merlot

A day at Bartholomew Winery

A day at Bartholomew Winery celo4life

On October 9, 2010, I had the pleasure of touring various wineries throughout the day. My first stop was Bartholomew Winery, where I had the pleasure of pouring for their opening weekend. Bartholomew Winery is an up and coming winery next to the old Rainier Building in the SODO District of Seattle. They feature 4 wines with 2 more soon to be released. In the early stages of existence, Bartholomew Winery is already receiving rave reviews.

As I walked in the door, I was surprised to see Antoine Pin from Parallel Winos Live filming a few segments.  After a few moments of catching up and making fun of DC United (GO SOUNDERS!), I was invited to jump in on the last two segments they filmed. For your viewing pleasure, here is a video review of two wines from Bartholomew Winery.

Bartholomew Winery 2007 Jaxon (Walla Walla Valley)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mFJm6y8xbvs&hd=1]

If you didn’t catch it from the video, this is a 50% Cabernet Sauvignon-%50 Merlot blend.

Bartholomew Winery 2007 Reciprocity (Horse Heaven Hills)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d3YseXGkno&hd=1]

This wine is a 50% Cabernet Sauvignon-%50 Carménère blend

I hope you enjoyed the videos as we will have more on the way!

Bartholomew Winery is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm – 5pm. They also host various events throughout the year which you can find on the Bartholomew Happenings Website. You can also find Bartholomew Winery on Twitter (@BartholomewWine), on Facebook, or on their actual Bartholomew Winery website.

The Wine Shoppe

Wine Shoppe at Hawks Landing Napa Valley wine tasting

Wine Shoppe at Hawks Landing Napa Valley wine tasting 604 604 celo4life

The Wine Shoppe

On June 10, 2010, I attended a Napa Valley wine tasting hosted by Tracie Hogan, owner of The Wine Shoppe at Hawks Landing and Redmond Ridge. The Wine Shoppes host wine tastings at both of their locations: Thursdays (Hawks Landing), Fridays (Redmond Ridge) and Saturdays (both locations). In a future blog entry, I will tell you more about The Wine Shoppes’ offerings.

Today’s tasting featured two wines from Pahlmeyer Wines and one from Signorello Vineyards. Before I tell you about these wines, I would like to note that all the wines I tasted had at least 1 hour to breathe.

Pahlmeyer Wines

Right now, I would like  familiarize yourself with Pahlmeyer Wines. Here is an excerpt about Pahlmeyer from their website:

1972…a year for new thought and tradition-reversing headlines, world-wide: the Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional. Nixon opened relations with Communist China by sitting down for a chat with Mao Zedong. George McGovern, presidential hopeful, upset time-honored conservative notions by abandoning shirt and tie in favor of a white turtleneck.

That same year, while finishing law school, Jayson Pahlmeyer was at the starting gate of his grapes-to-wine quest. He and John Caldwell, a good friend and fellow wine explorer, had developed a penchant and a deep admiration for the Bordeaux style of grape growing and winemaking. Their shared wine palate and nose led them on investigative trips to the famous French vineyards where they acquired cuttings from the five classic Bordeaux varietals. Back in California with their Bordeaux cuttings, they began their grand experiment. For the complete story, click here

While I’m not familiar with Pahlmeyer wines or the Napa Valley region in general (except for the many stories I’ve heard), this was an excellent way to start. I tried two really great wines from Pahlmeyer that will cause you to change your misconceptions about red (merlot) or white (chardonnay) wine.

2007 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Chardonnay – $70

This wine features complex layers of ripe white peach, toasty vanillins, citrus, lemon curd and graham cracker crust. It is full-bodied with rich viscosity and perfectly balanced with lively acidity. The long finish leaves a juicy impression.” — Erin Green, Winemaker

Wow! If you’re one of those people who always says, “I don’t like chardonnay!”, this is one that will make you change your mind. This wine has a lot of depth and character. The nose on this wine is very pleasant and draws you in. When it hits your palate, the fruit just remains on your tongue and makes you beg for more. If you’re looking for very versatile wine that can stand-alone or for your next dinner party, this is the one!

2006 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Merlot – $90

“This is a concentrated wine with extractive notes of dusty cocoa, black cherry and generous spice accented with cassis. It is
perfectly balanced and the flavors are seamlessly integrated. The tannins are big, dark and supple and the finish goes on and on.”
— Erin Green, Winemaker

I tried this wine before and after it was decanted and found that it was a bit better after it was decanted. This wine has a great nose and doesn’t have that bite you find in most Merlot wines. Throughout this wine, I could definitely taste the black cherry as it lingered on my palate.  Overall, this is a great wine and tastes better with age! I would be very interested to see how this wine does in a few years. Maybe a few bottles will end up in my cellar 😉

Signorello Estate

Before I tell you about the final wine of the evening, here is an excerpt on Signorello Vineyards from their website:

Ray Signorello Jr. began his journey as winemaker and vineyard owner in the Napa Valley during the mid 1980’s. Ray, born in San Francisco, California, moved to Vancouver, Canada where the Signorello family continues to maintain a home. Ray divides his time between Napa, San Francisco, Vancouver and business related travel. Ray’s father, Ray Sr., initiated the vineyard project during the mid 1970’s by purchasing the 100-acre estate located on the Silverado Trail in the beautiful Napa Valley. Ray Sr. worked side by side with Ray Jr., establishing the winery’s reputation for excellence until his passing in the fall of 1998. For the complete story, click here

2006 Signorello Vineyards Estate Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) – $50

Our signature wine is a deep, dark red color and opens to raspberry, anise, chocolate and vanilla. The lush, full-bodied palette continues with flavor of red berry, cedar, leather and hints of tobacco. This wine’s incredible balance and long finish is accentuated by its integrated tannins and round, lush flavors. Enjoy with chocolate, cheese, Filet Mignon, NY Strip steak, Flat Iron steak or venison. Drinkability: Now to 2022.

This wine has very deep color and a nice nose where I picked up hints of vanilla. I also found it had a nice spice/smokiness to it. Maybe it’s the tobacco, but since I’m not real familiar with it (non-smoker), I can’t be for sure. As the tasting notes suggest, I would pair this up with your favorite steak or other forms of beef. Maybe a london broil would be great for this or some beef ribs! Another great wine that can stand-alone and or be paired with your favorite meal. If you do decide to purchase this wine, would suggest decanting this wine first and then putting it back into the bottle just in case you pick up sediment from the wine. Just something I observed at the tasting that I thought I’d pass along to you all.

For myself personally, this was a great introduction to Napa Valley wines and I look forward to learning more about the region!

2009 Yakima Valley & Prosser wine trip

2009 Yakima Valley & Prosser wine trip 453 298 celo4life

Awhile back, I was going to join the many Seattle Sounders faithful in LA for the big game against the Galaxy. Unfortunately, I couldn’t freaking find anyone to go with on the trip and I had an accounting nightmare with two freaking boat cruises. The backup plan you ask? Plan a wine trip!!! 🙂

I ventured back to the Yakima Valley and Prosser for my first major wine trip of the year. The goal was to rebuild my wine collection, meet some new wine makers for our new wine tasting series, and see what’s changed since my last trip. Let me tell ya, the region has grown quite a bit. It made me want to buy some real estate and start growing some wine! Below is a list of 41 bottles of wine Nicole and I purchased on our trip 🙂 Yes, you read that right. We came back with 41 bottles between the two of us 🙂

Piety Flats Winery
2007 Chenin Blanc
2007 Black Muscat
2008 Pinot Grigio / Chardonnay

Masset Winery
2006 le Petit Rouge, Columbia Valley, Red Table Wine
2008 le Petit Blanc, Yakima Valley
2005 Merlot, Columbia Valley
2006 Muscat Love, Columbia Valley, Dessert Wine

Severino Cellars
2006 Riesling
Severino Red, Lot #2 (I think this was a 2008)

Portteus Winery
2008 Rattlesnake Red
2008 Purple Haze Red Wine (Go Dawgs!)

Bonair Winery
Bonnie Bonair
2006 Estate Bottled Caberet Franc, Rattlesnake Hills
2007 Riesling

Christopher Cellars/Cultura Wines
2006 Christopher Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon

Dineen Family Vineyards
2006 Heritage Red Wine, Yakima Valley

Note: This was the top wine we tasted on the trip. The guy was open randomly and had one wine. It ended up being the best red I had

Agate Field Winery
2005 Moon Rider Sangiovese

Coyote Canyon Winery
2008 Life is Rosé

Thurston Wolfe
2007 Lemberger
2007 Zinfandel
2006 JTW’s Port, Dessert Wine
2008 Sweet Rebecca, Dessert Wine

Martinez & Martinez Winery (New)
2008 Cabernet Blanca, Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon

Note: This was the last stop on our wine tour for Saturday evening. These guys were great. They just opened up their winery on that day, ran out of wine, but had one bottle left over for us! To top it all off, the couple was having a baby the next day. Needless to say, we had to pick up a bottle 😉

Milbrandt Vineyards
2007 Tradition Chenin Blanc
2007 The Estates Late Harvest Riesling

Maison Bleue Winery
2008 La Vie Douce

Note: The guy who worked at this winery was coo as fawk. He’s a DJ and since this winery is opening up in Woodinville, he’s going to come out and play for us hahaha! (Editor’s note: Since writing this entry, Maison Bleue has decided not to open a tasting room in Woodinville at this time. Look for my update in a later blog entry!)

Airfield Estates
2007 Chardonnay
2007 Syrah

Note: If you’re looking for a historical experience, this winery is it. We’ll be working with these guys in the future. Oh yeah, they had a hot singer there too 😛

Olsen Hills Winery
2007 Vintage Malbec
2008 Vintage Rosé

Gamache Vintners
2007 Estate Riesling
2006 Estate Boulder Red

We visited over 20 wineries, met a ton of people, and had a ton of fun. One thing to note, I think we’re actually missing two bottles 🙁 I’m looking into it. Be on the lookout for my wine and bbq event and the wine tasting series!