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Posts from the ‘Bordeaux Blend’ Category

2012 Lauren Ashton Cellars Proprietor’s Cuvee – Bottle Notes

Lauren Ashton Cellars was founded in 2009 by Kit Singh. A Dentist by profession, Kit’s passion for wine was fueled by trips to Napa, Sonoma and Europe’s best known wine regions. Kit’s enology background includes classes at UC Davis and Seattle Community College along with an internship at Delille Cellars.

The inspiration for the name of the winery was Kit’s two children, Ashley Lauren and Ashton Troy. The packaging for the wines is impressive. The black and white pictures on the labels are from buildings in Estonia where Singh’s partner, Riinu Rammal, is from.

The 2012 Proprietor’s Cuvee is 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 10% Cabernet France, 3% Malbe and 3% Petit Verdot. Columbia Valley fruit sourced from several vineyards.

Purple in color. 14.1% ABV. Super nose of black fruits, graphite, cedar and smoke. Big, powerful, concentrated and chewy. Black currants, tobacco, black cherries and minerals on the palate. There are silky tannins on an exceptionally long finish. An old world style wine that begs for time in the cellar. Drink over the next 6-8 years.

My rating: 92 points.

The wine is fairly priced at $65 and will be released early next month. The Woodinville tasting room is open Thursday thru Sunday from 1pm to 5pm and is a worthwhile stop on your next winery excursion.

This review was based on a sample provided by the winery.

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2010 Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse DuBrul Vineyard – 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 also released Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Chardonnay, Petite Verdot, Grenache and Mourvedre. There is also a second label known as PB Wines. Pinto is the Managing Partner, while Billo is the Winemaker.

Dark red in color. 14.2% ABV. 67.5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 32.5% Merlot from DuBrul Vineyard. Subtle nose of a newly opened box of Whitman Samplers, cassis and plums. Completely seamless and elegant on the palate. This wine has no rough edges. Flavors of cherries, currants, spice box, plums and graphite. Silky tannins on a long finish. I was expecting more of a bruising wine but this was showing nicely, even without a decant. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 90 points.

Rasa is open by appointment. They are also open on Walla Walla Spring Release weekend and Cayuse release weekend. The wines are available via the website, and the mailing list is still open. Rasa is one of the up and coming stars in Washington – don’t miss out.

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2001 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red – Bottle Notes

Pahlmeyer was founded in the mid-1980s when Jayson Pahlmeyer, a Bay Area lawyer, decided he preferred thinking about wine over reading legal briefs. Pahlmeyer produced its debut vintage in 1986. The winemaking team is comprised of Kale Anderson who is Director of Winemaking for the Napa Valley vineyard and operations, and Bibiana González Rave as Consulting Winemaker overseeing the Sonoma Coast vineyard and operations.

Dark Crimson in color. 14.8% ABV. Briefly decanted. 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot and small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Soaring nose of cedar, graphite and cassis. Opulent and concentrated. Licorice, currants and black fruits on the palate. Silky tannins on a gorgeous finish. The wine is in a perfect spot right now. Drink over the next year or two.

My rating: 94 points.

Pahlmeyer wines are readily available at retail and via the winery. The 2012 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red should set you back about $145. I’ve already secured a few bottles.

I also blogged recently about the 2004 Pahlmeyer Merlot and 1995 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red.

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2011 Lauren Ashton Cellars Cuvée Arlette – Bottle Notes

Lauren Ashton Cellars was founded in 2009 by Kit Singh. A Dentist by profession, Kit’s passion for wine was fueled by trips to Napa, Sonoma and Europe’s best known wine regions. Kit’s enology background includes classes at UC Davis and Seattle Community College along with an internship at Delille Cellars.

The inspiration for the name of the winery was Kit’s two children, Ashley Lauren and Ashton Troy. The packaging for the wines is impressive. The black and white pictures on the labels are from buildings in Estonia where Singh’s partner, Riinu Rammal, is from.

Dark purple in color. 14.5% ABV. 49% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc, 19.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2.5% Petite Sirah. Columbia Valley fruit from Stillwater Creek, Klipsun, Ambassador and Dineen Vineyards. Great nose of red fruits, smoke, licorice and espresso. Well balanced, complex and elegant. Raspberry, currants, minerals, cherries and earth on the palate. Super silky tannins on an exceptional finish.

My rating: 93 points.

The wine is fairly priced at $50. The Woodinville tasting room is open Thursday thru Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. I will be visiting soon.

This review was based on a sample provided by the winery.

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2000 Woodward Canyon Estate Red Wine – Bottle Notes

Located in the Walla Walla Valley appellation of Washington State, Woodward Canyon Winery was started in 1981 by Rick Small and his wife, Darcey Fugman-Small. Woodward Canyon produces almost a dozen different wines, and their Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon and Reserve Chardonnay are some of the very best examples of those varietals produced in Washington State.

The Estate Red Wine is a blend of 43% Cabernet Franc, 43% Merlot and 14% Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine is magenta in color. Graphite and leather on the nose. Spice, cassis, dark fruits, white pepper and vanilla grace the palate. Super silky fine grained tannins and a long generous finish.

The reds from Woodward Canyon age as gracefully as anything produced in Washington. This wine should continue to develop for another 5-7 years.

My rating: 92 points

The wines are widely available at retail, at the winery and via the mailing list. The winery is also a great first stop as you head into Walla Walla Valley.

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2007 Betz Family Clos de Betz – Bottle Notes

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 remain high for years to come.

The composition of the Clos de Betz varies from year to year. The 2007 is 62% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. The fruit is 39% Red Mountain, 33% Horse Heaven Hills, and 28% Yakima Valley (Ciel du Cheval, Kiona vineyards, Alder Ridge, and Red Willow vineyards). The wine is dark purple, almost inky in color. Cherries, rhubarb, vanilla and a touch of oak on the nose. The palate is powerful and concentrated with flavors of dark fruits, espresso, licorice, cherries and mocha. The finish is long and leaves you wanting for more.

For a wine that is predominantly Merlot I fully expected it to be more approachable. As it turns out, the wine is still somewhat primary and will clearly benefit from more time in the cellar.

My rating: 91 points, with upside potential for a point or two in a few years.

The wine is readily available at retail in the Seattle area and through the winery’s mailing list.

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1996 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red – Bottle Notes

Pahlmeyer made its debut release with the 1986 vintage garnering a 94 point rating from Robert Parker and has never looked back. Former winemaker Helen Turley, who made this wine, began her 5-year stint at Pahlmeyer in 1993.

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