Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weekend Wine Tasting at Wicked Cellars – July 30th and 31st

July 30,2010

Pomum Cellars Wine Tasting with winemaker/owner Javier Alfonso.
Photo by: Tim Knopf, Wicked Cellars

“Pomum Cellars is the creation of Javier and Shyla Alfonso. Javier is one of those winemakers destined to make wine. With family located in the Ribera Del Duero Spain’s Tempranillo region and family in Zillah, Washington, Javier could run but couldn’t hide very long from finding his place in the heart of Washington’s wine industry.

Pomum’s tasting room is located in Woodinville. They source their grapes from the Yakima Valley and surrounding region including DeBrul Vineyards, Elderding Vineyards, Snipes Canyon Ranch, Upland Vineyards, Dineen Vineyards and their own estate vineyard called AD Dunn.” – NW Wine and Real Estate

Pomum Cellars 2008 Riesling*** apricot, nice minerality, with a nice finish, nether dry nor sweet.

Pomum Cellars 2007 Tinto*** cider, medium body and mild tannins. Because the vines are young 16% Cabernet Sauvignon was added for structure and 12% Merlot for acid balance.

Pomum Cellars 2007 Red Wine*** tart red berries, finish was smooth.

Pomum Cellars 2006 Syrah*** slate, well structured, with well rounded tannins.

Pomum Cellars 2006 Shya Red***perfume, full body, well structured, fruty.

July 31, 2010

Summer Wines Tasting

Photo by: Tim Knopf, Wicked Cellars

Cakebread Cellars 2008 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc Formerly*** ripe melon, bright mineral tones

RMV Cellars 2009 Rosi of Cabernet Franc*** :-) good moth feel, berries, balance. Michael Corliss and Lauri Darneille, whose portfolio includes Corliss Estates and Tranche Cellars acquired Sandhill Winery in the Red Mountain AVA in January of 2008. Founded in 1998, Sandhill focused on Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Gris. Red Mountain Vineyards (RMV), which surrounds the winery and provided Sandhill's estate fruit, was planted 20 years ago. Corliss and Darneille have rebranded Sandhill Winery as RMV Cellars.

Cottonwood Winery 2006 "Marina Piper" Pinot Noir*** cherries and some white peper appear on the nose.

NV Haystack Needle "The Eye" Super-Tuscan Blend, Columbia Valley** red licorice, cherry, light.

Brand 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley** fruit, spice, some tannins.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010 Trouvaille Winery Tasting at Wicked Cellars

Trouvaille Winery is a small family winery, owned and operated by Attila and Laurelee Kovacs-Szabo located in Woodinville. Focusing on producing full-bodied red wines.

Trouvaille Winery, 2007 Merlot, Red Mountain*** cherries, fruit forward

Trouvaille Winery, 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley** cinnamon, smooth tannins

Trouvaille Winery, 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain*** dark red fruit, currant, blackberries

Trouvaille Winery, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley** blackberry, fine tannins

Thursday, July 22, 2010

July 21, 2010 - Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian Banfi Toscana – Wine Dinner

Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian Banfi Toscana – Wine Dinner
Banfi Toscana – Wine Dinner

Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian – Everett***
Everett Washington
Wednesday evening we experience with our friends both old and new another wonderful paring of fine food and wines from family-owned vineyard estate in Tuscany’s Montalcino region, Castello Binfi.

Crostada di Pomodori
Crostada di Pomodori

Crostada di Pomodori** slow roasted Roma tomatoes and goat cheese with Puff Pastry and Roasted Red Pepper puree. A nice start to a wonderful evening.

Maschio Prosecco** bouquet of peach, with peach flavors.

Orecchiette con Granchio
Orecchiette con Granchio

Orecchiette con Granchio**** Dungeness Crab with Calabrese Sausage in white wine and lemon butter with fresh chives. My mouth waters thinking about the flavors. The Calabrese Sausage had the right amount of spice and fat to match with the wine.

Centine Bianco*** lime, with good acidity, off dry and soft

Agnello alla Griglia
Agnello alla Griglia

Agnello alla Griglia**** Grilled Petite Lamb Chops with arugula pesto, Heirloom Tomato Concasse and shaved Parmegiano Reggiano. Executive Chef Matt Romeo’s pairing of Heirloom tomatoes with the chops provide many wonderful layers of flavors. The small amount of fat from the lamb chops took the wine to another level.

Banfi Belnero*** fruity with hints of jam, balanced tannins. This was our favored wine of the evening. Wonderful match for the chop.

Vegetate Misto ai Ferri
Vegetate Misto ai Ferri

Vegetate Misto ai Ferri** red onion, zucchini, fennel, roma tomato and roasted peppers in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic reduction with Oregon blue cheese. This coarse offered the most conversation on the way home as will at the table. Isn’t that what wine and food tasting is all about? For me, while there were a lot of subtle flavors, I would have liked a strong flavor that the rest would have worked off of.

Banfi Chianti Classico** good acidity, played will with the vegetables

Decadance di Cioccolata
Decadance di Cioccolata

Decadance di Cioccolata*** chocolate Tort with Rosa Regali Macerated fresh strawberry puree. Rich, rich, rich

Rosa Regale*** aromatic, soft, berry flavors

Thanks to all our friends at Lombardi’s for a most wonderful wine and food paring and to the great conversation at our table. Food always tastes best with friends and wine.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weekend Wine Tasting at Wicked Cellars

Friday, July 16, 2010

We tasted wines from Freemark Abbey of Napa Valley, the first in California owned and operated by a woman.

Freemark Abbey 2008/9 Viognier*** :-) light greenish straw color, nose of soft peaches, with a creamy mouth feel

Freemark Abbey 2008 Chardonnay*** hint of pineapple

Freemark Abbey 2006/2007 Napa Valley Merlot*** aromatic cedar, cherry fruit

Freemark Abbey 2006 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon*** currant and berrys

2005 Arrowood Late Harvest White Riesling, Alexander Valley** slight fruity

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Wicked Cellars Rhone Rangers Tasting. We tasted of Rhone Valley style wines from Washington, California and Australia.

Ogier 2008 Caves Des Pape Cotes du Rhone Heritage Blanc** light fruit

Ogier 2007 Caves Des Pape Cotes du Rhone Heritage Red**

2008 Torbreck Cuvee Juveniles*** :-) spice, incense

2008 Rotie Cellars Southern Rhone Blend*** raspberry, roses light tannins

Bonny Doon 2004 Le Cigare Volant*** aromas of cherry, herbs

2007 Domaine Jean Royer Chateauneuf de Papa*** palate is big, but smooth, fruit

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

July “Birthday” Road Trip 2010 to Vegas!

July “Birthday” Road Trip 2010 to Vegas!

The Snake River, Twin Falls, Idaho
Our first day out was driving to Twin Falls, Idaho.

The Hotel Eight, Twin Falls, Idaho

Were we stayed at Hotel Eight**


La Fiesta, Mexican Restaurant, Twin Falls, Idaho
La Fiesta, Mexican Restaurant***
Twin Falls, Idaho

La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant Twin Falls, Idaho - La Fiesta Beef Burrito
La Fiesta Beef Burrito*** Char broiled skirt steak


Short drive to Jackpot, Nevada

Barton's Club 93 Casino and Hotel

Barton's Club 93 Casino and Hotel***
Jackpot, Nevada
The room was large, clean and had a balcony as wide as the room.

Cactus Pete’s Desert Room Café***
Jackpot, Nevada
Cactus Pete’s Desert Room Café Jackpot, Nevada - Meat Lover’s Skillet

Meat Lover’s Skillet** 3 scrambled eggs with Cheddar cheese, ham, bacon, sausage, country gravy on golden hash browns. Not as crisp as I would have liked.

Cactus Pete’s Desert Room Café Jackpot, Nevada - Bacon Cheddar Burger

Bacon Cheddar Burger***

Barton's Club 93 Casino, Restaurant**
Jackpot, Nevada

Friday Seafood Buffet** they though this was a big deal. Did not jump for the very deep fried frog legs…

Then off to Vegas...
Flamingo Hotel and Casino
Flamingo Hotel and Casino**
Las Vegas Nevada

The room was old and dirty with papers and pills under the bed. The toilet rocked back and forth like a rocking horse...

Mon Ami Gabi
Mon Ami Gabi
Las Vegas, Nevada
We were able to visit Mon Ami Gabi twice. Located in Paris, Las Vegas, this restaurant has both inside and out side seating. We sat outside both times and enjoyed people watching at is fineness.

Mon Ami Gabi Las Vegas - Cucumber mint Du Jour
 Cucumber mint Du Jour*** a light, tasty Gazpacho

Mon Ami Gabi Las Vegas - Smoked Salmon
 Smoked Salmon*** brioche, crème fraîche, red onion, capers. Wonderful flavors of salmon lightly salted with the capers.

Mon Ami Gabi Las Vegas - Open-Faced Crab Salad Sandwich
 Open-Faced Crab Salad Sandwich** with avocado

Mon Ami Gabi Las Vegas - Open-Faced Ham sandwich
 Open-Faced Ham sandwich**

Mon Ami Gabi Las Vegas - Fig smoked bacon BLT
 Fig smoked bacon BLT*** with organic tomato. Great Ingredients, but still a BLT

Mon Ami Gabi Las Vegas - Sea Scallops Gratinées
 Sea Scallops Gratinées**** caramelized fennel and onion marmalade, mussel cream. Scallops were cooked perfectly, great presentation

Mon Ami Gabi Las Vegas - Warm Brie Cheese

Warm Brie Cheese*** black pepper honey, hazelnuts, croutons.

NV Jean-Louis - Rose Brut** light, off dry rose’

KGB-Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers Harrahs Las Vegas - KGB-Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers

KGB-Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers
Harrahs Las Vegas, Nevada

KGB-Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers Harrahs Las Vegas - Bacon cheese burger
Bacon cheese burger*** medium rear, one of the best burgers I have had.


2010 4th of July Fireworks - Caesar Palace
4th of July in Vegas, we have been in Vegas several times over the 4th. This is the first time I have seen fireworks! Way to go Caesar Palace!


After several days in Las Vegas we are off back to Twin Falls, while at Twin falls we ate at La Fiesta, Mexican Restaurant again.
La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant Twin Falls, Idaho - Char broiled steak
 Char broiled steak*** skirt steak, mushrooms, avocado, sliced egg

La Fiesta Mexican Restaurant Twin Falls, Idaho - Fajitas Quesadilla beef

Fajitas Quesadilla beef***


Wine Tasting in Prosser

Then off to Prosser, Washington for wine Tasting. While in Prosser we had a dinner planed for the first day with our new friends, but first we had a little wine tasting to do.

After visiting with our friends at Olsen Estates we traveled a short distance to Willow Crest for a light late lunch.

Willow Crest Prosser Washington

Meat and cheese platter*** What more do you need with a bottle of Cab Franc?


Alexandria Nicole Cellars
We have been here and their tasting room in Woodinville many times. This visit we tasted there just released club wines and the also new released Merlot.

2009 Marsanne*** peach, with great mouth feel

2008 Grenache*** warm overtones and balance

2008 Primitivo*** black cherry. Washington’s Zins are starting to come on.

2007 Rock Star Red*** jam and spice

2008 Merlot*** Needs more time to develop.

Mercer Estates Winery
Prosser, Washington

2007 Sangiovese*** intense first taste and long

2007 Merlot** light cherry

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon**

2007 Syrah**

Tuscany dinner

Jessie and Susanne Ayala chief and owner of Tuscany Grill in Prosser put together a wonder full off the menu dinner for us and a few of our “new best friends” so we laughingly call our selves.
Carpaccio Kobe Beef at Tuscany Grill

We started with Carpaccio Kobe Beef**** this was to die for. Followed by a wonderful Caser salad***. We posed for a light Pear Sorbet. Jessie then offered a delicious Salmon, Prosciutto, and Olive Tapenade Wrapped with Puff Pastry**** the salmon was off the chart. What about the wine you say. Here it is, the list of wines we all brought in for our meal:

2007 Olsen Estates Petit Verdot

2008 Olsen Estates Blanc des Coteaux

2007 Mercers Sangiovese

2007 Alexandria Nicole Cellars Jet Black Syrah

Food always tastes best with friends and wine.


Day two of our Prosser wine tasting. Off to Red Mountain…

Terra Blanca Winery Benton City Washington

Terra Blanca Winery
Benton City, Washington

2005 Arch Terrace Merlot*** black currents

2003 Estate Reserve Merlot*** long finish

2005 ONYX** dark, with fruit

2006 ONYX** young, with cherry

2005 Arch Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon** lots of tannins

2004 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon**

2004 Winemaker’s Barrel Select Syrah** laid back

2003 Estate Reserve Block 8 Syrah** big nose, hint of burnt rubber

Goedhart Family Benton City Washington

Goedhart Family
Benton City, Washington
Both syrah’s are well made, would only question the price point.

2006 Bel’ Villa Vineyard Syrah***

2008 Bel’ Villa Vineyard Syrah***

Hedges Family Estate Benton City Washington

Hedges Family Estate
Benton City, Washington

2008 CMS Red*** black cherry, balance

2002 Red Mountain Reserve*** dried fruits

2007 Hedges Family Estate, Red Mountian*** cocoa with hints of earth, and mouth feel

2008 Desendants liegeois Dupont, Les Gosses Vibeyard** taste of white pepper

Fidelitas Benton City Washington

Benton City, Washington

2007 Columbia Valley Malbec**** :-)

2007 Jaguar Red Wine***

2007 Columbia Valley Merlot***

2008 Optu White Wine***

2007 eight Red Wine***

2007 Red Mountain Cabernet Franc***

2007 Red Mountain Red Wine**

Kiona Vineyards Winery
Kiona Vineyards Winery
Benton City, Washington

2006 Estate Red Mountain Lemberger*** black cherry color with blackberry flavors

Vivacious Vicky Red Merlot*** light, very drinkable

2003 Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon** light with tannins

2003 Estate Red Mountain Syrah*** hint of spice

2003 Estate Red Mountain Sangiovese**

2006 Estate Zinfandel** light, spicy


Now it’s off to Leavenworth

The Loft Leavenworth Washington
There is a new restaurant in Leavenworth called The Loft. They have over 12 beers on tap. So far they have only burgers and sausages on their menu with a plan to expand over time. The Loft is located over the Soup Cellar restaurant and is owned by the same owners.

Back home we go…