintners, acquired a mid-18th century winery, known as Bruzzone, revitalized it, and renamed the facility Vigne Regali. Banfi’s Rosa Regale is created in one of Italy’s smallest production zones, the Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG in Piedmont. Produced with Brachetto grapes grown at the La Rosa Vineyard in the town of Acqui Terme, its label features a single red rose.

For those of you who are predominantly white wine drinkers and/or prefer sweet wines, this is certainly a wine you should try. It is a good before or after dinner drink and also pairs well with seafood, cheese, and chocolate.

“Aromatic with hints of raspberries, strawberries and rose petals. Fresh raspberries, with crisp acidity, enticing the palate with an initial softness, graduating to a clean and dry finish.” –Banfi

2011 Banfi Rosa Regale Brachetto d’Acqui (Piedmont, Italy): 100% Brachetto. Sweet red sparkling wine. Small, fairly fast bead of bubbles. Medium to deep ruby red. Aromatic with bright red fruit and cherry Jolly Rancher on the nose. More cherry as well as raspberry and strawberry come through on the palate. Sweet but not sickeningly sweet. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity 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 $18; Available elsewhere, $15 to $25



Filed under: A Wine for Tonight, Dessert Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Italian Wine, Lesser Known Varietals, Red Wine, Sparkling Wine, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25