Pieropan: A Small, Family Producer in Italy’s Soave Region



By Kori ~ September 4th, 2013

This summer, our family vacationed in Italy. It was my first trip to Italy, a place that had been on my travel bucket list for some time. While this trip was truly a family vacation filled with sightseeing, I’m sure it will come as no surprise that we Wine Peeps worked in some winery visits as well.

We visited Pieropan, a small, family winery, located in the center of the town of Soave. Soave is in northeastern Italy in the province of Verona, about halfway between Venice and Milan. Only white wine is produced in the Soave region with a minimum of 70% of the wine coming from the Garganega grape.

Founded in 1890 by Leonildo Pieropan, the estate is now in the hands of the third and fourth generations. Leonildo and his wife Teresita run the winery along with their two sons Andrea and Dario. We had the pleasure to meet Andrea who gave us a tour of the winery and tasted us through their wines.

While the majority of Pieropan’s wines are the dry white wine most common in Soave, they also produce a limited-production late harvest Recioto that is dried on traditional bamboo mats, the same mats that were used by its founders over 100 years ago. In fact, Pieropan’s first wine was Recioto, even before they produced a dry Soave. In 1999, the family acquired another winery in Valpolicella and began making red wine in addition to Soave.

Pieropan does not buy any grapes; all of their wines are produced from estate-grown grapes. In 2011, Pieropan became certified organic for their Valpolicella and Amarone. They are in their second year of organic certification for Soave.

Ninety-five percent of Soave is produced by large production wineries. At just 400,000 bottles per year, Pieropan is one of the 5% of small producers in Soave. Pieropan bottles their wines under both screw cap and cork, depending on the market.

2012 Pieropan Soave Classico (Soave Classico DOC, Italy): 85% Garganega and 15% Trebbiano di Soave. Pale straw yellow. Nice nose with citrus, lime, and pineapple aromas. Citrus, almond, and floral notes come through on the palate. Dry and light-bodied with fresh, crisp acidity, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Suggested Retail Price: $13-15

2011 Pieropan Calvarino (Soave Classico DOC, Italy): 70% Garganega and 30% Trebbiano di Soave. Pale, straw yellow. Beautiful nose with floral notes, almond aromas, and minerality. Pear, apricot, apple, and floral notes come through on the palate. Dry and light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a long, fresh finish. A good food wine.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Suggested Retail Price: $23-27

2011 Pieropan La Rocca (Soave Classico DOC, Italy): 100% Garganega. Medium golden yellow. Aromatic with oak, minerality, pear, apple, and almond aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied with lively acidity. Well-balanced with a long, rich finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Suggested Retail Price: $23-27

2010 Pieropan Ruberpan (Valpolicella Superiore DOC, Italy): 60% Corvina Veronese, 30% Corinone and Croatina Veronese, and 5% from old traditional Valpolicella varieties. Medium ruby red. Nice nose with bright red fruit and spice box aromas. Red fruit, white pepper, and spice come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium tannins. Well-balanced with a very long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Suggested Retail Price: $23-27

2008 Pieropan Le Colombare (Recioto di Soave DOCG, Italy): 100% Garganega. Medium gold color. Beautiful nose with dried apricot, honey, and orange peel aromas and flavors. Medium-bodied and sweet but not cloying. Well-balanced with good complexity and a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Suggested Retail Price: $40 [500ml]



Filed under: Dessert Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Garganega, Italian Wine, Red Wine, White Wine, Wine Travel, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25
 

Mandarano Balsamic Glaze & Sauce of Modena



By LaGayle ~ August 28th, 2013

It is always fun to try new food preparations; however, I admit that the simpler the preparation, the more I like it. Having said that, anything that can make a simple dish a little more special is great!

I have always enjoyed preparing dishes using various balsamic vinegars, especially those that have additional flavors. When we recently received a sample of Mandarano Balsamic Glaze & Sauce from Modena, Italy, I was excited to try it. A balsamic vinegar reduction made from a centuries-old Modena family recipe, it sounded like a great way to enhance a dish without a lot of fuss.

The information that accompanied the glaze suggested that it could be “the perfect compliment to almost any food.” I took that claim as a challenge and started experimenting. I tried it drizzled over scrambled eggs, Belgian waffles topped with fresh berries, grilled fresh peaches, pan seared flat iron steak, sautéed Brussels sprouts, and roasted sweet potatoes. Lo and behold, it was great on all of them. It even works on desserts; it was amazing drizzled over pecan pie and vanilla ice cream!

Since our focus here on Wine Peeps is wine, here are some pairing suggestions for the foods I tried with the balsamic glaze:

  • Grilled peaches—Riesling or Sparkling Wine
  • Flat iron steak—Shiraz/Syrah or Merlot
  • Brussels sprouts—Sauvignon Blanc
  • Sweet potatoes—Gewurztraminer or Riesling
  • Pecan pie—Port

Using the Mandarano Balsamic Glaze & Sauce is a great way to dress up a simple meal or to give a dish a boost. It sells for $14.95 and can be found at specialty retailers across the United States.

Bon Appétit!

Full Disclosure: We received this balsamic glaze as a sample.



Filed under: Food & Wine
 

A Wine for Tonight: 2012 Anew Riesling



By Kori ~ August 21st, 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 2012 Anew Riesling from the Columbia Valley of Washington State.

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

Produced by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in Woodinville, Washington, Anew Riesling is a new offering presented in a sleek, custom-molded bottle with a screw cap closure. The “feminine” packaging is meant to appeal to women consumers. The grapes for this debut vintage of Anew are sourced from vineyards in the Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, Wahluke Slope, and Yakima Valley. More than 70,000 cases of Anew were produced and are available nationally.

“Opening with aromas of bright fruit, subtle spice and citrus, Anew Riesling offers a harmonious blend of pure fruit flavor, heightened aromatics and balanced acidity. Expressive flavors of fresh peach and a hint of spice give this wine a crisp, refreshing essence.” –Winemaker Wendy Stuckey

2012 Anew Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington): 88% Riesling, 10% Gewurztraminer, and 2% Muscat Canelli. Pale straw yellow. Nice nose with apple, peach, and floral aromas and flavors. Off-dry and light-bodied with lively acidity and a medium to long finish. Residual Sugar: 2.44%
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $11; Available elsewhere, $9 to $15



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

Red Willow Vineyard: 40 Years and Just Beginning!



By John ~ August 14th, 2013

Humble, dedicated, innovative, smart, hard working, ethical, family-oriented, forward thinking…these are some of the words that came to my mind to describe Mike Sauer and the Red Willow Vineyard family as I participated in their 40th anniversary celebration a few weeks ago. While 40 years is not a long time when you compare it to the history of many European vineyards, it is ancient history in Washington wine growing circles. Red Willow’s first Cabernet Sauvignon block was planted in 1973, and the first Syrah in Washington was planted at Red Willow in 1986.

While Mike Sauer is quick to give much of the credit for his success to Dr. Walter Clore and long-time Columbia Winery winemaker David Lake, it took a big leap of faith to plant test plots of numerous grape varieties on unproven vineyard land back in the 1970’s when there were only six wineries in Washington State. And, after 40 years, Mike was talking to me not about retiring, but about an obscure Russian grape, whose name I can neither spell nor pronounce, that he thinks has some good potential here in Washington. That’s just one example of why I believe the future looks so bright at Red Willow Vineyard.

Mike and Karen Sauer’s sons Jonathan and Daniel, and son-in-law Rick Willsey are all active in the business and provide the continuity so vital in a long-term oriented occupation such as grape growing. Red Willow is located in the northwest corner of the Yakima Valley AVA, 13 miles west of Wapato, Washington, on the fourth-generation Stephenson family farm established by Mike’s grandfather-in-law in 1920. The Monsignor Chapel is the most famous visual symbol of Red Willow and stands atop some of their best producing hillside vineyard blocks.

When we made our first trip to Red Willow over five years ago, so that Kori could do research for the first in a series of posts on the vineyard, Columbia Winery had just released some blocks from contract with Red Willow. At that time, I sensed that Mike was a little apprehensive about where he would go with those grapes. I told Mike then that I thought that would prove to be the best thing that ever happened to Red Willow because it would put grapes in the hands of many more excellent winemakers who would have a wide variety of winemaking styles that would express the potential of his grapes in new and maybe even better ways. Since then, in addition to Columbia Winery, Red Willow grapes have been utilized in wines by Betz Family Winery, Mark Ryan, Fall Line, Avennia, Gramercy Cellars, Adams Bench, DeLille Cellars, Owen Roe, Efeste, Eight Bells, Barrage Cellars, Cavatappi, Newport, Andrew Rich, and others.

Later in the fall of 2009, Kori wrote an article for Washington Tasting Room magazine giving a more comprehensive history of the development of Red Willow as well as some thoughts on its future. If you didn’t see it then, I’d suggest reading it now. And keep looking for wines made with Red Willow grapes. They are, and will continue to be, some of the best wines in Washington state…or anywhere else, for that matter.



Filed under: American Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Vineyards, Washington State Wine
 

Challenging Wine Pairing: Peach Cobbler



By LaGayle ~ August 7th, 2013

August is the month to think about peaches!!! The fresh peaches available at this time of year are absolutely unbelievable. And, there are so many ways to enjoy them.

A favorite in our family, and I’m sure it goes back to our Texas roots, is peach cobbler. Peach cobbler is a dessert staple in the south. Whether it is peach cobbler, peach slump, or just peaches and cream, I imagine that there is a peach dessert in most everyone’s life that is a favorite.

To celebrate peaches in August, we decided to do a challenging wine pairing with peach cobbler topped with ice cream. As always, I referred to my favorite book, What to Drink with What You Eat, and decided to have a Late Harvest Riesling and a sparkling wine. We selected the 2010 Forgeron Late Harvest Riesling and the NV Domaine Ste. Michelle Extra Dry Sparkling Wine. Both wines are very good on their own, and the consensus between the four of us as to the best pairing with the cobbler was an even split, two of us chose the Late Harvest Riesling and two of us chose the sparkling wine. The ideal complement to the cobbler and ice cream might have been a wine whose sweetness is between these two wines.

What would you have paired with this dessert? Your suggestions for future challenging pairings are always welcome.

Bon Appétit!

2010 Forgeron Cellars Late Harvest Riesling (Dionysus Vineyard, Columbia Valley, Washington): 100% Riesling. Golden yellow in color. Very aromatic with honey and dried apricot on both the nose and palate. Medium sweet and medium-bodied with lively acidity. Well-balanced with a long finish. Residual Sugar: 13%
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $19 [375ml]; Available elsewhere, $18 to $19

NV Domaine Ste. Michelle Extra Dry Sparkling Wine (Columbia Valley, Washington): Small, fairly fast bead of bubbles. Pale, straw yellow in color. Nice nose with apple and yeast aromas. More apple and pear come through on the palate. Off-dry and light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish. Residual Sugar: 2.3%
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer, $8.99; Available elsewhere, $8 to $15



Filed under: American Wine, Challenging Wine Pairing, Dessert Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, Riesling, Sparkling Wine, Washington State Wine, Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25
 

A Wine for Tonight: 2012 Waterbrook Sangiovese Rosé



By Kori ~ July 31st, 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 2012 Waterbrook Sangiovese Rosé from the Columbia Valley of Washington State.

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

Founded in 1984, Waterbrook Winery is one of the Walla Walla Valley’s largest producers. Owned by Precept Wine Brands, Waterbrook is located just outside of Walla Walla in a beautiful facility with lovely grounds and views of the Blue Mountains. Winemaker John Freeman joined Waterbrook as Assistant Winemaker in 2003 and was promoted to Winemaker in 2005.

“A crisp wine with rose bud and watermelon aromatics. This dry Rosé has bright flavors of strawberry, melon with balanced acidity and lingering raspberry notes on the finish.” –Winemaker John Freeman

2012 Waterbrook Sangiovese Rosé (Columbia Valley, Washington): 100% Sangiovese. Medium pink in color. Aromatic with raspberry and floral notes on the nose. Raspberry, strawberry, and floral notes come through on the finish. Dry and medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $11; Available elsewhere, $12 to $13



Filed under: A Wine for Tonight, American Wine, Rose Wine, Sangiovese, Washington State Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25
 

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