Tag Archives: Cellars

College Cellars Muscat Ottonel

Muscat Ottonel Impulse

College Cellars of Walla Walla 2016 Muscat Ottonel

Fellow wine lovers, College Cellars of Walla Walla continues to top the charts at big-time national wine competitions- this time it’s their Muscat Ottonel. You may remember that we featured their Viognier and Rosé last year, but here is a quick refresher on the winery. These wines are made by winemaking students at the Walla Walla Community College, under the instruction of top industry leaders, and advisement from Walla Walla’s biggest names such as Rick Small of Woodward Canyon, and Gary and Chris Figgins of Leonetti/Figgins. The wine program and today’s featured Muscat have been written about a number of times by Andy Perdue, and you can read a recent article by clicking here.

College Cellars of Walla Walla 2016 Muscat Ottonel $16.99

The College Cellars Muscat Ottonel was awarded Double Gold at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, which is among the top 3 most prestigious wine competitions in the nation. Right now, just five cases have made it over the mountains from Walla Walla, and we are offering them first come first serve. It’s a single vineyard Muscat from Red Boar Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley, and it’s done in an effervescent and off-dry (medium-sweet) style. The wine features a playful nose of stone fruits, starburst chews, and citrus zest. It tickles your palate with its lightly sparkling nature, and tastes of ripe peaches, candied lemons, and hints of pears.

 Click here to order the College Cellars of Walla Walla Muscat Ottonel

College Cellars of Walla Walla 2016 Muscat Ottonel

College Cellars of Walla Walla 2016 Muscat Ottonel

Region: Walla Walla Valley AVA, Washington State Wine

Vineyard(s): Red Boar Vineyard

Grape(s): Muscat Ottonel

Drinkability: Now to 2018

Sweetness: Off-Dry, Medium-Sweet, 6% Residual Sugar

Alcohol: 9% by volume

Drink This if you Like:

Press: Double Gold – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Food Pairing: Spicy Asian Cuisine, Fresh Salads, Blue Cheeses

Availability: 5 cases

Cheers

Yashar

Secret Squirrel 2013 Bordeaux Red

Blended Impulse

Secret Squirrel 2013 Bordeaux Red, Columbia Valley, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, Washington State is certainly among the best in the world at putting together scrumptious Bordeaux style blends. Today it’s a Bordeaux blend by Secret Squirrel, dominated by Cabernet and Merlot. They had a 2012 Bordeaux blend last year, but I didn’t feel the quality was on par with their other wines, however their recently release 2013 Bordeaux definitely makes the cut. If you’ve enjoyed their Cabernet and their GSM from our previous offers on Impulse, you’ll surely enjoy this one

Secret Squirrel 2013 Bordeaux Red $24.99

The Secret Squirrel 2013 Bordeaux red is a crowd pleaser. It’s comprised of the classic Bordeaux grapes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec, all sourced from the Corliss Estate vineyards, aged for 22 months in 35% new French oak. It’s medium-full in body, and smooth with lovely dark color. There are notes of blueberries, blackberry, black currants, and stewed black plumbs, followed by hints of vanilla, toast, and sage. The finish is clean, medium long, and shows hint of crushed rocks.

Click here to order the Secret Squirrel Bordeaux Red

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine

Vineyard(s): Corliss Estate Vineyards

Grape(s): Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec

Aging: 22 Months in 35% New French Oak

Drinkability: Now through 2020

Body: Medium-Full

Alcohol: 14.5% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Avennia, Manu Propria, Numbskull

Cheers

Yashar

Underground Wine Project 2014 Devil’s Playground

Devil’s Impulse

Underground Wine Project 2014 Devil’s Playground, Red Mountain, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, another Impulse favorite is back with a new vintage, the Devil’s Playground Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s yet another hit from Underground Wine Project, who also gave us Idle Hands and the Mr. Pink Rosé, all of which are huge hits. Mark Ryan McNeilly and Trey Busch continue to outdo themselves, and just about everyone else, with this collaboration series which brings to the table supremely enjoyable and hedonistic wines, with fantastic pricing.

Devil’s Playground 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon $31.99

The 2014 Devil’s Playground is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon with 10% Syrah added to soften up the tannins and add extra layers of flavor. The grapes are sourced from Quintessence Vineyard, which I’m sure I’ve raved about as being among my favorite new vineyards on Red Mountain. The wine is aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak, and the final product is big, bold, soft, deep, rich, and smooth.

The nose is full of big ripe fruit, baking spices, cocoa nibs, and toast, going down many layers. The palate is medium-full, soft, and easy drinking, with loads of blackberries and raspberries. There are notes of mocha, cassis, vanilla bean pod, and smoke. A serious crowd-pleaser, outright delicious!

Underground Wine Project Devil's Playground 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Underground Wine Project Devil’s Playground 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Click here to order the Devil’s Playground Cab

Region: Red Mountain

Vineyard(s): Quintessence Vineyard

Grape(s): 90% Cabernet Sauvignon 10% Syrah

Aging: 24 Months in 100% Few French Oak

Drinkability: Now through 2020

Body: Medium-Full

Alcohol: 14.9% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Idle Hands, Secret Squirrel, Old Scratch

Cheers

Yashar

And Why Am I Mr Pink Mr Pink Rosé

Mr Pink Impulse

And Why Am I Mr Pink Mr Pink Rosé by Underground Wine Project

Fellow wine lovers, it’s back! Last year’s most popular debuting Rosé is back for its second vintage, and they tell me it will sell out just as quickly as it did the last time. It’s the “And Why am I Mr. Pink” Rosé, by Underground Wine Project – A Collaboration between Mark Ryan Winery and Sleight of Hand Cellars, so you know it comes from good stock. I know it’s a bit tricky, because you might be looking outside and thinking it’s not yet time for Rosé, but Rosé releases are coming earlier each year to allow early birds to jump on them. Last year, a lot of people were asking for this wine into the height of summer, and it was long gone by that time, so I recommend stocking up on your year’s supply now while it’s still available.

And Why am I Mr. Pink 2016 Rosé of Sangiovese $11.99

It’s very much so on par with the previous vintage. Bright and fruity, with just a hint of sweetness. The nose has the essence of orange blossoms and nectarines, while the palate shows flavors of watermelon, grapefruit, and strawberry yogurt. It’s bright and refreshing, making your mouth water just a bit. Spring is just around the corner, and we’ll all be very happy to have this one stashed away when the seasons change.

Underground Wine Project 2016 "And Why am I Mr Pink" Rosé

Underground Wine Project 2016 “And Why am I Mr Pink” Rosé

Click here to order the And Why am I Mr. Pink Rosé

Region: Columbia Valley

Grape(s): 100% Sangiovese

Aging: 4 Months in Stainless Steel

Drinkability: Now through 2017

Body: Medium-Full for a Rosé

Alcohol: 12.5% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Julia’s Dazzle

Food Pairing: Oysters, Prawns, Salmon

Cheers

Yashar

Sparkman Cellars Kindred Chardonnay

Kindred Impulse

Sparkman Cellars 2014 “Kindred” Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, I first met Chris Sparkman back in 2006, when I was working at Matthews Cellars and he was the General Manager of The Waterfront Restaurant, now Aqua by El Gaucho. That same year, he debuted Sparkman Cellars, and we did a collaboration winemaker dinner for the Auction of Washington Wines. With his years of experience in the food and beverage business, and having Mark Ryan McNeilly as his consulting winemaker for the first few years, he was well on his way to success.

Sparkman Cellars 2014 “Kindred” Chardonnay $17.99

Now Sparkman Cellars has a value line of wines called “Kindred”, and the 2014 Chardonnay offers a lot of bang for the buck. It’s a nice, fat, buttery, Chardonnay with a healthy amount of oak. The fruit is sourced from Oasis, Olsen, and Stillwater Creek Vineyards, then aged for 18 months in 27% new French oak barrels. It tastes of fresh apricots, yellow apples, and hints of hazelnuts and straw, finishing with a rich and creamy texture.

Sparkman made just 334 cases of their Kindred Chardonnay

Click here to order the Sparkman Kindred Chardonnay

Sparkman Kindred Chardonnay

Sparkman Kindred Chardonnay

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine

Vineyard(s): 60% Oasis, 33% Olsen, 7% Stillwater Creek

Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay

Aging: 27% New French Oak Barrels for 18 Months

Drinkability: Now through 2018

Body: Medium-Full

Alcohol: 14.5% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Disruption Chardonnay, La Crema

Food Pairing: Scallops, Pasta with Cream Sauce, Chicken

Production: 334 cases

Damsel Cellars Stillwater Creek Syrah

Damsel Impulse

Damsel Cellars 2013 Syrah, Stillwater Creek Vineyard, Columbia Valley, WA

Fellow wine lovers, not every Damsel is in distress. In fact, today’s Damsel seems to have things pretty well in order. Damsel Cellars is a new winery started by owner and winemaker Mari Womack. She spent a several years working and volunteering at boutique Washington wineries such as Obelisco, Bear, and Darby, before having the gumption to start her own project. Now into her second vintage, she’s making some wines worth sharing on Impulse.

Damsel Cellars 2013 Columbia Valley Syrah $34.99

Mari Womack is focusing on making all 100% single varietal wines, such as this Syrah, which is also a single vineyard Syrah, all from Stillwater Creek Vineyard in the Columbia Valley. Over the past 10 or so years, Stillwater Creek has become a favored site for Syrah, and other varieties, among boutique winemakers in Washington. I myself had the pleasure of working with their Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and other grapes, when I was making wine at Matthews back in the day. It’s a very well managed vineyard, growing excellent wine grapes.

The Damsel Cellars 2013 Columbia Valley Syrah is aged for 14 months in 25% new French oak barrels. Mari Womack also included 25% stems in the fermentation, which bring a bit of earth tones to the profile, as well as adding texture and a bit of tannin. It’s a smooth wine, but does have a bit of grip to the palate, and those extra tannins will go a long in making this an ageable and food friendly wine, especially with a fatty meat dish. The nose reminds me of the sweet smoky essence of a barbecue pit, with notes of black raspberry, cured olives, and hints of tobacco and dried leaves. The color is deep and dark, and the palate is full bodied, with flavors of vanilla, cherries, blueberries, and hints of toast. It finishes with a hint of game and palate cleansing acidity.

Click here to order the Damsel Cellars Syrah

Damsel Cellars 2013 Syrah

Damsel Cellars 2013 Syrah

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine

Vineyard(s): Stillwater Creek Vineyard

Grape(s): 100% Syrah

Aging: 14 Months in 25% New French, 25% Stem Inclusion

Drinkability: Now through 2021

Body: Full body

Alcohol: 14.5% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Darby Cellars, Mark Ryan, DeLille Doyenne

Food Pairing: Burgers, Steaks, Summer Sausage

Production: 104 cases

Leah Jorgensen “Loiregon” Cabernet Franc

Pirate Impulse

Leah Jorgensen 2014 “Loiregon” Cabernet Franc

Fellow wine lovers, last year, Leah Jorgensen Cellars was named “Winery to Watch” by Northwest Wine Press Magazine. Leah is an up and coming winemaker who is working at the venerable Evening LandWinery, while making small quantities of wine under her own label.

Back in the day, she worked wine sales in Washington DC, but fell in love with what Oregon has to offer during a trip to the state’s wine country. She has a real passion for the grapes of the Loire Valley of France, and has gone against the grain in Oregon by putting the focus of Leah Jorgensen Cellars on varieties such as Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, which can grow well in the slightly warmer parts of Southern Oregon. I’m told that in Oregon, Leah Jorgensen is known by her nickname, The Pirate Queen, and the imagery on the wine’s label is of her depicted as such.

Leah Jorgensen 2014 “Loiregon” Cabernet Franc $23.99 (Regularly $26)

The name “Loiregon” comes from combining the words Loire and Oregon, since Leah Jorgensen’s ultimate goal is to make Loire style wines in Oregon State. For this Cabernet Franc, she tapped two vineyards in two separate regions of Southern Oregon: Sundown Vineyard in the Rogue Valley, and Mae’s Vineyard in the Applegate Valley.

True to the French style, this is a lighter style of Cabernet Franc, aged in a combination of used French oak barrels and stainless steel vessels. The nose shows delicate fruit notes of dried cherries, crushed rose petals, hints dried leaves. The palate is medium-light in body and dry, tasting of preserves plums, brandied cherries, black tea, wet stones, and spicy herbs. I’m of the opinion that a gentle style of Cabernet Franc, such as this, is very versatile with food and can pair if a really wide variety of dishes.

Leah Jorgensen 2014 "Loiregon" Cabernet Franc

Leah Jorgensen 2014 “Loiregon” Cabernet Franc

Click here to Order the Leah Jorgensen Cabernet Franc

Region: Rogue Valley & Applegate Valley AVAs in Southern Oregon
Vineyard: Sundown Vineyard and Mae’s Vineyard
Grape: 100% Cabernet Franc
Aging: Used French Oak Barrels and Stainless Steel
Drinkability: Now through 2019
Body: Medium-Light
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Lorie Valley Cabernet Franc, Savage Grace Cabernet Franc,
Chinon, Bourgueil, Saumur
Press: Named “Winery to Watch” by Northwest Wine Press Magazine
Food Pairings: Roast Beef or Lamb, Roasted Vegetable
Production: 260 cases

Cheers

Yashar