It’s hump day, week two of my 100 Washington wine reviews. In honor of “Hump Day” which is one of my busiest days at the store where I find myself pulled in all directions, I am going to go in several directions with my reviews. In fact, I am going to recognize five different wineries in this segment. Variety is the spice of wine, so here is a little variety for you this Wednesday, August 14, 2013 from my Moleskine.

2010 Seven Falls Winery Cabernet Sauvignon (Wahluke Slope, WA) … $15.

Ste. Michelle Winery has a huge umbrella under which sit many Washington wineries…Seven Falls is one of the newest. Wine maker Doug Gore who was head wine maker for Columbia Crest for twenty years is responsible for this new project by Ste Michelle. All his experience shows in this terrific cab.

Notes of currants, black licorice, and brown sugar come through on the nose backed by a meaty element and a little pencil lead. Sweet tannins back notes of black currants, black licorice and tobacco. Seamless on the palate with a backbone of acidity and spice. Expands on the mid-palate through the finish with lingering notes of ripe currants and spice. I think they want this wine in restaurants only, we will see how that goes. (A-)

2008 Le Chateau Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, WA) … $30.

I tasted this cab and wondered why I have never heard of this winery before. Veteran wine maker Brian Carlson has done and excellent job on this cab.

Aromas of currants and spice with a hit of mint. Back notes of oak and black cherries come through. Rich currant and black cherry notes hit on the front of the palate with a spicy edge and a little vegetation showing up. Leather and tobacco notes show on the mid-palate on sturdy tannins. Finishes with minty currant notes, a little tannic grip and spice notes that linger. This is a good example of a “New World” cab with an “Old World” bend. (A-)

2009 Kestrel Vintners “Falcon Series” Tribute Red (Yakima Valley, WA) … $21.

This is a very interesting blend from Kestrel… 52% Mouvedre, 44% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Sangiovese. Exhibits aromas of black currants with an edge of spice. Notes of licorice, tobacco and blackberries come through on the back-end. Nice intensity on the palate with notes of blackberries and currants showing on smooth tannins. Nice mouthfeel on this wine with some warm spice notes hitting on the mid-palate. Nice beam of minty acidity penetrates from start to finish. A little leather hit on the white pepper, currant and spice driven finish. The best Kestrel wine I’ve tasted in recenvit memory. (B+)

2008 Cote Bonneville Carriage House Red (DuBrul Vineyard Yakima Valley, WA) … $49.

I had a chance to visit Dubrul Vineyards a couple of years ago and meet Hugh Shiels, owner of Dubrul Vineyards and Cote Bonneville Winery. I have to tell you that I was thoroughly impressed with Hugh’s passion for farming grapes and his love of the product of the vine. The wines are a little pricey, but as far as value for the dollars, I have to admit that they are worth every penny. If this were a Napa product, it would be in the hundred-dollar range.

Aromas of red flowers, earth, cassis, cherries and sweet black licorice. Intense currant and dark cherry notes on the front of the palate with a back-drop of leather and licorice. Minerals and spice come through on the long finish of dark fruits. Excellent balance and good structure. 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc. (A)

2011 Renegade Wine Company Red (Columbia Valley, WA) … $10.

Being the Blue Collar wine guy that I am, I had to finish with a ten-dollar gem. I love what wine maker Trey Busch does. I don’t always like all his wines, but I love his high energy and intent. He hit the nail on the head with this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Petite Verdot.

Very interesting nose of liquid vitamins, iron, violets, black licorice and blackberries. Plush blackberry and plum notes on the front of the palate with hits of liquid vitamins (I hope you remember), and iron. There is a little gritty minerality that comes through on the finish. Nice balance, good fruit, and it never gets juicy or flabby on you. For ten bucks, this is a no-brainer and a perfect accompaniment to the back-yard BBQ. (B+)

I hope that was enough variety for you on this “Hump Day” of week two. See you tomorrow with five more. Cheers! Stan The Wine Man

About Stan The Wine Man

I am a blue collar wine guy who has been in the biz for over twenty years. I work at a store in a tourist destination stop. I work hard at finding the best wine for the money. I love the challenge of learning my customer's palate so I can find the best wine for them, whether it is Petrus or white zinfandel. Cheers!
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