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2007 Maryhill Cabernet Franc Proprietor’s Reserve

The nose is full, dark and red fruit with sweet vanilla and toasted wood. On the palate, loads of chocolate-covered cherries dominate, followed by root beer, then raspberry black tea as it approaches the finish. Tannins are very sweet, just barely dusty, a bit stronger than acids. This would be good with a rib-eye steak, but it would be even better with a good hot dog. Recommended.
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2004 Nicholas Cole Camille

This merlot-driven Washington cuvee shows big fruit slathered with big, but fine, wood. Layers of deep black cherries, some slightly bruised, unsweetened chocolate, and espresso, are sandwiched between thin layers of French oak, offering richness, some depth on the mid-palate, and wood-spice flavors, cedar and sandalwood. Drink with something very thick, very red, and only slightly cooked. Recommended.
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2004 Fidelitas Optu

An elegant offering from Washington’s Columbia Valley. Alcohol on the nose (14.5%) initially obscures the lovely treats underneath of cedar, anise, and fresh leather. Crisp on the palate, soft tannins, and expressive flavors of dark cherry and blackcurrant. At first it seems to finish short, but comes around in short order. A slow starter out of the gate, but a winner by many lengths. A great steak wine. Highly recommended.
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Palate Press Wine of the Week: 2009 Syncline Grüner Veltliner

Clear, bright, medium-plus lemon yellow with green tinges. Clean, medium intensity aromatics, citrus (lemon, lime, pithy), stone fruit (peach pit), melon, green apple, wet rocks. Dry, medium body, medium-plus to high acidity, medium alcohol, green apple skin, peach pit, lime zest, tropical fruit (grilled pineapple); medium-long finish. This wine was definitely a good price-quality value and would do well with a variety of foods. Given the acidity, fats and cream sauces come to mind, but I personally would prefer something that had a bright citrus and fresh herb combination—I’m thinking grapefruit and cilantro, or a zesty mignonette and some ice cold oysters.
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2009 Syncline Grüner Veltliner

Clear, bright, medium-plus lemon yellow with green tinges. Clean, medium intensity aromatics, citrus (lemon, lime, pithy), stone fruit (peach pit), melon, green apple, wet rocks. Dry, medium body, medium-plus to high acidity, medium alcohol, green apple skin, peach pit, lime zest, tropical fruit (grilled pineapple); medium-long finish. This wine was definitely a good price-quality value and would do well with a variety of foods. Given the acidity, fats and cream sauces come to mind, but I personally would prefer something that had a bright citrus and fresh herb combination—I’m thinking grapefruit and cilantro, or a zesty mignonette and some ice cold oysters.
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2004 Nicholas Cole Camille

This merlot-driven Washington cuvee shows big fruit slathered with big, but fine, wood. Layers of deep black cherries, some slightly bruised, unsweetened chocolate, and espresso, are sandwiched between thin layers of French oak, offering richness, some depth on the mid-palate, and wood-spice flavors, cedar and sandalwood. Drink with something very thick, very red, and only slightly cooked (and you know who you are).
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2009 Wines of Substance Counoise

Aged in 100% neutral French oak, this 2009 American Counoise exhibits a signature burgundy hue that looks slightly darker than your typical Pinot Noir. Spicy and sultry, this wine tickles the back of the palate just as you begin to detect hints of vanilla, raspberries, and loam. While it demonstrates its youth, Substance’s Counoise is ready to be paired with a French country dinner of roasted rosemary chicken and red potatoes. It is enjoyable by the glass but its beautiful, tight structure requires some decanting before serving.