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zinfandel Archives - Stems and Legs

zinfandel

Video Exclusive: Wines from South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

Video Exclusive: Wines from South Coast Winery Resort & Spa celo4life

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geVWPY-UDDI]

During our “A Holiday Evening in the Wine Cellar” event, Antoine Pin from the Parallel Winos joined me for a live review of a couple of wines from South Coast Winery for Legend Mag. Enjoy the video and below is information on the two wines we featured along with a link to where you can pick them up:

South Coast Winery 2007 Tempranillo

“Our 2007 Tempranillo was aged in a combination of new American and used French oak barrels that give the right amount of smoky oak tones to a wine that is noticeably swelling with cherry and blackberry fruit aromas.”

Tasting Notes:
Moderate oak intensity, rich berry aromas and balanced tannins underscores the wonderful fruit characters

Awards:

2010
Bronze Medal – Grand Harvest Awards
Bronze Medal – Los Angeles International

Vineyard Notes:
Carter Estate Vineyard

South Coast Winery 2006 Zinfandel (Cucamonga Valley)

Cucamonga Valley Zinfandel
Harvested from Jose Lopez Vineyards, August 2006

 “As a variety, the origins of Zinfandel are somewhat shrouded in mystery; its complete origin is unknown. What is known, however, is that Zinfandel is one of the first recognized varietals that is uniquely American. It quenched the thirst of Californios and old forty-niners alike, and over the years emerged as California’s native contribution to the international world of wine. Rich berry character, with layers of spice and chocolate frame this big red wine. A part of the old west and apart from the rest, Zinfandel is truly Eureka!”

Awards:

2010
Bronze Metal – Grand Harvest Awards
Silver Metal – San Fransisco Chronical

2009 Wine Competition Results:

Six (6) Silver Medals in San Francisco Wine Competition, Monterey Wine Competition, Finger Lakes International Wine Competition, Pacific Rim International Wine Competition, Riverside International Wine Competition and San Francisco International Wine Competition; Two (2) Bronze Medals in the West Coast Wine Competition and Los Angeles International Wine Competition

2008 Wine Competition Results:

Three (3) Silver Medals in San Diego Ntn’l Wine Competition, West Coast Wine Competition, and Critic’s Challenge; Three (3) Bronze Medals in Grand Harvest Awards, California State Fair Wine Competition, and Long Beach Grand Cru

Vineyard Notes:
Jose Lopez Vineyards – Rancho Cucamonga

Memorial Day weekend trip to the Columbia Gorge (Day 3)

Memorial Day weekend trip to the Columbia Gorge (Day 3) 1280 960 celo4life

Over Memorial Day Weekend, I decided to take my third trip to the Columbia Gorge and also take another look at the Willamette Valley. I was really excited about this visit because it was my first look at the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. I got a late start leaving Seattle and got caught in the usual “look at everyone around you” traffic, but I managed to make it to four really good wineries. Each of the wineries on this trip was unique in their own way and I was really pleased with what’s coming out of the region. The picture above is a shot from the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge. You’ll see these rock formation throughout this region. The Washington side of the Columbia Gorge is like night and day compared to the Oregon side. The climate & terroir is very different from the Oregon side which makes this region very exciting to visit. So without further adieu 🙂

Cor Cellars

Cor Cellars

When I arrived at Cor Cellars, I was greeted by Lana in the tasting room. On this windy day, I was wondering if anyone was going to be coming around the vineyards, but it wasn’t long before a large group of people arrived as I was leaving. Cor Cellars had 5 wines available at the time, but have expanded to 8 wines in their collection. The price points are very approachable and the wines are great for any level of collector. I managed to pick up 3 great wines on my visit and have plans to pick up more in the future!:

Cor Cellars 2009 Alba Cor

Refreshingly different, this wine is made with a nod to the Alsatian wines of northern France. The barrel fermented Gewürztraminer adds spicy honeysuckle and floral spring aromas, while the Pinot Gris contributes vibrant pear and melon, refreshing acidity and structure.

  • Varietals: 54% Pinot Gris / 46% Gewürztraminer
  • Vineyard: Celilo Vineyard
  • Appellation: Columbia Gorge
  • Fermentation: Pinot Gris: Stainless Steel / Gewürztraminer: 100% neutral French oak
  • Time in Barrel: 5 months

Cor Cellars 2008 Sauvignon Blanc

There are no tasting notes available on this wine and I believe it’s because it is sold out. I will contact the winery and see if I can obtain them. One thing to note, they have released a 2009 Old Hwy white wine which is a Sauvignon Blanc blend. I will definitely check this out!

Cor Cellars 2008 Momentum

Black cherry, plum and cassis, with hints of dark chocolate, spice and violets. Starting with a base of Cabernet Sauvignon, which is floral, regal and extensive, we add Merlot for silky texture, Petit Verdot for spice and then finally Malbec for its earthy and expressive personality.

  • Varietals: 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Petit Verdot, 21% Merlot, 21% Malbec
  • Vineyards: McKinley Springs Vineyards / Alder Ridge Vineyards
  • Appellation: Horse Heaven Hills
  • Barrel: 90% French / 10% American (40% new / 60% two-year-old)
  • Time in Barrel: 10 months
  • Bottled: August 2009

Syncline Wine Cellars

Probably one of the more talked about wineries in the Columbia Gorge, Syncline Wine Cellars offers many wines in their collection. Some of their wines are blended with grapes you may or may not be familiar with: Cinsault, Counoise, Carignan just to name a few. I found most of their wines to be light and have a very european feel to them. If you’re looking for wines that you can hold onto or drink immediately, this is the winery for you.

The tasting room is very large and was busy during my visit. I was greeted by Georgia and Sara who were very pleasant and fun to talk to. I had the opportunity of taking home 3 wines on my visit. I would’ve taken home more, but it was only the beginning of my trip 🙂

Syncline Wine Cellars 2009 Rosé

Following our faith in Rhone varietals, this Rosé is in direct response to our fascination with hedonistic country wines. Immediately striking with pale water-melon color, the aromas practically leap from the glass. A medley of different grapes yield a full satisfying dry wine: The Cinsault base gives the unmistakable aroma of rose water and violets, Grenache gives juicy strawberry and musky watermelon rind aromas and flavors, Mourvedre sends its characteristic spice to the mix, Counoise and Carignan bring fresh acidity and ripe berry notes. Finishing completely dry, this is as serious as rosé gets.

Harvest Notes

Appellation: Horse Heaven Hills and Wahluke Slope, Columbia Valley
Varietals: 37% Cinsault / 35% Counoise / 12% Grenache / 11% Mourvedre / 5% Carignan

I picked this wine up in my belief that it will develop quite nicely over time. The blend on this wine is unlike anything I have tried or have in my collection. It was a very subtle wine and had a good balance. I’m looking forward to opening this bottle sometime next year or the year after that.

Syncline Wine Cellars 2008 Roussanne

Unfortunately, the tasting notes for the 2008 Roussanne are unavailable, but here are the 2009 tasting notes to give you an idea on the wine. I’ve always enjoyed Roussanne wines from Washington State and this was among my favorites. The nose on this wine was very nice and the flavors came through very nicely. Definitely one for the summer time or to be enjoyed with a nice dinner.

Syncline Wine Cellars 2008 Subduction Red

Long inspired by the wines of the Southern Rhone Valley, this is our answer to a Washington version of a Cotes-du-Rhone Villages wine. Ripe and hedonistic, this wine displays vivid ruby color with varying degrees of purple-black. This is a blend of classic southern French varieties that are unique and expressive on their own; yet each contributes to create a harmonious whole. Bold and seductive, this wine exhibits ripe raspberry, violet and game aromas, with juicy plum flavors. The bright, supple finish and pleasing fruit-filled mouthfeel make Subduction Red adaptable to many foods and occasions.

Harvest Notes

Appellation: Columbia Valley (80%Horse Heaven, 20% Wahluke Slope)
Varietals: 26% Grenache / 25% Syrah / 24% Cinsault / 12% Mourvedre / 9% Counoise / 4% Carignan

This was one of my favorite wines during the tasting. Just look at that blend of varietals above 🙂

Memaloose Winery

Overlooking the Hood River is Memaloose Winery. Driving up to the winery, I noticed the great views of the river and the high winds in the area. It’s very unique and definitely worth the visit. As I was getting out of the car, I was greeted by a curious, 4 legged friend:

Wine dogs are just so entertaining 😉 Inside the winery, I was greeted by Rob who was quite knowledgable about the region and quite friendly. Memaloose had 4 wines at the time and was barrel tasting a 5th wine. Now they carry 6 wines. All their wines have a european feel to them and weren’t high on alcohol volume. I only took one wine home, but I would’ve taken home two if the other one was available at the time:

Memaloose 2008 Rosé of Tempranillo

Unfortunately there are no tasting notes available for this wine. I can tell you that it was a very pleasant rosé that you can enjoy during those summer months. As their tag line suggests, Memaloose wines go well with food.

Domaine Pouillon

My last stop on day one, and my favorite, was Domaine Pouillon. This winery focuses on Rhone style blends. I had the pleasure of hanging out with the winemakers while I listened to some classics on their antique record player. The feel of this winery is very warm & inviting and I highly suggest taking a visit. I tasted through all their wines and I wound up taking these home:

Domaine Pouillon 2008 Deux
Double Gold, Seattle Wine Awards, May 2010

Unfortunately there are no tasting notes for this wine, but here are the stats:

Columbia Valley AVA
Source: Brehm Vineyards & Coyote Canyon Vineyard
57% Chardonnay  43% Viognier
Cases Produced: 199     ABV: 13.8%

This is an excellent wine that you can have with a nice dinner or it can stand alone. I’ll be looking forward to trying out the 2009 vintage in the spring. To give you an idea, here are the tasting notes for the 2009 vintage.

Domaine Pouillon Black Dot

Horse Heaven Hills AVA
Source: McKinley Springs Vineyard & Coyote Canyon Vineyard
35% Grenache 25% Syrah 30% Zinfandel 10% Cabernet Sauvignon
Cases Produced: 352 ABV: 14%

“The nose of Black Dot delights with hits of curry spices, licorice, and blueberries. This wine has a balanced tannin structure with an extremely long and nuanced finish of marionberries, anise, and earth.

The blend for Black Dot changes every year. This wine is blended by spirit and flavor, (we’re always trying to recreate the first magical vintage that contained grape varieties that no one can seem remember). An experiment in non-conventional winemaking, Black Dot proudly breaks the rules.”

The first words out of my mouth when I tried this wine were, “DAMN!”  I was really impressed by the flavor of this wine, it was quite unique. This wine has a lot of depth and its worth holding on to.

After a long day of tasting, it was time for me to head back to my hotel and rest up for the Willamette Valley portion of the trip. Overall, it was a great day of wine tasting and I will be looking forward to my next visit on the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge.

Thanksgiving wine trip to the Columbia Gorge – A wine region worth visiting! (Day 1)

Thanksgiving wine trip to the Columbia Gorge – A wine region worth visiting! (Day 1) 600 450 celo4life

After getting my palate assaulted in the Willamette Valley two weeks prior, I decided to change things up for my wine tour and check out the Columbia Gorge region for their Thanksgiving Winery Open House. After spending two days in the region, I know I made the right choice. Not only was the selection deep, but it was very accessible from Portland (about an hour drive away). The only bad part of the trip was the fact that I got a late start on both days and not many people were able to go. So on day 1, Rebecca Masulo and I ventured out and hit up three wineries. I literally could’ve bought almost everything, but I limited it to these selections:

The Pines 1852 Vineyard & Winery

What was going to be the 4th stop of the day, ended up being the first stop. This winery was in downtown Hood River, where you’ll find a collection of tasting rooms. The staff was very friendly and the room was filled with a collection of art. While I tasted a lot of good ones, these are the ones I left with:

The Pines 1852 2007 Big Red
Note: This one didn’t make it home 🙂

Your favorite blend of Cabernet Sauv., Merlot, Syrah, and Zinfandel is back! This wine brings together the best of four wines for a hearty blend with a full mouth-feel. Long legs, jammy berries, and a peppery finish make this wine great with steak and pasta.

The Pines 1852 2008 Satin
This white blend of 50% Pinot Gris and 50% Gewurztraminer combines the best of both worlds: a beautiful floral bouquet from the Gewurz paired with the fruity, crisp Pinot Gris. Satin is sure to pair well with melon, fish, chicken, and thai.

Quenett Wines

Stop two on the tour was another great one. Quenett has a very deep selection of wines and I found myself like almost everything they had. The winemaker was really nice as well and we’re looking forward to having him pour for us in the future.

Quenett 2007 Chardonnay (Columbia Valley)
A great, everyday white wine with a medium body, slight notes of butterscotch and green apple, with a subtle finish.

Quenett 2006 Zinfandel (Columbia Valley)
Note: This wine was just released over the weekend, so the tasting notes are not available

Naked Winery

This is, by far, the best winery I’ve visited in 2009 (if not, all time!). When I first saw the name, I thought that they were either marketing geniuses or they were referring to the grapes in some way. When I walked in, I knew they were marketing geniuses! The marketing they put behind their brand is a work of art and it’s a model that many business can follow in other sectors. Their wines carry the name even further. This is one of the first wineries where the first 8 wines I’ve tried, I would’ve bought immediately. Overall, I would’ve bought one of each, but I settled for four wines:

Naked Winery 2007 Pinot Gris (Rogue Valley)
This refreshing wine offers a full frontal blast of sun country nose! It’s time to sip into something a little more Naked…

Fermented in cooler than normal temperatures with nice hang time on the vines, this brings out a medium bodied wine that’s great for summer, or by a warm fireplace. Melon, apple, & pear run throughout this wine.

BACK LABEL
Naked Gris is our chillin’ wine. Smooth, ripe and a bit silky, this wine delivers a full frontal blast of sun country nose that explodes midpalate. Stripping the skins down to the bare essentials, it’s hard to take your eyes off those luscious legs as they streak down the glass. Sip into something a little more Naked… wouldn’t you A-Gris?

Naked Winery 2006 Foreplay Chardonnay (Columbia Valley)
This is a delicious way to warm to an evening. Who doesn’t like Foreplay, ladies?

A large portion of the blend was barrel fermented with full malolactic fermentation which yielded a soft butterscotch finish. Notes like pear and melon are accented by some caramel and toasted coconut aromas from the barrels.

BACK LABEL
Foreplay teases your senses upfront with a bouquet of luscious ripe fruit. No hurry here… once uncorked, let it breathe and work into a nice rhythm as it warms up. Anticipate the sweetness at the end, complimenting the silky tannins. A little Foreplay goes a long way.

Naked Winery 2008 Gay Rosé
Our Rose is light and fruity with a hint of sweetness. Even if you haven’t been feeling Gay, this wine could make you change your mind!

Naked Winery 2007 Pinot Noir
This is our bare-all wine. Who doesn’t love to get Naked?

Try the Varietal that made Oregon wines famous: Pinot Noir. 100% Pinot Noir, enjoy the classic light body and floral bouquet with a delicate satin tannin finish.

BACK LABEL
Naked is our bare-all wine. Stripped of traditional attitudes, only the free-spirited grapes go into this voluptuous wine. Lusty with a smooth complexion and long legs. This wine gives a full-frontal of ripe cherries with a firm well-rounded end. Who doesn’t love to get Naked?

Although I didn’t get to all the wineries I wanted to, this was a perfect way to start the trip. Day 1 was filled with tasting rooms in the downtown area of Hood River. Day 2 is a trip to the actual vineyards and the valley. To be continued!

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!