This Week’s Wine Tasting

American Wine- California and Washington


Canoe Ridge Expedition Pinot Gris 2012
Horse Heaven Hills, Washington. 100% Stainless Steel. A blend of 90% Pinot Gris, 5% Muscat Canelli, and 5% Gewurztraminer. “The warmest vintage in a decade, 2013’s growing season cooled off just in time for harvest, and picking proceeded at a normal pace starting at the end of August. Total tonnage, approximately 220,000 tons, was up easily five percent over 2012, a record for Washington State. With a warm 2013 vintage, growers spread out canopies a bit more than usual and adjusted crop sizes to achieve a good balance of acidity and phenolic ripeness. Mother Nature made picking advantageous; varieties reached ripeness at different times, allowing crews a well-phased, thoughtfully-planned harvest. Aromas of green apple and floral notes are followed by pear, apricot and citrus flavors, backed by racy acidity. This Pinot Gris has a well-balanced mouth feel with a crisp, refreshing finish.”



Uppercut Chardonnay 2013
Napa County, California. A blend of 94% Chardonnay, 3% Pinot Blanc and 3% Pinot Gris. “85% barrel fermented and aged (5% new French Oak); 8 months of oak aging French and Hungarian oak. A portion of the wine also completed malolactic fermentation, which naturally changes the malic (apple-type) acid into lactic (milk-type) acid, to enhance the wine’s roundness on the palate and add creamy nuances to the finish. We oak-aged our Chardonnay on the yeast lees (sur lie) to give it a silky texture and warm, toasty oak tones to the lingering finish. The 2013 vintage is our premier release of Uppercut Chardonnay. We sourced the grapes from cool regions of Napa County, where Chardonnay develops vibrant character. Barrel fermentation and oak aging wove toasty nuances through the layers of Chardonnay flavors. Pinot Blanc and Pinot Gris— Burgundian cousins of the Chardonnay grape—gave hints of citrus blossom and a sensual mouthfeel. The crisp flavors of Uppercut Chardonnay pair deliciously with seafood, especially fresh cracked crab dipped in melted butter. Lovely aromas of pear and baked apple with notes of nectarine, hazelnut and toasty oak on the palate. Lively acidity lifts the wine and makes it a great pairing for crab and corn chowder and a variety of seafood pasta dishes.”



Woodwork Pinot Noir 2013
Central Coast, California. A blend of 88% Pinot Noir, 7% Grenache, 2% Syrah, 2% Petite Syrah and 1% Tempranillo. “Aged for 5 months in 100% French white oak. [A custom cuvee for Diageo Wines.] Our Pinot Noir shows rich varietal fruit with a touch of French oak for structure and spice. A majority of our grapes come from Monterey County and Edna Valley. We used a variety of winemaking techniques, blending several batches before coming up with our ideal wine. The warm, mild growing season of 2013 was excellent, encouraging complex aromas and flavors. Our 2013 Pinot Noir exudes rich varietal character complemented by the precise hand of oak. Fragrant aromas of coffee and cocoa converge with the grape’s inherent red fruit and forest floor character. The palate plays off the oak, delivering juicy cranberry and plum flavors with fine tannins and supple texture. Pair this generous Pinot Noir with roasted pork loin, creamy risotto or a variety of poultry dishes.”



Bogle Essential Red 2012
California. “Aged 18 months in American & French oak. A compelling blend of California’s finest plantings of 31% Old Vine Zinfandel, 19% Syrah, 24% Cabernet Sauvignon and 26% Petite Sirah, this wine surpasses all expectation for pure enjoyment and approachability. Calling on their years of experience and tradition, Bogle winemakers have delivered a wine with rich, enticing layers of complexity, ripe fruit, intense with flavors of boysenberries and sweet cherries and luscious vanilla, caressing the palate from barrel aging in American and French oak. It is juicy and silky throughout, with a finish that lingers of black licorice and spicy pipe tobacco.”



Kenwood Merlot Yalupa 2011
California. “A blend of 79% Merlot and 21% Cabernet Sauvignon that aged for 19 months in French and American oak. Kenwood Vineyards Yulupa Merlot is a wine specially crafted from select barrel lots of wines made from California’s best appellations. Aromas of fresh cherries and plum combine with interesting notes of cinnamon and toasty vanilla; well-structured tannins contribute rich mouthfeel and long finish. This wine is produced from select barrel lots of wines made from California’s best appellations. The 2011 vintage produced a small crop of grapes with exceptional character and flavor. Throughout harvest, fermentation and aging, we kept the individual vineyard lots separate. Before bottling our winemakers taste every barrel group to select those that complement each other. The final blend includes 21% Cabernet Sauvignon to add complexity and body to the wine. This delightful and approachable Merlot is an ideal accompaniment to pork, veal and lamb dishes, or for simply enjoying on its own.”



Kenwood Cabernet Sauvignon Jack London Vineyard 2011
Sonoma, California. “A blend of 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Merlot that aged for 25 months in 70% French and 30% American oak barrels. Cabernet Sauvignon thrives at Jack London Vineyards due to the optimum balance of warm morning sun and gentle cooling afternoon breezes, in combination with well-drained, deep, rich soils. The resulting wine from this Sonoma Mountain appellation is rich and complex with fruit aromas of dried cherries and black raspberries combine with aromatic notes of thyme, sage and a touch of mint vanilla. The wine has a rich, full-bodied mouthfeel with an excellent finish. The vintage of 2011 had mild growing conditions and the Jack London Vineyard produced a light crop load. The fruit was harvested over the course of several weeks in late September/early October as each vineyard block attained its maximum flavor and ripeness. After fermentation, the young wine was pressed and settled before being placed in barrels for aging. The resulting wine has rich mouthfeel, as well as powerful aromatics and fruit flavors. The wine is drinkable now, but should continue to develop for an additional five years. The intense and elegant flavors of the 2011 Jack London Cabernet Sauvignon complement a variety of hearty entrées, including roast beef and lamb.”


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