Tag Archives: Vineyard

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

Ross Andrew 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris Impulse

Ross Andrew 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris, Columbia Gorge, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, it’s a nice sunny day today and I’m in the mood for a refreshing white wine. You don’t see me featuring many Washington State Pinot Gris, but when I find a good one I commit to it. I think the only two we’ve offered on Impulse have been the Nine Hats Pinot Gris and the Ross Andrew Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris, and it’s even been a while since we’ve worked with either of those.

Personally, I’ve been a fan of Ross Andrew Mickel’s wines for a decade now. He used to be the assistant winemaker at Betz Family Winery, back in the early 2000’s, and is an all around great guy. When I was working at Matthews Cellars in 2006/2007, Ross would occasionally come by to borrow a piece of equipment. We were among the few in Woodinville with top of the line winemaking gear back then, so many smaller wineries would come to our facility to use our stuff. Because of this, I had several good opportunities to chat with Ross, even work with him a bit in the cellar. I always found him to be very knowledgeable and passionate about wine.

Ross Andrew Winery 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris $18.99 (Regularly $24)

Sitting at an elevation of 1,370 feet in the cooler climate of the Columbia Gorge region of Washington State, Celilo Vineyard is well suited for the production of refreshing and crisp white wines. Ross Andrew has been doing a bang-up job with Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris for several years now, truly expressing its sense of place. It comes from old vines, some older than 43 years, and they make certain to hand-harvest amidst the cool of the morning, so as to keep the newly picked grapes as fresh as possible.

Ross Andrew ages the Celilo Pinot Gris in stainless steel vessels for 4 months, with no oak, so as to maintain the bright and vibrant nature of the grape. During that time, the wine is kept on its lees, so as add a supplementary layer of complexity. It’s an invigorating wine, with just a hint of sweetness in the middle, and a clean dry finish. Starting with clean and pretty fruits of anjou pear, Tuscan melon, white peach, lemon zest and tangerine peel, it moves towards hints of hazelnut, kiwi, and freshly plucked jasmine. The palate has a little bit of residual sugar, which makes for a beautifully viscous wine, and everything is very nicely balanced. An excellent companion to light seafood dishes such as prawns, ceviche, and oysters.

Click here to order the Ross Andrew Celilo Pinot Gris

Ross Andrew 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris

Ross Andrew 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris

Region: Columbia Gorge

Vineyard(s): Celilo Vineyard

Grape(s): Pinot Gris

Aging: 4 Months on Less in Stainless Steel

Drinkability: Now through 2018

Body: Medium

Alcohol: 13.8% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Nine Hats Pinot Gris, Alsatian Pinot Gris

Food Pairing: Prawns, Ceviche, Oysters

Production: 950 cases

Cheers

Yashar

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

Red Car Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Flash Impulse: 30% Off Pinot Noir Today Only

Red Car 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Fellow wine lovers, I have a bit of lead time on today’s flash sale, allowing me to do a more thorough write-up. Coming in at just over 30% off, it’s an excellent Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir which sells on the winery’s own site for $45, but we have it for $29.99 just for the day. All orders must be in by midnight tonight, Friday December 16th, or until it sells out, whichever comes first

Red Car Winery is a newer one, launched around 2000. They take their name from the Red Car Trolleys which once traversed the streets of Los Angeles. They hold the belief that wine should embody the place from which it originates, and this sentiment is summed up nicely in their own words, “Wine is important because it connects us to nature. But to offer meaning beyond itself, a wine has to come from a certain place, not just any place. And the winemaker must stand aside and allow that place to transmit its story without manipulation. This is our never-ending pursuit at Red Car.”

It’s rated 91 points by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, with the following tasting note provided:  “This wine draws from a handful of tremendous vineyard sites, including the producer’s estate, Platt and Clary Ranch, all cool-climate and windswept. It’s a tight, light and minimally messed-with wine…”

At Red Car Winery, they’re believers in cooler climate viticulture, hence their sourcing from the Sonoma Coast. The grapes for this Pinot Noir come from cooler sites which are both at higher elevation and close to the coast, yet the wine is still ripe and luscious- not thin and ultra-light as we’ve seen with many Pinot Noirs lately. It’s fermented with 13% stem inclusion to add some meat and earth notes, then aged in 100% French oak barrels, 10% of which are new. Ripe dark cherry and strawberry jam, hints of rose petals, cedar, dried leaves, just a touch of vanilla, are what drive this wines tasty profile.

Red Car 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Red Car 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Just a few cases are available, and they are first come first serve.

Click here to order the Red Car 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Region: Sonoma Coast AVA, California
Vineyard(s): Red Car Estate, Platt, Bohemian Station, Falstaff, Riddle Ranch, Hagan, Clary Ranch
Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Aging: 100% French Oak Barrels, 10% New, 90% Used
Drinkability: Now through 2019
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 13.3% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Failla, Flowers, La Crema, Littorai, Patz & Hall
Press: 91 Points Wine Enthusiast

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

Newsprint 2014 Malbec

Newsprint Impulse

Guardian Cellars “Newsprint” 2014 Malbec, StoneTree Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, last year we debuted a new series of wines by Guardian Cellars, called Newsprint Wines. The label is an homage to owner Jennifer Sullivan’s long time career as a reporter with the Seattle Times, while the original Guardian Cellars label is a nod to husband and co-owner Jerry’s careers as a police officer. The Newsprint wines showcase the same level of care and dedication as Guardian Cellars, along with top vineyard sourcing- only they carry a lighter price tag.

Newsprint Wines 2014 Malbec $17.99

This year’s Malbec is big and juicy, even more so than last year’s. With lots of ripe jammy fruit, and bold yet velvety texture, this Newsprint Malbec mirrors the Malbecs of Argentina more closely than most I’ve seen. Very enjoyable and easy to drink, it’s 100% Malbec aged in 21% new French oak. The grapes are sourced from the Wahluke Slope region, specifically from StoneTree Vineyard. StoneTree is one of the Washington State Wine industry’s best kept secrets, and a long-time favorite among winemakers. It’s not very well known by the public, but vintners who source here are extremely fond of it. I’ve visited the site myself and had pointed out to me how perfectly manicured the vineyard is. There’s virtually not a thing out of place among the rows, vines, and grape bunches at StoneTree. It’s truly an exemplary site.

The wine itself is just plain delicious, with smooth and unctuous texture to boot. Serving up flavors or black cherry jam, stewed black plum, with a touch of blueberry pancakes, it’s easily a crowd-pleaser. Newsprint Malbec ends with a long lingering finish, hinting of cocoa and violets. Jennifer and Jerry made just 350 cases of this beauty.

Newsprint 2014 Malbec

Newsprint 2014 Malbec

Click here to order the Newsprint 2014 Malbec

Region: Wahluke Slope AVA, Washington State Wine
Vineyard(s): StoneTree Vineyard
Grape(s): 100% Malbec
Aging: 21% New French Oak barrels, 79% Once Used
Drinkability: Now through 2019
Body: Full
Alcohol: 14.3% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Argentine Malbec, California Zinfandel, Australian Shiraz
Production: 350 cases

Cheers

Yashar

The Walls Vineyards Chardonnay

New Yorker Impulse

The Walls Vineyards 2014 “Les Jeunes Vignes” Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, almost everyone knows and enjoys the cartoon stylings of The New Yorker Magazine, and many people are fans of the wines turned out by Corliss Estates in Walla Walla, and their sibling winery, Tranche Cellars. Something I never expected is to see elements from the two converging into a single new wine project from Walla Walla, but that’s what’s happening now.

Ali Mayfield, formerly on the winemaking team for Corliss/Tranche, is launching a brand new winery, with label art drawn by a New Yorker Magazine cartoonist. The result is great wines, fun labels, and something exciting and new for us to share.

The Walls Vineyards 2014 “Les Jeunes Vignes” Chardonnay $24.99

For this Chardonnay, Ali is seeking out warmer vineyard sites which give rise to bigger and riper wines, conveying the full magnitude of complexity which Washington State can express. Despite the name translating into “young vines”, the plantings go back as far as 1982, which is rather mature. She is sourcing from Conner Lee Vineyard and Stillwater Creek Vineyard, which are often the backbone of well known washington Chardonnays from the likes of Buty Winery, Tenor, Ashan Cellars, and Gorman Winery. While I’ve typically leaned toward more delicate styles of Chardonnay to offer on Impulse, this one is a bit bigger, yet still very balanced- so if you’ve been looking for something with more oak and butter, this one is for you.

The Walls “Les Jeunes Vignes” Chardonnay is barrel fermented in 78% new French oak barrels and 22% stainless steel barrels, and then aged for 11 months in those same vessels. The result is a generous flavors of vanilla bean and freshly made toast, with hints of custard and buttered popcorn. The Chardonnay is equitably ripe, showing classic notes of golden delicious apple and bartlett pear, with hints of pineapple and lemon. It finishes clean with hints of mineral, and is overall a lovely Chardonnay which competes well with many priced $5 or $10 higher.

The Walls Vineyards 2014 "Les Jeunes Vignes" Chardonnay

The Walls Vineyards 2014 “Les Jeunes Vignes” Chardonnay

Click here to order the The Walls Vineyards “Les Jeunes Vignes” Chardonnay

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine
Vineyard(s): Conner Lee Vineyard and Stillwater Creek Vineyard
Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay
Aging: Barrel Fermented in 78% New French Oak Barrels and 22% Stainless Steel Barrels, and Aged for 11 Months
Drinkability: Now through 2018
Body: Medium-Full
Alcohol: 13.9% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Chard from Woodward Canyon, Buty, Tenor, Ashan, Gorman
Food Pairing: Wild Caught Alaskan Halibut, Copper River King Salmon
Production: 241 cases

Cheers

Yashar