Force Majeure Winery
Bottle Notes, Buying Wine

Force Majeure Fall 2012 Release Party

Previously known as Grand Rêve, Force Majeure was founded in 2004 by Paul McBride and Ryan Johnson. Force Majeure pairs some of Washington’s highly acclaimed winemakers with fruit from one of Washington’s highly acclaimed vineyards, Ciel du Cheval. The winemakers contributing to the Collaboration Series is a Who’s Who of Washington winemakers including Ben Smith, Carolyn Lakewold, Chris Gorman, James…

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Quilceda Creek
Buying Wine, Random Musings

An Open Letter to Quilceda Creek Winery

Dear Quilceda Creek, As we get closer to the release of the 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, I respectfully ask that you consider holding the line in regard to pricing. I have been buying Quilceda Creek since the late 1980’s. I still have a few bottles of both the 1992 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon and, perhaps my all time favorite, the 1994. Quilceda…

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zinfandel corks
Bottle Notes, Buying Wine, Zinfandel

Three Delicious Zinfandels Under $20

Since I launched Zinfandel Chronicles in June I’ve written about some of my favorite Zins from the likes of Turley, Carlisle, Bedrock, Outpost, Brown, Black Sears and Williams Selyem. All of these wines are hard to come by as they are sold primarily through mailing lists, and even then the top bottlings from these producers regularly reach the $50 price…

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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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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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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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home wine cellar
Buying Wine

2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape: My Recommendations

2010 is yet another great vintage in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, falling on the heels of other highly acclaimed recent vintages including 2009, 2007 and 2005. Since I started cellaring wines of the Southern Rhone in the mid-90’s only the 2002 vintage has been a complete washout. Even the critically “panned” 2008 vintage has produced some delicious wines. The flavor profile of the…

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