Monday, January 30, 2006

Just Another Rainy Day in Seattle

Seattle – Cabin fever is setting in…after all its only rained 40 of the last 42 days and this is the 15th weekend of rain...but who's counting? Yes, Seattle is living up to its rainy reputation this year...we were so spoiled last year with sunshine and 70's degrees in February.

So it looks like Golf is out of the question…after all who wants to wear chest waders and Goretex to play?

So wine tasting is a good distraction.

Destination – The Tasting Room - Post Alley near Pike’s Place Market.
And my luck Chris Dowsett the winemaker of Latitude 46 North named after its location on the map –Eastern Washington. Funny for some reason I remember living at 30 North/90 West…otherwise known as New Orleans. Enough with the GPS readings…on to the wine.
Chris (he) is on hand to educate, share blending stories and pass the day…

As a warmup I choose to start with a wine that’s actually from another Washington winery - Wineglass Cellars – The 2004 Chardonnay (In The Buff) $13 Crisp and clear because its never seen oak!

Now on to Latitude 46 North – the logo on the bottle looks similar to the Seattle Mariners.

1) 2004 Gewurtraminer Celilio Vineyard $20 – Nice surprise it’s a dry Gewurtz and very delightful.

2) 2004 Clifton Cuvee $18 This is a blend of 76% Syrah and 24% Grenache. Chris learned a lot of working with Shiraz (same grape-Aussie Spelling) from being an exchange student down under. This wine has nice start with fruit forward and very nice smooth finish from the Granache.

3) 2002 Vindication $29 Like to see that Chris bucking the (no Merlot) trend and is leading with 70% Merlot, 26% Cabernet, 4% Syrah. The wine doesn't qualify for being called a Meritage with syrah added, but is fantastic his premier wine. And this blend vindicates Chris as a fine wine maker.

The great thing about the tasting room is the tasting options…you can buy wine by the Taste (1 oz.), Sample (3 oz.), Glass or entire bottle.

Some items worth tasting during your visit…

Camaraderie Cellars2002 & 2003 Cabernet Franc $25 – The ’02 is better and is more representative of what you’ve come to expect in a Washington Cab Franc.

2002 Malbec - $32 What a wonderful delight to taste a 100% varietal that is normally just used in Bordeaux Blends.Some of the best Cabernet’s available for tasting are from Wineglass Cellars.
Listed in the order you should taste them:
2000 Cabernet Sauvignon $21
2000 Reserve Cab $28
2000 Cabernet Sauvignon Elerding Vineyard
this is the biggest and its worth the price of $45.

Yes its still raining and wine tasting is one indoor sport you can use to pass away the winter doldrums.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Great Tastes of 2005

Have you ever tried to keep track of the wine consumed during a's the partial list of was a very good year! Highlights are in Bold!

2001 Joseph Phelps Insignia

2000 White Hall Lane Merlot

2001 White Hall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon

1999 White Hall Lane Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

1999 White Hall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon

1998 White Hall Lane Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

2000 Pahlmeyer

1999 Pahlmeyer Meritage

2000 Spottswoode Cabernet Sauvignon

1990 Gainey Pinot Noir (only 294 cases produced)

1997 ZD Cabernet Sauvignon

2001 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2001 Flora Springs Out of Sight Cabernet Sauvignon

2001 Flora Springs Holy Smoke Cabernet Sauvignon

2001 Imagery Cabernet Franc

2001 Imagery White Burgundy

2001 TAZ Barbera

2001 Franciscan Magnificant

2000 Franciscan Magnificant

1999 Franciscan Magnificant

2002 Del Dotto Cabernet Franc

2001 Del Dotto Cabernet Sauvignon

Bernard Moray Santenay 1er Cru “Passetemps” Cote de Beaune Burgandy

2001 Sanford Pinot Noir

Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2000 tasting:
2001 Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rousanne, Grenache Blanc
2000 Domaine de la Janasse
2000 Chateau LaNerthe
2000 Chateau de Beaucastel
2000 Domaine de Beaurenard

4th of July tasting:
LeDucq Meritage Vertical '92, '98, '99 and '01

J Lohr Cabernet Vertical

2000 Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon

2002 Flora Springs Wine Thieves

1999 Chateau Montelena Zinfandel

St. Vincent Primitove Sangiovese

2001 KAZ Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon

2003 Serra Estrela Albarino (Spain)

2002 Giradet Cellars “Baeo Noir” Pinot Noir blend

2000 Walla Walla Vintners Cabernet Franc

1998 ZD Cabernet Sauvignon

2000 Pahlmeyer Merlot

2000 Reverie Meritage

1999 Franciscan Magnificant

1998 Franciscan Magnificant

2002 Sanford Pinot Noir

2001 LeDucq (now Ehler’s Estate)

1999 Twomey Merlot (sister wine of Silver Oak).

Birthday Week Wines:
2001 Staglin
1995 Franciscan Library Reserve Cabernet
2002 Del Dotto "David"
2001 Quintessa
2002 Franciscan Cabernet Sauvignon

2001 Curtis Heritage Cuvee

1999 Hanna Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

1999 Merryvale Merlot

2002 Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir

2001 “Bommarito” made by White Hall Lane Cabernet Sauvignon

2002 Reverie Cabernet Franc

1999 Arrieta Cult Wine (Meritage) Super premium micro-winery featuring Bordeaux and Merlot/Syrah blends handmade in small quantities by winemaker John Kongsgaard in partnership with wine auctioneer Fritz Hatton.

2002 Moon Mountain Meritage

1998 Steltzner Cabernet Sauvignon

1997 ZD Cabernet Sauvignon

2001 Stag’s Leap Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon

2002 Wente Pinot Noir and French Bordeaux

Plus many more…!

Don't even want to put a price tag on this list...but Wow!