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Posts from the ‘Red Blend’ Category

2009 Dehlinger Petite Sirah/Zinfandel Guadagni Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Dehlinger Winery is located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County and was founded in 1975 by Tom and Carole Dehlinger. Eva Dehlinger took over winemaking duties in 2007. Known for their Pinot Noir, Dehlinger also makes Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah.

Guadagni Bros. Vineyard is in the Dry Creek Valley and was planted over 100 years ago.

Violet in color. 15% ABV. 60% Petite Sirah and 40% Zinfandel. Huge nose of black fruits, dark chocolate, iron and baking spices. Medium body with light to medium acidity. Plush and unctuous with great texture and mouthfeel. Blackberry compote, raspberries and a touch of black pepper on the palate. Medium length on the finish. Not quite on par with the traditional Dehlinger wines but fun to drink nonetheless. Best over the next few years.

My rating: 90 points.

This particular bottling was a one off and has not been made again in recent years. I do hope to see more of these from Dehlinger in the years to come.

Dehlinger Winery has a great reputation among wine connoisseurs. Wine writers have consistently given strong reviews while praising the winery for its uniqueness, quality, consistency and value. About 75% of their wine is sold via the mailing list. Amazing wines that are well worth the search.

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2014 Betz Family Bésoleil – 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. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel five years ago. Louis Skinner, a longtime assistant of Bob’s, is now the full time Winemaker.

Bésoleil is the Southern Rhone inspired red blend from Betz Family.

Bright crimson in color. 14.5% ABV. 33% Grenache, 24% Counoise, 20% Syrah, 17% Cinsault and 6% Mourvedre. Savory nose or black fruits, road tar, olive brine and grilled meats. Medium body with medium to strong acidity. Young and still coming together. Cherries, kirsch, plums and white pepper on the palate. Substantial tannins on a long finish. Lots of potential but some time in the cellar is warranted. Drink over the next 4-6 years.

My rating: 91 points.

I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wines from Betz are readily available all over Seattle almost year-round. The 2015 Besoleil will be released to the mailing list this Fall and should be available at retail. I’m a buyer.

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2000 Argiano Solengo – Bottle Notes

The 2000 Argiano Solengo was the winning bottle in the July Installment of Pick My Next Bottle. This bottle was opened and poured immediately.

Argiano dates back to the 16th century. The nearly 120 acres of vineyards are planted to Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot and Syrah. The wines, both Brunello di Montalcino and super Tuscans, have routinely received outstanding scores. In 1992 Argiano was acquired by the Countess Noemi Marone Cinzano.

Blood red in color with some bricking at the edge of the glass. 14% ABV. Equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and a small amount of Petit Verdot. Sublime nose of red fruits, tar, anise and leather. Medium body with fantastic structure and perfect acidity. Dried cherries, currants, plums and graphite on the palate. The finish is long with resolved tannins. Gorgeous wine that belies the 16 years of bottle age. Well stored bottles will drink well for 2-3 more years. I’ll keep a final bottle to enjoy in 2020. Salud!

My rating: 94 points.

I brought several bottles ’99 vintage of this wine back from Italy after visiting the Cinque Terra in 2001 and it will always have a special place in my cellar. Current vintages can be found for around $75 and are well worth the hunt.

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2011 Bedrock Wine Co. Heritage Wine Evangelho Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Bedrock Wine Co. was founded by Morgan Twain-Peterson in 2007 and focuses on small production wines from many of California’ s most treasured and historic vineyards. The lineup of wines at Bedrock is expanding rapidly, but I think the best of the best are the ancient vineyard Zinfandels, Morgan is clearly passionate about.

Evangelho Vineyard is in Contra Costa County, south of the San Joaquin-Sacramento Delta and east of Mount Diablo. The vineyard is planted with a number of different varieties and dates back to the early 1900’s.

Violet in color. 15.2% ABV. From 100 year old vines a blend of Zinfandel, Carignane, Mourvedre and Mixed Whites. Absolutely fantastic nose of red fruits, citrus and cocoa. Fresh and luscious with acidity in spades. Strawberry, cranberry and peppered beef jerkey on the palate. The finish is tremendous. One of the best Bedrocks in recent memory. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 94 points.

The mailing at Bedrock is highly recommended. Exceptional wines, fair prices and great customer service. Put your name on the waiting list.

I blogged about Bedrock recently in The 2015 Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2013 Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Cuvee Prestige – Bottle Notes

Chateau Puech Haut is in Saint-Drezery, a small village northeast of Montpellier. In Provence, a ‘Puech’ means a small hill. A ‘Puech Haut’ is a hill higher than the others. This wine comes from 60-70 year old vines and is a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Syrah. Aged half in concrete and half in neutral barrel it is a special bottling made for Eric Solomon by Philippe Cambie for the US market.

This version of Puech-Haut is the new release of one of my value wines from last many years. The 2010 Puech-Haut was spectacular and I was excited to try this wine.

Opaque purple in color. 15% ABV. 55% Grenache and 45% Syrah. Brooding nose of black fruits, creosote and fresh herbs. Full bodied with juicy acidity. Rich and concentrated with ripe, sweet fruit that coats the palate. Flavors of blackberry, raspberry liqueur and cassis. Absolutely delicious. Drink over the next 3-5 years.

My rating: 92 points.

This wine is a tremendous value and you should be able to find it for about $17. I bought a half case and will likely end up going back for more.

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2009 Bedrock Wine Co. The Bedrock Heirloom – Bottle Notes

Bedrock Wine Co. was founded by Morgan Twain-Peterson in 2007 and focuses on small production wines from many of California’ s most treasured and historic vineyards. The lineup of wines at Bedrock is expanding rapidly, but I think the best of the best are the ancient vineyard Zinfandels, Morgan is clearly passionate about.

Bedrock Vineyard, formerly known as Madrone Ranch, was first planted in 1854. Senator George Hearst purchased the property in 1888 and planted most of the vines that exist to this day. Located in the Sonoma Valley the vineyard is a fruit source for Ravenswood, Carlisle and Bedrock.

The wine is a blend of the 26 varieties interplanted from the 126 year old vines at the ranch. This particular blend is approximately 50% Zinfandel, 30% Carignane, with the balance being the other 24 varieties.

Bright purple in color. 14.5% ABV. Black fruits, citrus and spice on the nose. Fresh and vibrant with impeccable balance. Blackberries, black cherries, plums, black pepper, saline and minerals on the palate. The finish is long and spicy. Drink over the next 2-3 years.

My rating: 92 points.

The mailing at Bedrock is highly recommended. Exceptional wines, fair prices and great customer service. Don’t delay.

I blogged about Bedrock recently in the Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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2010 Efeste Emmy – Bottle Notes

Efeste, pronounced like the letters “F-S-T” strung together, was named after the last names of founders Helen & Dan Ferrelli, Patrick Smith, and Kevin & Angela Taylor. Efeste is located in the Warehouse District of Woodinville, Washington. Peter Devison took over full-time winemaking duties when Brennon Leighton left to work with Charles Smith in 2012.

Emmy is a Southern Rhone Blend of 71% Mourvèdre, 16% Grenache and 13% Syrah sourced from the Stone Tree Vineyard on the Wahluke Slope.

Purple in color. 15.24% ABV. Dark fruits, stones, kirsch and crushed stone on the nose. Full in body and supremely elegant. Plums, black cherry, grilled meats and anise on the palate. Tons of structure. This wine needs a few more years in the cellar.

My rating: 91 points.

Efeste has one of the best white wine programs in the state of Washington and the red wines are also exceptional. The wines are readily available at retail, via the wine club and at the winery. The 2011 Emmy will set you back $45.

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2011 Chateau Puech-Haut Saint-Drezery Cuvee Prestige – Bottle Notes

Chateau Puech Haut is in Saint-Drezery, a small village northeast of Montpellier. In Provence, a ‘Puech’ means a small hill. A ‘Puech Haut’ is a hill higher than the others. This wine comes from 60-70 year old vines and is a blend of 55% Grenache and 45% Syrah. Aged half in concrete and half in neutral barrel it is a special bottling made for Eric Solomon by Philippe Cambie for the US market.

This version of Puech-Haut is the new release of one of my value wines from last year. The 2010 Puech-Haut was spectacular and I was excited to try the new release.

Bright crimson red in color. 15% ABV. Red fruits, lavender, iodine and game on the nose. Great texture and mouthfeel. Still somewhat primary. Raspberry liqueur, licorice and cassis on the palate. Perfect balance and a long, lush finish. The wine should continue to evolve and improve with a few years in the cellar.

Simply a great wine for the price.

My rating: 91 points.

This wine is a tremendous value and you should be able to find it for about $17. I bought a half case and will likely end up going back for more.

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2009 Bedrock Wine Co. Heirloom Wine Dolinsek Ranch – Bottle Notes

Bedrock Wine Co. was founded by Morgan Twain-Peterson in 2007 and focuses on small production wines from several of California’ s most treasured and historic vineyards. The lineup of wines at Bedrock is expanding rapidly, but I think the best of the best are the ancient vineyard Zinfandels Morgan is clearly passionate about.

The vines at Dolinsek Ranch in the Russian River Valley date back 100 years. The wine is a blend of Zinfandel, Alicante, Petite Sirah, Teredelgo, Chasselas and a few other varietals.

Purple in color. 15.9 ABV. The richness of the wine immediately struck me. Ripe and jammy with great acidity. Black fruits, meat and spice on the nose. Raspberry, boysenberry, blackberry, pepper and anise on the palate. The finish is long and exquisite. Drink this wine over the next 2-4 years. I wish I had more. The single best bottle I have had to date from Bedrock.

My rating: 93 points.

The 2011 version was $37 from the winery. The 2012 will be released later this year.

Run, don’t walk, to get on the mailing list at Bedrock.

I’ve blogged about Bedrock previously in Zinfandel Chronicles Power Rankings.

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Betz Family Winery Spring 2013 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. The winery was sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel (with Bob Betz remaining on as the winemaker), and I fully expect quality will remain high for years to come.

Betz is open twice a year for the release of their wines: Spring welcomes Bordeaux Blends, and the Fall the Syrah-based wines. Located south of the School House district in Woodinville, Betz release parties draw such large crowds that Woodinville Fire and King County Sheriff employees are hired to direct traffic.

We attended the Spring release party this past Saturday, a stunning early Spring afternoon. Tasting and evaluating wine at release parties can be a challenge. You typically get small pours and have just a few minutes to formulate an opinion. That said the Betz lineup is better than ever.

Here are my initial impressions on the new releases:

2010 Betz Family Père de Famille – 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot. Almost black in color. Brooding red fruits. Layers of graphite, leather, chocolate, currant and cassis. The wine, though approachable now, finishes with a wall of tannins. This will age easily for at least a decade. $68 at the winery. My rating: 93 points.

2010 Clos de Betz – 58% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petit Verdot. Purple in color. Lush and charming. Blackberries, cherry, anise, herbs and a hint of vanilla. The finish, once again, bodes well for a wine that will age for years to come. A super sexy wine that for the first time in recent memory overshadowed the Père de Famille. $55 at the winery. My rating: 95 points.

We had the opportunity to visit with Steve Griessel briefly and his passion for the winery is inspiring. He gave us a heads up that 30 cases of “true” Rosé will be released later in the Spring to local members of the mailing list. With such small quantities you’ll need to act fast!

Steve also shared that Bob has made a barrel of Port-style wine out of Washington Syrah. There are no definitive plans for this wine yet, but I’m certainly intrigued.

I understand the mailing list is full, although I suspect the wait isn’t too long. Fortunately, the wine is readily available all over Seattle almost year-round. Both of these new releases are worth searching for.

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