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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.
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2009 Cana’s Feast Counoise

Cana’s Feast is an Oregon-based winery but sources grapes for its Counoise from Coyote Canyon in Washington’s Columbia Valley AVA. While higher in alcohol (14.9%) than the other two wines, the Cana’s Feast Counoise - aged in 100% neutral French oak - is quite simply a gorgeous drinking wine with a subtle aroma of figs and vanilla, and rich, ripe red fruit. This viscous wine is full bodied and defies its age with a solid structure and long, enjoyable finish. Their 2008 Counoise recently earned a Platinum award from Wine Press Northwest.
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2006 Chateau Ste Michelle Columbia Valley Merlot

Clear, bright, medium-plus intensity ruby red coloration with some purple. A clean nose with medium intensity aromas of plum, blackberry, sage, and damp leaves. Dry on the palate with medium-full body, medium tannin and acidity, and balanced alcohol. Medium intense flavors including black cherry, plum, other black fruits, oak, baking spice, and anise. A medium-long finish that really accentuates the black licorice. This wine will pair well with grilled or roasted foods (even tofu!) and should be matched with savory herbs like sage, rosemary, and thyme.
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2008 Maryhill Pinot Gris

Clear, medium intensity straw yellow with hints of green; Clean aromas, medium-soft intensity - a little citrus, lots of pear, sliced apple, delicate floral, fresh pistachio (very slight), and a little oxidation; Dry, medium-light body, medium acidity that gives way to a more rounded texture, medium alcohol; medium intense flavors of lime, unripe peach, a little pineapple, green apple, and that same floral note from the nose. Medium finish. A nice wine, refreshing, perhaps just a little over the hill. Pair with creamy cheese and herbs as an aperitif.
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2006 Otis Kenyon Cabernet Sauvignon

This is very rich wine, with loads of chocolate and bruised black fruit, a touch of cloves, and sweet dusty tannins. Wood effects are obvious, teetering on the edge but not quite tipping into the realm of an "oaksident." The wood is a big part of the flavor profile, turning some drinkers on and others off. Drink it with pan seared lamb chops and deglaze the pan with a little of the wine.
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2006 L’Ecole No. 41 Cabernet Sauvignon

Loads of red fruit, cherries, red currants, and some cranberry flavors are up front, but are augmented in the mid-palate by some eucalyptus, loam, and unsweetened chocolate. Tannins are dusty, almost gritty. Unripe green flavors come through and linger on the finish. Drink with filet and lots of mushrooms sautéed in too much butter.