article placeholder

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.
article placeholder

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.
article placeholder

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.
article placeholder

2007 Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 Red

Bright, medium-deep intensity, ruby with some purple. On the nose, dark fruit, bramble, blueberry, black cherry, raspberry jam. All fruits are on their way to being cooked, but not stewed. New oak, baking spice, vanilla, some herbs—but not prominent. Dry, medium+ body, medium intensity. Fruits confirmed: black cherry, raspberry, plum, jam. Toasted oak, vanilla, cinnamon, and coffee on the palate. Medium acidity, medium tannin, medium alcohol, medium-long finish. The spice from the oak and some fruit linger. In summary, this is a fairly decent table wine, especially given the price. The finish is really good for a wine that might be presumed to be "low quality." No doubt this is mass-produced, but is an excellent every day wine. I'll definitely buy again.
article placeholder

2007 Sinclair Cabernet Sauvignon

A rich, full nose begins with cherry and chocolate over hugely coffee underpinnings for a velvety effect. Promises made by the aroma are fulfilled by a big, beautifully chocolaty mouth-feel. Dense flavors of chocolate and coffee predominate, effectively lightened and balanced by slightly spicy tannins on the finish. With more time and exposure, vanilla flavors also come through on a finish pleasantly lacking in heat. This would be a natural with anything involving wild mushrooms: rich enough to handle intense earthy flavors but smooth enough not to overwhelm. Lovely.
article placeholder

Spokane: Washington’s Hidden Gem

The coffee finally started kicking in somewhere around the outskirts of Spokane. I had just spent the previous five days on a non-stop tour of wineries in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, then moved on to the Yakima Valley in Washington, followed by the Wine Bloggers’ Conference in Walla Walla. The only thing keeping my sleep deprived body going was a large cup of my favorite stimulant.