Monday, December 20, 2010

Our 2010 top 50+ Washington State Wines of the year

Our top wines for 2010 were wines we’ve tasted over the past months that received a four star or above on our ‘we know what we like ‘ scoring system. Not very scientific but fun…

Alexandria Nicole Cellars - 2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon**** plums, raspberries, cherries, nice tannins

Alexandria Nicole Cellars - 2007 Duck Press Red**** black cherries, minerals

Alexandria Nicole Cellars - 2008 Members Only**** cherry, fruit, chewy

Amavi - 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley**** dark fruit, wild berries, herbs, spice

Amavi - 2007 Syrah Walla Walla Valley**** fruit, blueberries, minerals

Bunnell Family Cellars - 2007 Lia**** berries, spices, soft tannins

Bunnell Family Cellars - 2006 Boushey-McPherson Vineyard Syrah**** blackberry, plum, spice

Canon De Sol Winery - 2005 Merlot****

Columbia Crest - 2006 Walter Clore Private Reserve Red**** spice, earth, dark berries, long finish

Coyote Canyon - 2008 Primitivo**** warm, spice

Cuillin Hills Winery - 2007 The Dungeon, Syrah**** wonderfully peppery

DeLille Cellars and Doyenne - 2007 Doyenne Syrah**** the mouth feel is quite large and though still elegant.

Des Voigne Cellars - 2008 The Duke**** Zinfandel/Cab Franc/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot, ripe fruit, pepper, Medium-bodied

Des Voigne Cellars - 2007 Montreux**** Syrah, wild blueberries, spices, floral

Dusty Cellars - 2008 Leonidas Syrah**** dark fruit, jam, spice, tannins

Edmonds Winery - 2007 Delorious Red**** Great nose with a long and smooth finish.

EFESTE - 2007 Ceidleigh Syrah**** dried cherries, currant, with smooth tannins

EFESTE - 2007 Big Papa Cab**** cherries, raspberries, big wine

Fidelitas - 2007 Columbia Valley Malbec****

Fidelitas - 2006 OPTU**** black currant, black cherry, oak

Gamache Vintners - 2006 Estate Boulder Red**** a nice, easy drinking wine, 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 13% Cabernet Franc, 12% Merlot, and 12% Syrah

Gamache Vintners - 2005 Estate Syrah**** spice on the palate. 91 Points - Wine Spectator

Guardian Cellars - 2007 "The Wanted"**** black currants, berries

Heaven’s Cave Cellars - 2007 Two Degrees Barbera**** plum jam and earthy

Irlandes Wines - 2007 Irlandes Reserve Merlot**** jammy

Irlandes Wines - 2007 Irlandes Reserve Syrah**** jammy

Mark Ryan Winery- 2008 Viognier Columbia Valley**** tropical fruit, stone fruit, minerals, balance

Mark Ryan Winery- 2008 Chardonnay Columbia**** mouth feel, acidity, mandarin, peaches

Mark Ryan Winery- 2008 Wild Eyed Syrah Red Mountain**** leather, wet tobacco, spice, pepper

Mark Ryan Winery- 2007 Lonely Heart Cabernet Sauvignon **** dark plum, pepper, black olive, tannins

Milbrandt Vineyards - 2007 Estates Malbec**** jammy, rich, silky, velvety.

Olsen Estate - 2008 Grenache**** All I can say about this is “Wow”

Olsen Estate - 2008 Heritage**** cooler conditions will make this drinkable early on.

O’Shea Scarborough - 2007 Revelation Merlot**** A truly elegant wine

Otis Kenyon - 2007 Syrah**** balance, slate

Owen Roe - 2008 Yakima Valley Red**** cherry, plums, mouthfeel

Pepper Bridge Winery - 2007 Merlot Walla Walla Valley**** flowers, chocolate

Pepper Bridge Winery - 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley**** blackberries, black cherry, tannins

Pepper Bridge Winery - 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley**** minerals, earth, elegant, tannins

Red Sky - 2006 Serendipity****

San Juan Vineyards - 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon**** flavor on the mid palate with cherry finishing nicely with a hint of oak. Kestrel View Estates fruit.

Snoqualmie - 2008 Malbec**** plum, spices

Snoqualmie - 2006 Reserve Syrah**** herbal, smoky, fruit, soft tannins

Sojen Cellars - 2007 Andrew Joel Cabernet Sauvignon**** slate, chocolate, balance, young needs to breath

Stevens Winery - 2009 Stevens divio Viognier**** great acid, orange blossoms

Tranche Cellars - 2007 Roussanne-Viognier**** minerals, sliced apples, peach, light oak

William Church Winery - 2007 Sur La Mer**** This classic Bordeaux blend consists of 40% Cabernet, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec, 10% Petit Verdot. Very well balanced

Willow Crest - 2007 Mourvedre**** clover, anise

Willow Crest - 2008 Cab Franc**** spice, pepper

XSV - 2003 Chardonnay ****

XSV - 2004 Syrah****

XSV - 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon****

XSV - 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon****

This was a great year of wine tasting and trying new foods. Thanks to all our new friends and old friends who made it all possible.
Happy New Year…

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wicked Cellars "Miracle on Colby Avenue" Double Tasting Friday and Ray Bloom from Vinum Wine Importing and Distributing on Saturday

Friday December 10th - Sparkling Wines with Stephanie Seybold from Odom and Fine Ports from Portugal from C and G Imports

Sparkling Wines:

La Marca Prosecco**+ citrus, light honey

Domaine Chandon Riche Sparkling Wine*** honeyed fruit, nectarine

Louis Bouillot Perle d'Aurore Rose’ Brut*** fruity

Gloria Ferrer VA de VI*** ripe apple

Covet Sparkling Brut Reserve, Washington State** bright apple

Mumm Napa Brut Napa Valley Prestige NV***+ citrus, stone fruit, balance acidity

Veuve Cliquot Yellow Label Brut Champagne in the Ice Jacket*** fruit, raisins

Shingleback "Black Bubbles" Sparkling Shiraz*** spice, dark cherries

Fine Port:

This year's port tasting was brought to us by C and G Imports.

We focus this Friday on the products of two prestigious port houses Porto Rocha, founded in 1850 by Antonio da Rocha. For over 150 years Rocha has continued as a high quality boutique port producer, now under the management of the Sogevinus port group. Sogevinus also manages our other port house, Porto Kopke, the world's oldest existing Port producer, founded in 1638 by German diplomat Cristiano Kopke. In 2010 Porto Kopke will celebrate 372 years of continuous production.

Tasting notes provided by Wicked Cellars.

Porto Kopke Dry White Port - This port is the exception to the process described above but even so it rivals the best Fino Sherry as an aperitif or even dry dessert port but with longer shelf life. It drinks like a spicy wine with a rich, nutty character. It's also wonderful as "Portonic", poured over the rocks with a splash of tonic and squeeze of lime.

Porto Rocha 2005 LBV - This a newly released vintage port that can be enjoyed without lengthy aging because of the way that it sees more barrel age, is fined and filtered before bottling.

Porto Kopke 20 year Tawny - This elegant port is rich and nutty with flavors that go on forever. It's a creamy-smooth blend of 15-to-35 year old tawnies showing deep caramel, dried fig flavor and well-developed color. "Kopke draws on good stocks of (its own) aged tawnies. This wine certainly tastes all of 20 years, with its richness and dryness finely in balance, and with lemon jelly and intense ripe fruits shining through." 92 pts. Wine Enthusiast - Aug 2006.

Porto Rocha Vintage 2000 - "Good full ruby. Aromas of dark fruits, spiced meat, minerals & licorice, with floral & earthy notes. Not fleshy but juicy & lively, with good balance & cut. Spreads out horizontally on the finish with fine tannins coating the palate." 89 pts International Wine Cellar, Stephen Tanzer

"This monolithic, dense ruby/purple colored port offers notes of roasted meat, licorice, new saddle leather, espresso, camphor and black fruits. Medium to full bodied and rich with firm tannins in the finish, it will be at its finest between 2007-2020." 88+ pts The Wine Advocate, Parker.

Porto Kopke Vintage 2000 - The Kopke 2000's depth and complexity assures a long future in a port that will continue to round out over the next 10-15 years. Dense ripe fruit and spices with dark plum and black cherry. "A dark, ruby/purple color is followed by an evolved bouquet of chocolate, earth and black fruits. The wine possesses medium body, lovely sweetness, some tannin, and a mid-weight style. Anticipated maturity 2005-2016." 89 points The Wine Advocate, Parker

Porto Kopke Colheita 1988 - This appealing tawny delivers a rich mouthful of deep caramel backed flavors of ripe cherries, hazelnut, sweet fruit tea and orange zest that leads to an enduring and memorable finish.

Three Centuries of Porto Rocha - This is a rare blend of old tawnies spanning three centuries of port. It offers a highly aromatic nose of alyssum and bergamot followed by flavors of brown sugar fudge, walnuts and dried fruit still vibrant over more than 100 years of cask aging. It is blended from scarce vintages of the 19th and 20th Centuries, including the fabulous, rare 1900 Colheita. Tasting this port is like a trip back through history, "a gracefully smooth and seductive mouth feel and a toasty, smoky, slight salty/nutty nuance with layers of coconut, hazelnut and mandarin orange provide profound complexity. The finish is what legends are made of. One of the most unique bottles of Port in that it is shaped like a sail, or as if someone cut the bottle in half lengthwise." Roy Hersh 93 pts. For The Love of Port

Saturday the 11th - New Wines and New Releases from Vinum Wine Importing and Distributing hosted by our friend, Ray Bloom.

2008 For A Song Chardonnay*** crisp, clean

2008 For A Song "The Score" Merlot Blend**+ leather, fruit

2008 For A Song Cabernet Sauvignon**+ olives, cloves, light tannins

2007 Sweet Valley Double Barrel Red, Walla Walla Valley*** dust, coffee, almonds

Mannina Cellars 2007 RoseAnne's Red*** stone fruit, complex

Owen Roe 2008 Yakima Valley Red**** cherry, plums, mouthfeel

Thanks to Wicked Cellars for a great weekend of wine tasting…

Monday, December 13, 2010

Julia's inspired Boeuf Bourguignon – Boeuf a La Bourguignonne

Julia's inspired Boeuf Bourguignon
Boeuf Bourguignon may be one of Julia Child most famous recipes. For our Julia's inspired Boeuf Bourguignon, we chose a 2007 Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne, to cook with and also to drink. Mushrooms of choice were Shiitake and Crimini, remember “don’t crowd the mushrooms.” For the ‘lardoons’ we found non-cured thick slice bacon at our local grocery store. Enjoy

Preparing Julia's inspired Boeuf Bourguignon – Shiitake and Crimini “Don’t crowd the mushrooms”
Preparing Julia's inspired Boeuf Bourguignon – Also “Don’t crowd the meat"

Preparing Julia's inspired Boeuf Bourguignon – Adding wine (2007 Vieilles Vignes Bourgogne), beef stock to the seared meat and lardons (non-smoked bacon)
Preparing Julia's inspired Boeuf Bourguignon – Add uncooked vegetables and spices in a cheese cloth bag for flavor

Preparing Julia's inspired Boeuf Bourguignon – Removing the vegetable and spice bag after approximately 3 hours
Preparing Julia's inspired Boeuf Bourguignon – Adding the previously prepared vegetables
Preparing Julia's inspired Boeuf Bourguignon – Finished 

Janet preparing Julia's inspired Boeuf Bourguignon – Platted ‘let’s eat’ Bon Appetit!

You can find Julia’s recipe on page 315, Mastering The Art Of French Cooking

Bon Appetit!

Monday, December 6, 2010

December Weekend Wine Tasting and Special Event at Wicked Cellars – Fun at Luca’s Ristorante & Pizzeria – Small plate dinner at Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian Restaurant’s Everett – Early Dinner at Diamond Knot Lincoln Avenue

Friday 5th December

Wicked Cellars
Everett Washington

Vietti Winery Wine Tasting Wicked Cellars Everett

This Friday Darren Burgess of Unique Wines presented wines of Vietti Winery Castiglione Falletto, Piedmont, Italy.

The history of the Vietti winery traces its roots back to the 19th Century. Only at the beginning of the 20th century, however, did the Vietti name become a winery offering its own wines in bottle.

Patriarch Mario Vietti, starting from 1919 made the first Vietti wines, selling most of the production in Italy. His most significant achievement was to transform the family farm, engaged in many fields, into a grape-growing and wine-producing business.

Then, in 1952, Alfredo Currado (Luciana Vietti’s husband) continued to produce high quality wines from their own vineyards and purchased grapes. The Vietti winery grew to one of the top-level producers in Piemonte and was one of the first wineries to export its products to the USA market.

Vietti 2009 Roero Arneis**+ crisp, floral, melon

2009 Moscato d'Asti "Cascinetta"*** peach, ginger good balance, low alcohol

2009 Dolcetto d'Alba "Tre Vigne"**+ black cherries, raspberry, minerals

2008 Barbera d'Alba "Tre Vigne"**+ bright acidity, cherry

2007 Nebbiolo Langhe "Perbacco"*** menthol, spices, hard candy

2005 Barolo "Castiglione"***+ spice, tannins, crisp acidity, what can I say it is a Barolo…


Luca’s Ristorante and Pizzeria Lake Stevens
Luca’s Ristorante and Pizzeria
Lake Stevens Washington
Two of our small grand daughters joined us for dinner, what fun…

Luca’s Ristorante and Pizzeria Antipasto Italiana
Antipasto Italiana***+ cured dried Italian specialty meats, served with grilled vegetable and olives

Luca’s Ristorante and Pizzeria Regina Margherita with meat balls
Regina Margherita with meat balls*** tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, Parmigiano cheese, olive oil, basil, meat balls

Luca’s Ristorante and Pizzeria VesuvIo Calzone
VesuvIo Calzone*** Stuffed with fresh ricotta cheese, mozzarella, prosciutto cotto (ham), salami, Parmigiano topped with tomato sauce mozzarella and fresh basil

Luca’s Ristorante and Pizzeria

Luca’s Ristorante and Pizzeria

Saturday 4th December

Special Afterhours Event at Wicked Cellars 
Special Afterhours Event at Wicked Cellars – Wine Tasting.

Wicked Cellars is available for private after hours wine tasting parties for any occasion, like birthdays, anniversaries, retirement parties, wedding showers, book club meetings, business presentations or just a get together with a group of friends to share a great evening of wine, food. They can provide everything including sumptuous catering and expert wine instruction.

Any event can be tailored to its participants, whether it's sequential tasting of French wines highlighting Burgundy and Bordeaux with blind tasting or just an interesting sampling of Northwest Wine and Micro-Brews.

Our event was a wine tasting with small appetizers. Fun was had by all…

Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian – Everett
Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian – Everett
Everett Washington
Ok, we were hunger after tasting wine and enjoying appetizers. So off to Lombardi’s we went. Decided to sit in the bar and try their $10 small plate bar menu, I’m glad we did…
Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian – Everett Grilled Salmon
Grilled Salmon**** extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, Linguini

Lombardi’s Neighborhood Italian – Everett Sirloin Steak
Sirloin Steak**** sea salt, mash potatoes

Sunday 5th December

Diamond Knot Lincoln Avenue
Mukilteo Washington
Where better to watch the last half of the Seattle Seahawk game…
Diamond B.L.T.S.
Knot Lincoln Avenue
B.L.T.S.**+ 8 slices of bacon, mayo, guacamole, lettuce, roma tomatoes, burgundy onions and Swiss cheese
Diamond  Pepperoni Pizza
Knot Lincoln Avenue
Pepperoni Pizza*** marinara, pepperoni and mozzarella, olives