Browsed by
Author: Matt Wieland

Having resided in both Washington and Oregon, my reflections and insights begin with the vines and wines of these two states (Wa—gon). However, I never limit my creaky wagon to this corner of the world, as impressive as it is.

The Heights of Washington Wine on Medium

The Heights of Washington Wine on Medium

This one has been in the works for months. Originally slated for Wine Tourist Magazine, WTM unfortunately closed their doors as a publication two months before going to print. After exploring a few homes for this piece, I landed on posting it on Medium. Enjoy here: Such Great Heights: The Upper Reaches of Washington Wine on Medium   Beyond this Medium article, I have two more pieces in the works, one for Growler Magazine. Stay tuned. The couple month hiatus has been…

Read More Read More

No Fun Getting Old: Age and Wine

No Fun Getting Old: Age and Wine

“How you doing, Grandpa?” “Well, it’s no fun getting old,” wheezed my great-grandfather Wes. Then, a deep breath. It was meant as a direct response to a rote question. It frequently left me grinning uncomfortably. For many, aged wine contains an aura of near mythical power. Hold a 30 year old wine in your hands, and you hold history, even time itself. We are taught that aged wines bring new depths to explore, and we hear a similar message about…

Read More Read More

2014 Clearwater Canyon Coco’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Clearwater Canyon Coco’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

92 points Deep ruby with purple hues, the nose provides intense black currant, blackberry liqueur, leather, and smoked jerky aromatics with black olive whispering in the background. An abundance of smooth, ripe tannins ride on the ripe, deep flavors, which echo the nose. Nice persistence and well-layered. A noteworthy effort from a respected producer in the brave new world of Idaho winemaking. Drink 2018—2026. (MW, June 2017) Price $42 Varietals: 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Syrah, 8% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, 3% Merlot Region: Lewis-Clark…

Read More Read More

2013 Walla Walla Vintners Merlot

2013 Walla Walla Vintners Merlot

91 points Deep ruby with spiced plum, fresh blackberry, graphite, and slate spilling compellingly from the glass. Ripe fruit joins the poised palate deftly balancing depth and buoyancy. The mid-palate gives way to clear, structured tannins and well-integrated acidity. Developing nicely with additional aging potential. Drink now through 2023+. (MW, May 2017) Price $30 Varietal: Merlot Region: Walla Walla Valley AVA Alcohol: 14.2% Producer: Walla Walla Vintners

Beaujolais All Day

Beaujolais All Day

I recently had the fortune to sit down with Aurélien Fiatdet of Terroirs Originels and Tom Monroe of Division Winemaking Company for an exploration of cru Beaujolais. Held at the SE Wine Collective, Aurélien led an intimate group through a 15 minute overview of the region before pouring seven distinct Crus ranging from the 2016 vintage to 1995. For decades Beaujolais was cast aside as a land of cheap, monodimensional Beaujolais Nouveau. This “one trick pony” had much more to offer, however. Inspiring grower…

Read More Read More

2014 Wy’east Vineyards Vinette’s Cuvee Pinot Noir

2014 Wy’east Vineyards Vinette’s Cuvee Pinot Noir

89 points Medium ruby with nice aromatic intensity. Violet pastille, candied cherry, energetic raspberry, and a pinch of oak spice make a compelling statement. The body shows Oregon meeting German Spätburgunder, lithe with vivacious acidity and a low-level of grippy tannins. Tart cherry takes the command here. True to its source, even in warm vintages. (MW, May 2017) Price $37 Varietal: Pinot Noir Region: Columbia Gorge AVA Alcohol: 13.6% Producer: Wy’east Vineyards

2015 Cinder Viognier

2015 Cinder Viognier

91 points Medium gold with pointed aromas of ripe pineapple, watermelon rind, perfumed lilac, and nectarine. Medium-plus in body with moderate acidity, the palate brings honeycomb, lanolin, and more pineapple, all weaving into a compelling experience. Expressive and varietally spot on. (MW, April 2017) Price $18 Varietal: Viognier Region: 60% Washington, 40% Idaho Alcohol: 13.8% Producer: Cinder

Repackaged, Repriced: Trickster Branding in the 21st Century

Repackaged, Repriced: Trickster Branding in the 21st Century

In the February edition of Wine Business Monthly, Kevin O’Brien penned a noteworthy article filled with curious nooks and crannies. Good news! Wine sales continue to grow, especially in the $10-$25 category. Sales of $6-$10 wines have meanwhile declined. This has resulted in the “premiumization” of the wine business. Even better, wine drinkers are lusting for honest wines. “. . . consumers are continuing to demand premium products across all beverage alcohol categories as they seek an authentic, high-quality experience.” Of course, corporate…

Read More Read More

2014 Wy’east Vineyards Pinot Gris

2014 Wy’east Vineyards Pinot Gris

87 points Pale lemon with subtle, youthful aromas of green apple, Bartlett pear, and slate. Dry leaning in to off-dry with noteworthy, well-integrated acidity. Length lacked luster, perhaps due to age. (MW, February 2017) Price $20 Varietal: Pinot Gris Region: Columbia Gorge AVA Alcohol: 13.1% Producer: Wy’east Vineyards

2014 Cinder Tempranillo

2014 Cinder Tempranillo

89 points Medium ruby with purple undertones. Toasty oak leads with deep aromas of spiced plum and cherry pie following neatly behind. A well tuned wine with tannins, acid, and body all providing punctual counterpoints. Tart cherry makes its way into the mid-palate, and the finish proves satisfying. Think cabin in the winter woods with log fire cracklin’. (MW, February 2017) Price $29 Varietal: Tempranillo Region: Snake River Valley AVA, Idaho Alcohol: 14.1% Producer: Cinder