Category Archives: Yakima Valley

Kevin White Yakima Valley Red Blend

Kevin White Impulse

Kevin White 2015 Yakima Valley Red Wine

Fellow wine lovers, a blockbuster wine from last year is back its second vintage today. Kevin White’s wines have been an Impulse favorite since we first featured them a few years ago, and last year he came out with a new wine, a declassified red made in the same style as his flagship Rhone style wines. The new vintage was just release and has already sold out on his website, disappearing in a flash, but we are lucky enough to have a bit to feature on Impulse today.

Kevin White 2015 Yakima Valley Red Wine $17.99

 If you like Rhone style reds from Washington State, Kevin White’s are not to be missed. This one in particular will be gone in a hurry, as there is so little of it made and the value is tremendous. It’s made using the same fruit from the same vineyards as is earth shattering La Fraternité and En Hommage wines, with Kevin assembling those two blends first, then everything else that’s still worthy goes into this Red Wine.

Simply put, the wine is really good! It’s beautiful, smooth, and spicy. It’s soft and medium bodied on the palate, very easy drinking, and ready now with the ability to lay down for a few years. It has a lovely nose of delicate red berries, with hints of pepper, herb, and rose petals. There are flavors of strawberry, cherry, and raspberry. A perfect every day drinker.

Kevin White Red Wine

Kevin White Winery Red Wine

Click here to order the Kevin White Red Blend

 Region: Yakima Valley

Grape(s): 44% Syrah, 31% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre

Drinkability: Now through 2021

Body: Medium

Alcohol: 14.9% by volume

Drink This if you Like: La Fraternité, En Hommage, W.T. Vintners, Savage Grace,

Food Pairing: Lamb Chops

Production: 466 cases
Cheers

Yashar

Ambassador Boushey Sauv Blanc

Ambassador Impulse:

Ambassador Winery 2015 Boushey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley

Fellow wine lovers, it’s no secret that I’m rather fond of Boushey Vineyard. I firmly hold the opinion that it’s one of the best vineyards in Washington State, and if you’ve had the wines, chances are you know what I’m talking about. Owners Dick and Luanne Boushey are meticulous stewards of the land, and their passion for what they do shines through immediately when you converse with either of them. Aside from knowing exactly how to farm their land, they’re also very particular about what wineries they will sell grapes to, making certain to only sell to the best of them. I’ve witnessed first hand, as they regularly collect and taste wines which incorporate their fruit year after year to ensure they are up to par.

Ambassador Winery 2015 Boushey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc $21.99

This is the first year that Ambassador Winery has made a Sauvignon Blanc, thus the production is a mere 300 cases. If you’re not familiar with Ambassador, they’re a smaller winery on Red Mountain, established approximately 10 years ago. Their own estate Red Mountain vineyards are planted only with red grapes, which are more suited to the hot climate of the region. For this reason, when they decided to make a white, they went to a cooler climate vineyard- Boushey.

I think Dick and Luanne Boushey will be pleased with the results, as Ambassador Winery has done right by their grapes. The wine is rather tightly wound for a Sauvignon Blanc, and really opens up with time, which can be good sign that it will age nicely for a few years. The nose shows hints of flint and mineral with a touch of citrus. The palate is bigger than the average Sauvignon Blanc, about medium-full in body for a crisp white. It’s fresh, and soft with notes of white peach, hints of tarragon, green and yellow apples, and asian pears. It’s a blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon, co-fermented in a combination of neutral French oak barrels and stainless steel, the result of which is a wine that is complex, subtle, and pleasing.

Ambassador Winery 2015 Boushey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Ambassador Winery 2015 Boushey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Click here to order the Ambassador Boushey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Region: Yakima Valley AVA, Washington State Wine
Vineyard(s): Boushey Vineyard
Grape(s): 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon
Aging: Co-Fermented and Aged in Neutral French Oak and Stainless Steel
Drinkability: Now through 2020
Body: Medium-Full
Alcohol: 13.8% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Fume Blanc, Bordeaux Blanc, Avennia Oliane, Efeste Sauvage
Food Pairing: Oysters, Soft Cheese
Production: 300 cases

Cheers

Yashar

Kevin White 2013 “Heritage” DuBrul Red

Heritage Impulse:

Kevin White 2013 “Heritage” DuBrul Vineyardm, Bordeaux Red, Yakima Valley, WA

Fellow wine lovers, we’ve all been loving the outstanding wines that Kevin White Winery has been putting out over their few short years of production. A few weeks ago we featured his new declassified Rhone Red with rave reviews, and today we are debuting a Reserve Cabernet Blend. The new Kevin White “Heritage” is a Cab/Merlot sourced from the DuBrul Vineyard.

Kevin White 2013 “Heritage” DuBrul Reserve Red $34.99

This is likely one of the most affordable wines made from DuBrul Vineyard fruit. DuBrul Vineyard has quickly become a favorite amongst many local winemakers and sommeliers alike, as it deliverswines of tremendous complexity and great balance. Cote Bonneville’s own DuBrul Estate wines start around $50 and go over $120. Even the Owen Roe DuBrul Vineyard wines go for $40 to $70, making the Kevin White an unparalleled value on a great wine. As with Kevin White’s previous wines, his preference for finesse in winemaking is ever-present, with delicate stylings and only 40% new French oak aging for 22 months.

The Heritage Reserve is 57% Cabernet Sauvignon and 43% Merlot from DuBrul Vineyard. Its nose conveys notes of dehydrated berries, smoke, and dried leaves. The palate is medium bodied and very approachable, showing notes of blackberries and tobacco, with hints of black olives, cherries and rose petals. Very easy drinking for a younger Cabernet Sauvignon based wine, and should also develop nicely for a few years. It’s perfect for Spring, because it’s not too heavy that you won’t want to drink it on a warm and sunny day, and it should pair wonderfully with grilled foods.

We have just 2 cases of the Kevin White “Heritage” DuBrul to offer on Impulse, and they are available first come first serve.

Kevin White 2013 Heritage DuBrul Vineyard Reserve

Kevin White 2013 Heritage DuBrul Vineyard Reserve

Click here to order the Kevin White “Heritage” DuBrul Cab/Merlot

Region: Yakima Valley AVA, Washington State Wine
Vineyard(s): DuBrul Vineyard
Grape(s): 57% Cabernet Sauvignon and 43% Merlot
Aging: 22 Months in 40% New French Oak Barrels
Drinkability: Now through 2021
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 14.4% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Train Station Cabernet, Owen Roe DuBrul Vineyard
Food Pairings: Grilled Foods
Production: 169 cases
Availability: 2 cases

Cheers

Yashar

Kevin White 2014 Red Wine

Kevin White Impulse

Kevin White 2014 Red Wine, Yakima Valley, WA

Fellow wine lovers, Kevin White Winery is on fire! White hot, if you will… Last year Kevin White was named “Winemaker to Watch” by Seattle Magazine’s Washington Wine Awards, and for those of you who have ordered his wine from me in the past, you have already discovered why. He’s just now launching a brand new Red Wine, and for only $17.99 – as if his previous wines were not already a killer deal, at around or under $30. His main line of wines are so small in production that you’ll recall we’ve typically only had 1 or 2 cases to offer on Impulse. Today’s new Red Wine is still only produced in finite quantity, 388 cases, but at least we’re able to get enough to let everyone stock up on this perfect everyday drinker

Kevin White Winery 2014 Red Wine $17.99

Seattle Magazine referred to his wines as being, “remarkable for their purity and freshness,” and called Kevin White himself a, “winemaker on the ascendancy”. This is undoubtedly a winery on the rise, but for now Kevin White is operating at a near microscopic production level. He makes so little wine, that it’s hard to find any around town. If you’ve had Kevin White’s other wines, you know his style to be delicate and very smooth, and this Red Wine is right in line with that. It showcases beautiful, clean, bright fruit, with hints of spice, and very little oak. It’s a blend of 54% Syrah, 23% Grenache, and 23% Mourvèdre, aged for 16 months in only 10% new French oak barrels.

It’s medium bodied, well balanced, and very easy drinking. Packed with plenty of complexity, especially considering the price, and is also very food friendly. The nose is full of bright berry notes and hints of tobacco. The palate shows blueberries, black plums, vanilla bean, a bit of cigar box, and preserved bing cherry. If you prefer your wines to not be heavy, with little to no oak, and no aggressive tannins, you’ll certainly love the Kevin White Red Wine.

Kevin White 2014 Red Wine

Kevin White Winery 2014 Red Wine

Click here to order the Kevin White Red Wine

Region: Yakima Valley AVA, Washington State Wine
Grape(s): 54% Syrah, 23% Grenache, and 23% Mourvèdre
Aging: 16 Months in 10% New French Oak Barrels
Drinkability: Now through 2020
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Côtes du Rhône, Perrin Family Wines, En Hommage, La Fraternité
Press: Kevin White name “Winemaker to Watch” by Seattle Magazine
Food Pairings: Very versatile, Duck, Red Meat, Grilled or Roasted Veg
Production: 388 cases

Cheers

Yashar

Cote Bonneville Train Station Cab

Stationed Impulse

Cote Bonneville “Train Station” 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

Fellow wine lovers, in 1991 the Shiels family purchased an apple orchard in the Yakima Valley and promptly tore it out in order to plant DuBrul Vineyard. Daughter Kerry later went UC Davis, arguably the best winemaking school in the world, to earn her Master’s degree in Viticulture and Enology, and has since taken her place as winemaker for the family’s estate winery, Cote Bonneville. The grapes from their vineyard are also purchased by some of the most recognizable wineries around- if you’re a fan of Owen Roe Winery’s red wines, odds are you’ve drank some DuBrul Vineyard fruit, whether it was in single vineyard form, or a Yakima Valley blend.

The wines Kerry makes at Cote Bonneville are easily some of the most age worthy reds of Washington State, and have achieved a cult-like following, fetching anywhere from $50 for their “Carriage House” Red to $120 per bottle for their flagship label. Lucky for us, they’ve recently introduced a second label called “Train Station”, which goes for a fraction of the price, while still demonstrating precisely what makes their wines so desirable.

Train Station by Cote Bonneville 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon $34.99

The new Train Station Cabernet is a winery only wine, and the Shiels family has been kind enough to allow us to offer it on Impulse. The name Train Station comes from the fact that dad Hugh has been a practicing Orthopedic Surgeon, with his office being in the old Grandview Train Depot, built in 1911, connecting Yakima to Walla Walla. This year, the Shiels have transformed the old train station into their new tasting room, which is the only place other than here where you can get this wine.

While in Yakima, I had an opportunity to taste the Train Station Cabernet at an event with several other top wineries from the area, and it was easily my favorite of the group – a real beauty! Plush and smooth, layered and complex. Made with Kerry’s signature delicate touch, and coming in at an impressively low 13.9% alcohol, it’s aged for 18 months in 25% new French oak, which is very well integrated. The nose is pretty with juicy notes of blueberries and raspberries, coupled with hints of spicy herbs and anise. The palate is very smooth yet well structured with tannins which are present but not aggressive. There are creamy milk chocolate notes aside notions of stone, loam, and graphite, wrapped in lovely ripe blackberries and cassis. A very well made wine, displaying lots of elegance, and it should gain even more complexity with a bit of time in the bottle.


Cote Bonneville "Train Station" 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

Cote Bonneville “Train Station” 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

Click here to order the Train Station Cabernet Sauvignon by Cote Bonneville

Region: Yakima Valley AVA, Washington State
Vineyard: DuBrul Vineyard
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: 18 Months in 25% New French Oak Barrels, 75% Used French Oak
Drinkability: Now through 2020
Body: Medium-Full
Alcohol: 13.9% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Cote Bonneville, Owen Roe Cabernet,
Food Pairings: Prime Rib
Production: 143 cases
Availability: 4 cases

Cheers

Yashar

French Creek: Cabernet Impulse

French Creek Vineyard 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Fellow wine lovers, I’m really excited about today’s Cabernet Sauvignon, and we are the first people anywhere to get to try it. I can easily put it among the top Cabs I’ve had in recent memory, in fact I think it’s the best Cabernet I’ve had in the last twelve months. You may remember last January when we had a very popular feature of Chardonnay by Maison Bleue Winery. That wine was made with grapes from French Creek Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, and since then, French Creek has started to make a small amount of wine under their own label.

This stuff is at the experimental stages, with seriously tiny amounts of it being made, and no one else has had it yet. They’ve recruited Trey Busch of Sleight of Hand Cellars to make this wine, and produced just around 45 cases of it, that’s just 2 barrels worth. Impulse Wine is all about super small batch wines, and I believe is the smallest production level of any wine featured on Impulse yet.

French Creek Vineyard 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon $28.99 (Regularly $34)

I had a really prime opportunity to explore French Creek Vineyard and their wines last year, and have been thoroughly impressed; their vineyard manager, Damon LaLonde, has quickly become a pal of mine. As a former Viticulturist for Chateau Ste. Michelle, he’s managed some of the top vineyards in the state. Nowadays, he manages some of the most up-and-coming vineyards in Washington, such as Red Heaven and Scooteney Flats, from which we’ve previously featured a few really great wines. As I tour the French Creek Vineyard with Damon, it becomes clear that he has a real passion for what he does, and really knows his way around the vines. He shows me some more experimental viticultural techniques, such as plantings on north-facing slopes, as well as a spiral vine training technique I personally have only seen in Breganze, Italy, where they refer to it as Torcolato. This Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Block 10 at French Creek Vineyard, which is planted back in 1991, and is farmed organically and sustainably.

You can taste the maturity in the vines, as well the perfect climatic conditions of the site, which is not too hot and not too cool. The result is a wine which is not heavy, not overbearing, with lots of layered complexity- genuinely one of the best Cabs of Washington State, for my palate. It doesn’t come with a lot of big, bold, in your face qualities; it’s nuanced with pure goodness and clean polished expressions of ripe black cherry fruit leather, tons of blackberry, homemade blueberry jam, and blackcurrant. There are hints of tar and autumn leaves, as the wine opens up really nicely toward articulations of vanilla, cookie dough, and toffee. Over time, it keeps going with notes of freshly brewed espresso and bittersweet dark chocolate, which combine for an almost tiramisu like notion. It ends with a bit of smoke and black pepper; a truly blissful iteration of Washington Cabernet!

It’s very dark in color, has medium-full body and finishes clean, without weighing down your palate. The mouth-feel is smooth, with plush and polished tannins, and just a hint of grip on the finish. It drinks great right off the bat, but also opens up really nicely. Popping the bottle and decanting ahead of time is definitely a plus, and the wine will age really well for up to decade. They seriously knocked it out of the park with this one.

Click here to order the French Creek Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon

French Creek Vineyard 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

French Creek Vineyard 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

Region: Yakima Valley AVA, Washington State
Vineyard: French Creek Vineyard, Block 10
Grape: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Aging: 50% New French Oak and 50% Used for 18 months
Drinkability: Now through 2023
Body: Medium-Full
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Betz Pere de Famille, Savage Grace Cab, Devil’s Playground Cab
Food Pairings: Prime Ribeye, Wagyu Carpaccio
Production: 45 cases

Cheers

Yashar

Waitsburg Cellars Impulse

Waitsburg Cellars 2013 “Cheninières” Chenin Blanc

Fellow wine lovers, Paul Gregutt is one of the most recognizable names in the Washington State wine industry. A long time writer, he held the wine columnist position for the Seattle Time for 12 years, was the Northwest wine editor for Wine Enthusiast Magazine, and has written a few books about Washington wine as well. Now he’s retired from the life of a Seattle journalist, and moved to the small town of Waitsburg, Washington, just north of Walla Walla. It’s from this new base of operations that he’s launched his own winery, named after the town.

Waitsburg was a chartered town prior to Washington officially becoming a state; their town motto is “One of a Kind” and Paul Gregutt has adopted the same notion for his wines, printing this maxim on the label and making less common grapes the focus of the winery.

Waitsburg Cellars 2013 “Cheninières” Chenin Blanc $16.99 (Regularly $20)

Waitsburg Cellars debuted strong with Chenin Blanc, a classic grape of France’s Loire Valley, where it’s most known to come from the villages of Vouvray and Savennières. Paul Gregutt calls this bottle “Cheninières”, which is a mash-up of the words Chenin and Savennières- an homage to the mostly drier, crisper styles of Chenin Blanc which come from this particular village.

If you want to make a splash with a grape like Chenin Blanc, the trick is to do it right. Paul Gregutt has sought out what might just be the best available Chenin Blanc grapes in Washington State- an Old Vine planting from 1978 at Upland Vineyard, in the Snipes Mountain AVA. While most of Old Vine Chenin Blanc in our state has been pulled out in the past few decades, this one still remains and is going strong.

This Cheninières displays lots of classic Chenin Blanc notes, with hints of cedar, wet wool, and lanolin wax. I also get notes of hazelnuts, red delicious apples, and a bit of cantaloupe, making for a great balance between sweet and savory flavors, just like the historic Chenins of France.

Waitsburg Cellars has been receiving generous press since they first came on the scene, with a feature article in Seattle Magazine, and this 2013 Cheninières being score 90 points by Harvey Steiman of WineSpectator Magazine who calls it a, “Tautly focused… dry white” with a, “generous finish” showing, “presence and depth”. Only 300 cases were made.

Click here to order the Waitsburg Cellars “Cheninières” Chenin Blanc

Waitsburg Cellars 2013 Cheninieres Chenin Blanc

Waitsburg Cellars 2013 Cheninieres Chenin Blanc

Region: Snipes Mountain AVA, Washington State
Vineyard: Upland Vineyard
Grape: 100% Old Vine Chenin Blanc, planted 1978
Aging: No Oak, Aged in 100% Stainless Steel
Drinkability: Now through 2017
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 13% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Vouvray Sec, Savennières
Press: 90 Points from Harvey Steiman Wine Spectator Magazine
Food Pairings: Squash Soup, Sweet Potato Casserole, Turkey
Production: 300 cases

Cheers

Yashar