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Walla Walla Valley

Spring Valley Vineyard Katherine Corkrum Cabernet Franc 2013

Spring Valley Vineyard Katherine Corkrum Cabernet Franc 2013

The 2013 Spring Valley Vineyard Katherine Corkrum offers more complexity than I tend to find in Washington State Cabernet Franc. It's a wellspring of mulberries and pie cherries neatly hemmed in by dried orange peel, baking spices and subtle, dusty earthiness. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, with velvety tannins and delightfully spice and white-pepper-laden finish that contributes to this wine's genial profile. 14.3% ABV | Sample Spring Valley Vineyard 9.2 Points  ...

Spring Valley Vineyard Frederick 2013

Spring Valley Vineyard Frederick 2013

A Bordeaux-style blend of 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 13% Merlot, 22% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, the 2013 Spring Valley Vineyard Frederic offers sumptuous fruit on the nose and palate. Twenty months in new French oak has further graced it with a balanced, well-integrated toast profile of vanilla and pencil shavings lending structure to a core of juicy, blackberry and black cherry, and plum. Nice persistence on the finish that unspools to reveal bay leaf and green peppercorn. 14.4% ABV | Sample Spring Valley Vineyard 9.1 Points  ...

Spring Valley Vineyard Nina Lee 2012

Spring Valley Vineyard Nina Lee 2012

Co-fermented with 1% Viognier, Spring Valley Vineyard's 2012 Nina Lee Syrah opens with a lilting topnote of dried violet that floats above weightier aromas of blackberry cobbler and black cherry. The wine's namesake, a nod to the family's enduring history in Walla Walla, Nina Lee was the wife of Frederick Corkrum. After meeting following her vaudeville performance at a local theater, they married in 1929. It's a full and supple wine, nicely balanced with velvety tannins and a winsome dash of pink peppercorn on the finish. Sample Spring Valley Vineyard 9.0 Points...

Spring Valley Vineyard Sharilee Petit Verdot 2012

Spring Valley Vineyard Sharilee Petit Verdot 2012

Aged 19 months in 100% neutral oak, the 2012 Spring Valley Vineyard Sharilee Petit Verdot is within it's drinking window, the nose a confluence of fleshy plum and ripe blackberries underscored by spice and a subtle top note of wild fennel. On the palate, the structure is particularly lovely—velvety tannins frame out a plush, black-fruited core. The acid balance is noteworthy too, it crescendos gracefully and subsides to a bay leaf and cedar finish. 14.8% ABV | Sample Spring Valley Vineyard 9.1 Points...

Waters Loess Vineyard Syrah 2012

Waters Loess Vineyard Syrah 2012

Co-fermented with 4% Viognier, Waters 2012 Loess Syrah is crafted from fruit sourced from Leonetti Cellars estate vineyard. Earth, Italian plum, and blackberry reduction weave through seductive notes of brûléed turbinado sugar, earth, and charcuterie. It's a sumptuous, well structured wine, framed in moderate toast with enough acidic lift to maintain balance. A meandering, lengthy finish completes this stunning portrait of Walla Walla Valley Syrah. Sample Waters Winery 9.3 Points...

Figgins Walla Walla Valley Estate Red 2011

Figgins Walla Walla Valley Estate Red 2011

While the exquisite 2010 Figgins Estate Red merited points well above 95, and the 2012 showed off its pedigree and sumptuous velvety elegance, the 2011 vintage is a good effort in one of the more difficult recent vintages in Walla Walla Valley. As expected, the profile is lighter and leaner on the nose and palate. Black cherries, black currants, graphite and a swirling topnote of incense and baking spice. In the mouth, it's medium bodied and ruby-hued, with ultra-fine tannins steeped in black tea and bay leaf. Figgins Wine 9.1 Points...

Walla Walla Vintners Vottavo 2012

Walla Walla Vintners Vottavo 2012

Walla Walla Vintners shows of svelte new packaging with the release of this wine—the 2012 Vottavo is a blend of 47% Sangiovese, 32% Merlot, and 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, all from Walla Walla's Cut Bank Estate Vineyard. Intensely perfumed and infused with sandalwood, exotic spices, black cherries, and plums. The palate is plush, yet elegant, thanks in part to the in the distribution of acid and a suffusion of fine tannins. Nice persistence on the finish, too, one that ends in dried herbs and cedar. 14.3% ABV | Sample Walla Walla Vintners 9.2 Points...

Va Piano Les Collines Vineyard Syrah 2014

Va Piano Les Collines Vineyard Syrah 2014

Another epic wine Jay shared at a recent Vivino meetup in Seattle. Va Piano's 2014 Les Collines Vineyard Syrah is the proverbial iron fist in the velvet glove. It's classic for Les Collines fruit, offering up caliginous tones of steeped blackberries, espresso, char, tilth and bay leaf. The palate is as earth-bound as the nose, yet there is elegance and balance to be found amid sueded tannins that fade in a burst of cedar and black pepper. Va Piano Vineyards 9.2 Points...

UnCruise Adventures

Experience Oregon & Washington Wine Country Aboard a Replica Coastal Steamer

Join Me for a 7-Night Wine-Themed Cruise on the Columbia, Snake & Willamette Rivers Evidence of the ice age floods is easy to spot — 15,000 years later, the results are as profound as they are delicious. Lifting a glass of glinting ruby-hued wine, it’s impossible not to appreciate the lasting effects ancient geology had on this remarkable region. Complex soils, ample sun,  just-so winds, and the unwavering dedication of Oregon and Washington winemakers—this combination of factors have yielded spectacular results. I’m pleased to announce that once again, I’ll be partnering with UnCruise Adventures as the wine expert on two ‘Rivers of Wine’ cruises. Together we’ll explore five AVA’s traversing dramatic topography as we make our way east along the Columbia—from alpine forest to semi-arid desert—we’ll visit multiple wineries followed by nightly onboard tastings and presentations. I’ll co-host the wine presentations along with the ship’s talented resident sommelier. [caption id="attachment_11536" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Rivers of Wine Map[/caption] Itinerary Day 1 Portland, Oregon–Embarkation A crew member shows you to your cabin. After a short time getting situated, gain your bearings with a spin around the ship before heading to the lounge where sparkling wine and hors d’oeuvres await as you set sail from the City of Roses along the mighty Columbia River. DAY 2—Hood...

Cayuse Vineyards Armada Vineyard Syrah 2007

Cayuse Vineyards Armada Vineyard Syrah 2007

From last night's Vivino meetup, this bottle, the 2007 Cayuse Armada Vineyard Syrah is a dead ringer for a Northern Rhône. Waves of bacon fat, black tea and savory tones dominate the profile of this full-bodied, intense cult wine. At this stage in its development, fruit is no longer the central player, rather it plays a supporting role, reminiscent of a savory blackberry reduction sauce made more complex by cedar, olive tapenade, garrigue, and green peppercorn. Wow, just wow. Cayuse Vineyards 9.6 Points ...