FRIDAY’S FIVE

Despite how busy it is at the store, I need to continue to try and maintain a consistent writing schedule. I have been tasting quite a few wines each week and have found a number of them that made the grade to make it into the store. I enjoy sharing my tasting notes and hopefully help you to find a wine that fits your palate preferences. Here for your reading pleasure, are my notes from five wines that I have tasted recently.

2020 King Estate Rose’ of Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, OR)… $20.

Aromas of strawberries and cherries with a little pink rose and watermelon action. Crisp acidity drives cherry and strawberry notes on the palate with a little watermelon underneath. Pink and white flower notes pop on the mid-palate and fade away on the finish, where citrus notes sneak out and linger with the strawberry and cherry. (B+/A-)

2017 Next Red Blend (Columbia Valley, WA)… $19.

The nose on this is crazy! Notes of black plums, bacon fat and blueberries with a kiss of tobacco, char, wilted rose petal and coffee bean. Fresh acidity on the palate with notes of cranberries and blueberries up front and round red plum notes on the mid-palate into the fresh finish where under-ripe raspberry notes linger. This baby needs food. 40% Syrah, 40% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. (B-)

2018 Ryan Patrick Red Head Red (Columbia Valley, WA)… $11.

Smoke and blueberries on the nose, joined by currants and a kiss of beauty bark, earth and red flowers. This baby has good structure and slightly gritty tannins that support notes of beauty bark, smoke, and currants. with a little cherry and plum action. The tannins have a meaty element on the mid-palate into the finish where earth, red flowers and just a kiss of chocolate lingers. A blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot and Syrah. (C+/B-)

2017 Januik Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, WA)… $29.

Aromas of dark cherries, cedar, currants and wilted red flowers. Ripe currants and cherries all day on the palate with a slight hit of vanilla and caramel underneath. Interesting spice notes tickle the palate front to finish with a spine of freshness. Good integration and balance. Wilted red flower notes join the palate party on the back of the finish. (B+/A-)

2019 Daou Sauvignon Blanc (Paso Robles, CA)… $19.

Dried herbs on the nose, joined by notes of apple and slight grapefruit and pear. Solid pear notes on the front of the palate, with apple notes lingering underneath and a kiss of spice. Lemon notes come out on the back of the mid-palate into the finish. Good balance with soft acidity. (B-/B)

Cheers!

Stan The Wine Man

Posted in Friday's Five | Tagged | Leave a comment

BITS & BOBS

I was thinking about my winery of the year pick the other day. I think it’s time to begin a mid-term resurgence featuring Barnard Griffin wines. When Rob Griffin started up his winery in the early 1980s there was very few wineries to go up against. Now, Washington State boasts over a thousand wineries, all vying for the wine consumer’s attention. It’s easy for a winery like Barnard Griffin to get lost in the shuffle. I chose them as my winery of the year in 2020 because I feel Rob puts out some of the best values in Washington State wine. Even his reserves, which are outstanding, go for half the price of most reserve wines from other wineries in the state. So, it’s time for me to toot their horn once again on my blog and YouTube channel.

Speaking of my YouTube channel, I have been reviewing some very cool wines lately. In recent episodes, I have featured Muscadet (hey, hey, Muscadet) and a wine made from the grape Erbaluce. In my newest episode, I review a wine from Oregon that was produced during the Oregon wildfires in 2020, a tough year of fires in Washington, Oregon and California. The winery that produced this Pinot Noir got very creative. Check it out.

Sometimes I think I am the most disorganized person who gets a lot of things accomplished. How I do it is a mystery to me. However, it manifests itself in my blogging and YouTube world. I have missed posting my “Pick Of The Month” over the last several months. It’s frustrating when I look at the calendar and it’s already the 17th of the month and I realize I haven’t written the article featuring that wine. Every month I feature a wine at Kings Market (where I run the wine department and more) that sits in the same spot as all my picks each month at the front of the wine section. Most of my customers look for my pick each month and usually make a purchase to check it out. This month it is a cool little red from Italy made from the grapes Montepulciano and Sangiovese. Normally I go with whites in the summer. I chose this wine from Lifa Garofoli because it is a lighter style red that is perfect for grilled foods, whether it be chicken, fish, or red meat. It’s low in tannins but has complex flavors that give it nice diversity when it comes to food. If I were grilling a burger, this wine would be my choice. I would like to promise that I will do better keeping up with my blogging schedule. I hate making false promises, so I will just say that I hope to do better going forward. I have also been having a tough time keeping up with my YouTube schedule. I post episodes on Monday and Thursday. Lately, I’ve been good about the Monday posting, but have missed Thursday several times. I would love to make excuses, but as my football coach used to say, “Excuses are like bellybuttons, everybody has one.”

Cheers!

Stan The Wine Man

Posted in Bits & Bobs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

FRIDAY’S FIVE

Despite how busy it is at the store, I need to continue to try and maintain a consistent writing schedule. I have been tasting quite a few wines each week and have found a number of them that made the grade to make it into the store. I enjoy sharing my tasting notes and hopefully help you to find a wine that fits your palate preferences. Here for your reading pleasure are my notes from five wines that I have tasted recently.

2016 Gamache Vineyards Boulder Red (Columbia Valley, WA)… $24.

Aromas of raspberries and cranberries. A nice bed of minerality and balanced acidity support a big blast of blueberries up front followed by notes of raspberries and ripe cranberries. Solid spice notes come through on the back of the mid-palate into the finish, joined by notes of chocolate and licorice with a kiss of veggie. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot and Syrah. (B/B+)

2018 Tonmasi Poggio Al Tufo Vermentino (Toscana, Italy)… $10.

Lemon notes come through on the nose, joined by hits of saline, wet stone and lime sorbet. Fresh on the palate with notes of lemon and lime shining through with saline and green apple. Lemon-lime sorbet converges on the mid-palate into the finish where the wet stone notes pop and linger. Good balance and nice complexity for the money. (B+)

2019 Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles, CA)… $67.

Aromas of violets, currants and dark cherries with a kiss of earth and caramels. Big currant notes on the palate with a solid hit of chocolate and a pinch of caramel with violet notes lying underneath. Good balance and firm tannins. This baby has a long, long finish where spice notes come out and violet notes linger. (B+/A-)

2018 Daou Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Paso Robles, CA)… $56.

Dark cherries and currants on the nose, joined by notes of wilted dark flowers and tobacco with hints of licorice. Solid currant notes on the palate that rest on firm tannins with a solid kiss of milk chocolate underneath. Fresh acidity keeps the ripe fruit notes in check and gives it nice balance. This Cab is somewhat delicate in body with a little finesse to it. The tannins have a little grit on the back-end where tobacco and white pepper notes sneak out and linger. (B)

2020 Daou Chardonnay (Paso Robles, CA)… $23.

Butterscotch and butter on the nose with a backdrop of pear and biscotti. Creamy, round mouthfeel with notes of butterscotch and butter coming through. Pear notes hide underneath and baking spices pop on the mid-palate into the finish. Although big in the butter and butterscotch, there is a freshness from the acidity that keeps everything in balance. Nice integration of acidity and fruit. (B/B+)

Cheers!

Stan The Wine Man

Posted in Friday's Five | Tagged , | Leave a comment

BITS & BOBS

I am well aware of the need to consistently put content on this blog. I’ve missed the deadline I give myself a couple of times including last week. I hate to miss a week just so you know. I want to take a moment to thank Leonard (I hope I spelled it the way he does) who is always encouraging me with his compliments on my writing. It’s good to know that there are people out there who read my articles. Of course, there are many others, including my wife Susie who also encourage me to keep it up. I mentioned Leonard because he came up with a great idea for an article. He thought it would be good to write about my personal cellar, what I store away and include some pictures. What wine regions of the world do I favor in my stash? I agree with him that this is a subject that would pique the interest of my readers. It would be nice to add another dimension to my blog, so I am off and running on an article about my buying habits and what I store away for future enjoyment. If any of you out there have ideas for my blog, things you would like to read about, let me know. I am open to suggestions.

The San Juan County Health Department has announced that as of June 27th the mask mandate will be lifted in our county. We were one of only two counties in Washington State that kept the mask mandate in force (the other was King County) after Governor Inslee lifted it for the state over a month ago. I was a bit concerned when I heard that Frank James, our local health department officer decided to keep the mandate going. San Juan County has the highest vaccination rate in the country. We have had very few cases over the past year, zero deaths and maybe one admitted to the hospital. Almost all the cases were from locals, not tourists. Keeping the mandate in force longer just adds to the insecurity of people that think for some reason we are in danger if we take the masks off. It is so refreshing to go to the mainland and shop, eat and function without a mask. Sure, there are still a few businesses that continue to require masks. However, there are many that don’t and that feels good to me. We are headed back to normal.

Speaking of normal, I should be able to once again have in-person wine events at the Mullis Center. I am shooting for August with my fingers crossed. I have been using Zoom over the past year and it works well for tasting events. However, the amount of time it takes to get ready for one of the Zoom events is incredible. I’ve cleaned and filled over 5,000 sample bottles in the past fourteen months and let me tell you, that takes a lot of time. A few of my participants have expressed to me that they enjoy the Zoom events quite a bit. I will keep the Zoom option in my back pocket, but as soon as I can get back to in-person events, I’m doing it. I also am planning a Riesling education class. I have a lot of older Rieslings in my cellar and would love to educate people on this liquid that doesn’t get the respect it deserves. It will be a small group of about fifteen to twenty. If this is something that would interest you, let me know. There will be an entry fee, but it will be well worth it. Further details to come.

Cheers!

Stan The Wine Man

Posted in Bits & Bobs | Tagged , , | Leave a comment