Sunday, March 18, 2018

Mercer Wine Sauv Blanc, Sharp Sisters Blend and Malbec Washington

*Samples Received*

Periodically I receive samples and today's come from Mercer Wine in Prosser Wa. The family has been proudly farming the same property for over a century. Horse Heaven Hill AVA is in the southeastern part of Washington State bordering the Yakima Valley north and the Columbia River south. In 2016 Mercer was named 2016 Washington Winery of the Year.

First wine was the 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Horse Heaven Hills. 12.5% alcohol this is 100% sauvignon blanc fermented in stainless steel. The nose and mouth are so crisp and loaded with citrus. "Grapefruit, lychee, passion fruit and boxwood on the nose with gooseberry and mouth watering citrus on every sip". Crisp and refreshing and a very nice start to the evening.

Next the 2015 Sharp Sisters Red Blend. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Grenache and Carignne make this blend special. The grapes are harvested from 4 vineyards Dead Canyon, Eagle & Plow, Spice Cabinet and Milt's. Clocking in at 14.8% alcohol, the wine was aged 18 months in French and American oak all blended together at bottling. "Blackberry preserves and plums with notes of sage and sweet vanilla" treat the nose. The mouth jumped with clusters of red and dark berries even giving a jammy sensation, a hint of herb and toasted vanilla. Soft finish with the berries lingering. Real nice blend.

Final wine was the 2015 Malbec. 78% Malbec with a 22% splash of Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine was aged 18 months in new and old French clocking in at 14.8% alcohol. The fruit here comes from the Spice Cabinet Vineyard. Blackberry, red raspberry, coffee and vanilla bean treat the nose. The mouth was all dark fruit with juicy blackberry hints of expresso and fresh vanilla. Another nice wine.

You can taste wines at the Prosser Tasting Room attached to the winery at 3100 Lee Road. In Seattle stop by the Georgeown Tasting Room 6235 Airport WA S Suite 2 in Seattle.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

2013 Synthesis Napa Valley Cabernet Martin Ray Winery

*Sample Received*

Located in the Russian River Valley on the edge of Green Valley you will find Martin Ray Vineyards and Winery. The wine making team crafts these beautiful "wines of place" at one of the oldest continually working wineries in California. They tap the vineyards from their 12 acre estate, the mountain regions of Santa Cruz and Napa and Dry Creek Valley and the Sonoma Coast. It is at these vineyards which they carefully select the grapes that are worthy of the Martin Ray label.

The Synthesis Cabernet features the grapes of Napa. Stags Leap District, Rutherford and Diamond Mountain vineyards each with it's unique character, supplied the fruit for this bold yet elegant wine. 2013 was a great season for grape growing with many saying perfect. Yields were up on fruit along with the quality that enhanced flavor profiles. Hand picked and fermented in 5 ton open top fermentation tanks the 98% Cabernet and 2% Petit Verdot was aged 18 months in French oak barrels.

The nose is rich with cherry, blackberry, plum and blueberry fruit enhanced with a dash of baking spice giving you this warm fruit pie sensation. Allowing the wine to open in the glass this earthy, dusty, herbal kiss with hints of wildflowers. Wonderful pleasing aromatics.

The mouth exhibits juicy layers of fruit with a warm spice and toasty vanilla character. Creamy blueberry with a cherry accent followed by warm plum and blackberry. The spice is warm with a herbal toasty accent on the finish. Big tannins match the big flavor of this beauty. Well done

Swing by for a taste at 2191 Laguna Road Santa Rosa Ca. Well worth the stop, a palate pleaser.


Sunday, February 25, 2018

2011 Ceja Vineyards Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast Sonoma County

Been awhile since I sipped some Ceja Vineyards Wine so tonight was a perfect time with some Iitalian sausage lasagna. It started as I cooked after all one must taste what wine he is planning to serve with dinner.

Ceja Vineyards is an ultra premium Latino family winery located in beautiful Carneros and owned by Amelia, Pedro, Armando and Martha Ceja. Armando is the winemaker, one who grew up in the vineyards with dirt under his nails. He understands the vineyards, the terroir and it's influence on the aroma and flavor profiles of the wine he creates. You can taste his perfected craft in every bottle of Ceja wine.

Who leads this organization and relentlessly promotes the brand many times crossing the country to talk with potential customers and those friends of the wine.....yes it would be Amelia Ceja. I remember the first time we met in their home. Gracious, welcoming, knowledgeable and willing to talk about their story from the early days in Mexico to the owning of their own business today. It truly is a family business with many in the family providing a helping hand. With each varietal tasted the story behind the vineyard location to harvest to cellar and finally to the bottle.

The nose is full of red berry clusters (cherry and raspberry) with hints of plum and cola. Earthy herbal notes greet the senses as you continue to swirl. Love the aromatics on the coastal pinot.

The mouth is rich and elegant with the juicy berry clusters of cherry, red and black raspberry from start to finish. Intertwined among the lush layers of fruit is a hint of dried herbs. A beautiful wine which treated my palate. Nicely done Armando!

Swing by their tasting room in Sonoma and taste this families portfolio of wine. A stop you won't want to miss.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

2014 Campesino Cellars Grenache Steel Plow Vineyard Sonoma Valley

A great evening when I open a bottle of Campesino Cellars wine from winemaker Macario Montoya. Along with his wife Griselda, they together own this wonderful boutique winery. You could say they were both called to the vines at an early age. Macario as he tagged along with his parents to wine tastings and Griselda who grew up with the vines and dirt in her blood with her parents and siblings. Destiny called and they answered.

When you taste their wines a picture is painted of the earth, vines and climate of the vineyard. The fruits are ripe, harvested at optimal rippening. The tannins are soft and elegant. Regardless if Grenache, Rose, or their Red and White Blends, every bottle is consistently outstanding and a true expression of hands on wine making.

Tonight's 2014 Grenache shows beautifully on the nose with dark cherry, raspberry and wild strawberry clusters bursting from the glass followed by cinnamon, pepper and earthiness. Wonderful aromatics.

The mouth is so juicy with raspberry, strawberry and hints of dark cherry with a kiss of spice. Delicious fruit forward wine and such a long juicy finish. Another exceptional bottle Macario and Griselda (pairs well with spaghetti)! Can't wait to see what's next!

Currently their 2014 Alina and Baybos blends are available by clicking the order wine link. I've had both and you will thank me later!


Thursday, February 8, 2018

2013 Rodney Strong Symmetry Red Meritage Alexander Valley

*Sample Received*

Big fan of blends and this Symmetry Red Meritage from Rodney Strong Vineyards. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Merlot aged 19 months in French Oak make up this lush aromatic wine.

The grapes were hand harvested from the vineyards on the hills overlooking the valley. Cluster pre-sorting, berry sorting and extended maceration are some of the state of the art techniques used in the Artisan Cellar, named for making small lot wine. Yes this is where Symmetry turned itself into this beauty of a wine with a little help from the winemakers.

The nose screams dark fruit with dark cherry, blackberry and plum clusters with floral hints, mocha and baking spice. Rich, elegant aromas treat the senses.

The mouth is complex and layered with blackberry, raspberry, cherry and hints of blueberry and plum surrounded by silky chocolate, vanilla and baking spice. Love how the flavors roll across the mouth with each sip. Savor and enjoy this gem my friends.