2005 California Cult Pinot Noir
Bottle Notes, Pinot Noir

Pick My Next Bottle: 2005 California Cult Pinot Noir

The September installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on 2005 California “cult” Pinot Noir (see the July installment for background on this series). I plan on opening the winning bottle on September 29th, and publishing an in depth bottle note on October 1st. The contenders for this month are Rochioli West Block and Williams Selyem Flax Vineyard, both from the Russian River Valley, and Kosta Browne…

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2007 Rasa QED
Bottle Notes, Syrah

2007 Rasa QED – Bottle Notes

Rasa Vineyards is a relatively new winery located in Walla Walla, Washington. Founded in 2007 by brothers Pinto and Billo Naravane, Rasa specializes in Syrah-based wines but has recently released Cabernet, Riesling and Mourvedre. Pinto is the Managing Partner, while Billo is the Winemaker. The 2007 QED was the first wine produced by Rasa. The wine is 94% Syrah, 3%…

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Screaming Eagle
Buying Wine

Screaming Eagle Second Flight

Screaming Eagle is finally offering their much anticipated “second” label. The wine is named Second Flight, and the initial offer includes two bottles each of the 2006, ’07, ’08 and ’09 vintages. Cost from the winery is $1800 plus tax and shipping – that works out to $225 per bottle. Pretty ambitious pricing for a second label but, given that the…

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Amelia Bleu 2009 Riverenza
Bottle Notes, Red Blend

2009 Amelia Bleu Riverenza – Bottle Notes

Doug & Heather Roberts founded Amelia Bleu in 2009. The winery, named after daughter Amelia, currently produces three wines using fruit from Ashlyn’s Vineyard (named after their other daughter) in Chelan, Washington. We took the opportunity to visit their new tasting room on a recent excursion out to the Woodinville warehouse district. Riverenza, Italian for reverence, is dedicated to the…

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wine cellar
Buying Wine

Winery Mailing Lists: The Fab 5

The buzz surrounding mailings lists has grown very quiet over the last four years. This is due in no small part to the recession and corresponding drop in disposable income that many consumers have experienced. The days of waiting years to acquire wines from the likes of Colgin, Bryant and Quilceda Creek have largely gone away. I suspect the next…

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2008 Peay Pinot Noir
Bottle Notes, Pinot Noir

2008 Peay Estate Pinot Noir – Bottle Notes

Peay Vineyards is a partnership between Vanessa Wong, and Andy and Nick Peay. Founded in 1998, the 48 acre hilltop vineyard is located in the far northwestern corner of the Sonoma Coast, four miles from the Pacific Ocean. They grow 33 acres of Pinot Noir, 8 acres of Syrah, 5 acres of Chardonnay,  and small amounts of Viognier, Roussanne and…

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Betz Fall 2012 Release Party
Bottle Notes, Buying Wine, Syrah

Betz Family Winery Fall 2012 Release Party

Betz Family Winery was founded in 1997 by Bob & Cathy Betz. Critical acclaim from local and national wine publications has put Betz Family Winery at the forefront of Washington wines alongside Cayuse, Leonetti and Quilceda Creek. Although the winery was recently sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel (with Bob Betz remaining on as the winemaker), I expect quality will…

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2006 Black Kite Pinot Noir
Bottle Notes, Pinot Noir

2006 Black Kite Pinot Noir Kite’s Rest – Bottle Notes

Black Kite Cellars, a family-run winery in Anderson Valley, specializes in block-designated Pinot Noir from the Kite’s Rest Vineyard. Founded by Donald and Maureen Green in 2003, Black Kite is named for the beautiful but endangered Black Shouldered Kite that is native to the Anderson Valley. Jeff Gaffner of Saxon Brown is the consulting winemaker. The Kite’s Rest is their…

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Avennia Fall Release
Bottle Notes, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah

Avennia Fall Release Party: Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah & Cabernet Sauvignon

My wife and I received an invitation from Bob Silver of WA | Wine | PR to attend the Fall release  party for a newcomer to the Woodinville Warehouse District, Avennia Winery. Winemaker Chris Peterson was the first graduate of Walla Walla Community College’s Enology & Viticulture program, and spent the better part of the last decade making wine at…

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