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Category: Wine Reviews

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…

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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…

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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

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

2015 Laissez Faire Red

2015 Laissez Faire Red

88 points Medium ruby with youthful red fruits and Red Vine aromas giving way to a pinch of cardamom. The soft, mid-light palate has but a trace of tannin followed by moderate acidity. A no fuss, no frills wine. (MW, February 2017) Price $16 Varietal: Red Blend Region: Snake River Valley AVA Alcohol: 14.1% Producer: Cinder

2013 Château Buisson-Redon Bordeaux

2013 Château Buisson-Redon Bordeaux

83 points Medium ruby with Old World charm in the form of slate, dried herbs, fresh raspberry, and an echo of leather. With moderate alcohol, the medium-minus body gives way to firm, underripe tannins and a tart finish. (MW, January 2017) Price $10 Varietal: Red Blend Region: Bordeaux Alcohol: 12.5%

2014 Owen Roe Abbot’s Table

2014 Owen Roe Abbot’s Table

88 points Juicy and plush with plum and spiced blueberry. Fine, ripe tannins contain a gentle string of acidity through the chewy core. A dusting of cocoa powder adds to the palate. A crowd pleaser, though falling short on dimensionality. Drink now—2020. (MW, January 2017) Price $24 Varietal: Red Blend (Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Blaufrankisch, and Malbec) Region: Columbia Valley, WA Alcohol: 14.1% Producer: Owen Roe