Palate Press Wines of the Year
As Publisher of Palate Press: The online wine magazine, it is my honor to announce the 2011 Palate Press Wines of the Year.
This year we have three Wines of the Year. The first was selected in a blind tasting of Palate Press Wines of the Week at the Third Annual Palate Press Grand Tasting. The second and third are our readers’ choices, selected in two polls, red and white, of the entire year’s Palate Press Wines of the Week.
The winning wines are 2007 Cornerstone Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, 2010 Ghost Hill Cellars Pinot Noir Blanc, and 2009 Helioterra Columbia Valley Syrah.
2007 Cornerstone Cellars Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
WHO: Cornerstone Cellars
WHAT: Cabernet Sauvignon
WHERE: Howell Mountain, Napa Valley, California,
HOW MUCH: $75 (media sample)
Improving with every sip, gaining structure and depth with every extra minute of air, this is a beautiful baby that will, with time, mature into a gorgeous adult. Dark fruit (blackcurrant and mulberry) has a background of tobacco leaf and the tiniest touch of cayenne. Rich very dark chocolate and espresso pop on the mid-palate. Tannins are very sweet and dusty. Even with all the rich sweetness, it also has good acids and an underlying minerality, offering a decade or more in the cellar, maturing and offering layers of primary and secondary flavors in the future. Drink with a good steak and a better friend. Very highly recommended.
2010 Ghost Hill Cellars Pinot Noir Blanc
WHO: Ghost Hill Cellars
WHAT: Pinot Noir
WHERE: Yamhill-Carlton, Willamette Valley, Oregon
HOW MUCH: $25 (Media sample)
Clear, bright, medium-light straw color. Clean nose with youthful medium intensity aromas of mango, banana, fresh fennel, peach pit, and ginger. Dry on the palate, medium body, with medium-high acidity but a round texture. Flavors of pineapple, sliced yellow apple, cooked pear, candied lemon rind, and pink apples. Pair with pineapple and bourbon glazed salmon. Recommended.
2009 Helioterra Columbia Valley Syrah
WHERE: Horse Heaven Hills, Washington
HOW MUCH: $20
Clear, medium-deep intensity, plum purple in color. Clean nose with medium to medium-full aromas of dark fruit, plum, raspberry, blackberry, and savory herbs, rosemary, coffee. Dry on the palate with medium-full tannin, medium-low acidity, and flavors of cherry conserves, blackberry, sage, and oak. Needs time; pair with sautéed portabella mushrooms tossed with herbs and cooked raspberries. Recommended.