Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Quick Up Date for Red Mountain Wineries

Beautiful Views this afternoon from Red Mountain.  It is obvious why they call it Red Mt. this time of the year!  

Views from Hamilton Cellars

Hamilton Cellars Tasting Notes

2015 Ciel Du Cheval Viogner:  If you are a white wine drinker this Viognier blend will make you smile. Lovely pear and spice notes with a very smooth mouth due to 9 months + in small French Oak. 

2010 Merlot CV: Smooth toasted cherry vanilla characteristics 100% Merlot. 

2011 Malbec CV: Lovely dark garnet red color with some big black fruit and vanilla aromas with a hint of black pepper on the finish.  A real smooth intro on the palate.

Cooper Tasting Notes

2015 Barrel Maker White: This is another great white with Viognier on the top end of the blend of Chardonnay and Riesling. The scent is honeysuckle from the get go with a big taste of grapefruit through to the finish.

2014 Estate Merlot: This is another winning Merlot from Red Mt. Could it be I am turning into a Merlot fan?  I guess I am when they are from Red Mt. This one made me smile real big. A big bold wow with a great chewy mouth feel. Lots of fruit  on this lovely glass of red wine.

2014 Estate Cab Franc: Gorgeous big dried fruit taste.

2014 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon: Big cab with big flavor! Bing Cherry vanilla coke. That's what I am talking about for a Red Mt. cab  :)

Monday, May 15, 2017

Red Mountain AVA

We headed out last Saturday to do some wine tasting on Red Mt. where we will be meeting this Saturday on May 20th for our PAWA paint out. This spot is Washington's premier AVA. Our first stop will be a 9:00 am meet up at Tapteil which just happens to be my favorite winery on Red Mt.

First of all Larry Pearson owner and wine maker grows some of the finest fruit in Washington State right here on Red Mt.  He sells most of his fruit for a premium price point but keeps the best for his boutique winery.  These wines are only available to be purchased on sight. His wife Jane is an amazing artist who's work often appears on their labels.  Do take some time to taste this wine and enjoy Jane's art in the tasting room which delightfully depicts the seasonal life of wine making on Red Mt.
The Hat Party

Tapteil is known for their Syrah and Cab, but this year I found the GSM was over the top. We purchase 4 bottles and was told this wine was in short supply. By the way Laura and I love the views from this winery!


2015 Dry Riesling:This has a very beautiful full scent on the nose of grapefruit. I just kept wanting to sniff this wine. A bright citrus taste with a dry mineral linger.
2015 Barrel aged Riesling: I found this to be very light in flavor almost a neutral mouth. Very delicate.
2014 Grenache: This will be a lovely summer red. Very light on the palette with whispers of strawberries, a hint of acid and a clean finish. I am already envisioning this being sipped on a hot summer day in the middle of my rose garden with all that fragrance and beauty being paired with this wine! 
2014 GSM: Heaven in a glass!!! This was so delicious that my husband and I were almost groaning. Best wine I have tasted this year!!!  This is a dark, dark garnet red with deep levels of flavor floating all over your tongue. I tasted sweet fully ripened dark plum juices, mingled with Bing Cherry and a touch of coco powder.  The was so smoooooth you could hardly stop drinking this one. We got one in our shipment, then my husband purchased another bottle before I made it to the counter.  I left the winery with two more in my hands. I couldn't help myself.
2014 Mourvedre: On the first sip you taste a bit of cherry cola that hits the front of your palate. You get a spicy over all taste that lingers with a bit of pepper on the end. My husband saves this wine for his "cigar" moments.  Preferably with a good friend!

Summer Evening at Tapteil

One last note, the view from this winery is also a great one for moonscapes Melanie Thompson ;)

At noon on Saturday we will regroup at Hedges Family Estate.  The surroundings here are higher up on the mountain and have some vast views. The Winery itself is a french chateau that some of the family does indeed live at.  Their story is one of a boy from Richland WA meets girl from Trois-Maisons Champagne France.

Their wines definitely have an old European style and are much more delicate and floral. 

2016 Descendants Le Blanc: This is a great Rhone blend of Viognier, Roussanne, and Marsanne. Fresh green apple finish.
2016 Descendants Le Rose: A rose` of Syrah and Grenache that has a lovely bouquet and taste of strawberries and cream
2012 Hedges Red Mountain:  A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah. Cab Franc, and Petit Vidot.  This was a really well rounded wine as you can imagine with all those grape varietals in this bottle. The flavors really lingered on your mid palate with just enough spice for me. This wine has a subtle earthy tone.
2012 DLD Syrah: Again a much lighter tone then your typical Red Mt. Syrah. The tannin's have a light French Oak style.  Earthy flavors with hints of sweet black licorice.
2013 Godhart Family Syrah: A bit darker and richer in flavors with a pleasant bit of metallic finish on the end. 
2009 Red Mountain Fortified; This old world style port was very smooth and velvety. Very well balanced and just lovely all on it's own. 

We had some lovely cloud structure.  There are also some hidden gardens on the estate to explore.

There are a few more wineries I hope to get to later this week!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Tasting Notes For PAWA

This year Plein Air Washington's paint-out-theme for 2017 is Valleys to Vineyards.  May 19-20 Laura Gables and I will be hosting an event in Eastern Washington that will take in several of our lovely wineries with their vineyard views. In addition to all the info for painting at the event I am providing some wine tasting notes for the wineries that will be hosting us.  Our first day will be spent in Walla Walla Washington.  

Tasting Notes for Walla Walla

Saviah Cellars
  Saviah in the past has been one of my favorite wineries in Walla Walla.  The people are great and I would join their club if I lived there. The Jack labels are a great price point for your everyday table wine.  In the past their Cabs have been high on my list for a great bottle to share over a hearty beef stew with my hubby.  
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon: Light upfront with a peppery spicy finish and a zesty citrus bite.  Mild oak and tannin's.  
2013 Syrah Reserve: 93 pt. Wine Enthusiast   Gold Great NW Wine competition.  Very spicy with hints of ginger and a long smooth finish.  Slightly sweet with big flavors of black and red fruit.This Syrah was the stand out wine in the line up this year.  
2012 Hunt and Gather Red Blend: 92pts. Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. Aromas of huckleberry, plum and black olives.  Smooth cashmere mouth feel and vibrant flavors of blue fruits and dark coffee.
2011 Petit Verdot: This single varietal is usually used for blending but recently is being sold as a standalone wine.  The color alone intrigued me.  Dark inky marionberry red. The flavor was a big bold blast in your mouth and ended in a dry earthy note.

There are some pretty views from this winery with a nice patio to enjoy your lunch or take a nice break on.  I could easily paint from here with a glass of wine at my side!

Amavi Cellars
This winery sits pretty high up on a hill overlooking vineyards and the distant Blue Mountains.    They have a gazebo off to the side which will provide some shade if needed and some great vistas. This wine I did get a chance to taste!  They were so very gracious and I was indeed very pleased with the wine tasting and the ambiance of their tasting room.

2015 Semillon: This was a light easy to drink white wine with a great balance of acidity and sweetness.  Think pineapple and citrus grove, with a bright finish.
2014 Syrah: This was a medium spicy Syrah with a strong hit of tannin's on the finish.  If you are a Syrah fan this will please you and your company.
2014: Cabernet Sauvignon: This cab has a medium boldness with some hints of mineral flavors.  Most Walla Walla Cabs are not as heavily bodied as Yakima Valley and Red Mt. AVA’s can deliver. I found it to have some black fruit overtones with a bit of spice mid palat.
2014 Ceres Red (Tempranillo):  Now my husband would be drinking this with a cigar on the back porch.  Classic leathery taste with some cedar and fudge flavors. Pretty smooth with a hint of berries.

Northstar Winery and Pepper Bridge are going to be your classic Walla Walla wines with that Walla Walla price point.  I did not taste their wines.  They did have some of the best views for vineyards and distance.

Castillo De Feliciana Vineyards on the other hand is one of my favorite spots to land at the end of the day.  The wine and the surrounding vista at sunset is pure sweetness.  The Spanish styled wines are also my favorite!!!  The Tempranillo, Garnacha, and the white Albariño are not to be missed!

Walla Walla Vintners
If you decide to make it over to paint some of their rolling hill views you must buy a bottle of their Sangiovese.  It was my favorite Sangiovese for the last couple of years both for the flavor and price point. 

2015 Columbia Valley Sangiovese: This is a highly drinkable wine for you and your guests to accompany a hearty Italian meal. It is medium bodied and has that distinguishing Chianti flavor with some wild fruit and spice going on. I want more!

This week I will be re visiting my favorite Washington Wine AVA "Red Mountain" and will be giving you some up to the minute tasting notes here on this blog before you head over!  YUM

Mission Statement:  To promote plein air painting in the State of Washington by providing painting, learning, and exhibiting opportunities.

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