Tag Archives: winery

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

Broadside Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Paso Robles Impulse

Broadside 2014 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Fellow wine lovers, for many today and yesterday are snow days, and I feel like we need a big warm Cabernet to cozy up to. I’ve long been a fan of the boldness, purity, and beauty of Paso Robles wines, but they are not very well represented here in Washington State. In many ways, I think of Paso Robles as the Washington of California. When I visited the region a few years ago, I found the culture of the wine industry there to be very similar to our own, and the winemaking style is somewhat similar as well, yet distinctly different. The wines of Paso Robles are a tremendous value, and often can go toe to toe with a big bold red from Napa for half the price, which is certainly the case for today’s Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon

Broadside Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles $14.99 (Regularly $18)

In the short time they’ve been around, the Broadside wines have been written up by the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonne, and even been reviewed by Channing Tatum and Snoop Dogg. Husband and wife team Brian and Stephanie Terrizzi run the show as owners and operators, with Brian focused on the winemaking and Stephanie on the viticulture. Stephanie has degrees in enology, chemistry, and plant science, and was recently nominated as winegrape grower of the year in San Luis Obispo County. Brian spent several years making wine for others in Italy, Sonoma, and Santa Barbara County, before the couple decided to start a home and a winery in Paso Robles

Wine Enthusiast Magazine has called Broadside, “A go-to brand for everyday sipping,” and personal I agree. It’s a smooth and easy drinking wine with lots of deep dark color. Pretty aromas jump out of the glass immediately, showcasing the popular style of ripe and dense reds which Paso Robles has come to be known for. There are scents of menthol, blueberries, and dark cherries on the nose. The palate is velvety smooth, with flavors of stewed plums, raspberry jam, Chambord liqueur, trailed by hints of cedar, cola, and leather.

Broadside Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Broadside Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Click here to order the Broadside Paso Robles Cabernet

Region: Santa Margarita Ranch & Estrella District Sub Regions, Paso Robles AVA, California

Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging: 14 Months in Neutral French & American Oak

Drinkability: Now through 2020

Body: Full

Alcohol: 13.9% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Argentine Malbec, Napa Cab, California Zinfandel

Cheers

Yashar

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

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

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

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

Les Trouvés Red Wine

Trove Impulse

Les Trouvés 2013 Red Wine by Avennia

Fellow wine lovers, the wine industry has a-buzz this week with everyone raving about a brand new offshoot label by the good people of Avennia Winery – winemaker Chris Peterson and business partner Marty Taucher. They’re introducing a completely new set of wines called “Les Trouvés”, named for a French expression meaning found or discovered. They’ve been giving some some sneak previews of the wines, ahead of its official release, and we are among the first to have the pleasure of trying it.

Les Trouvés (by Avennia) 2013 Red Wine $24.99

The idea with this new wine is to keep things simple and easy drinking, modeling it after the wines of Southern France, specifically Provence. There, the the warm Mediterranean climate (not unlike our current climate here in Seattle) calls for a more refreshing style of red, with less oak and a more relaxed disposition. This is a traditional Provencal style blend of Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah, about half of which comes from declassified Avennia juice, while the rest is source by Chris Peterson, négociant style, from the Rocks in Walla Walla, Red Mountain, and the Horse Heaven Hills.

It’s a completely different style than what we’ve seen from Chris Peterson in his Avennia and Passing Time wines, but still holds the same high standards in quality and value. The nose is aromatic with hints of flowers, juicy red fruits, and a touch of bubblegum-like character. The palate is easy, medium-bodied, and holds flavors of brandied cherries and herbes de Provence, backed by a bit of meaty gamey quality and hints of lavender. This is a perfect wine to enjoy at a bistro in Provence, or in the comfort of your own patio on a beautiful day.

Les Trouvés 2013 Red Wine

Les Trouvés 2013 Red Wine

Click here to order the Les Trouvés Red wine

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State
Grapes: Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah
Drinkability: Now through 2018
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Southern Rhone, Provence, Côtes du Rhône
Press: Seattle Metropolitan Magazine Weekly Wine Pick by Sean Sullivan
Food Pairings: Antipasti on the patio
Production: 400 cases

Cheers

Yashar