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'14 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Fresh Sheet March 27th 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013



Today’s Fresh Sheet – new and recent releases – includes wines from IdilicoBunnell Family CellarGlencorrieCloudlift Cellars, and Anelare.

Idilico

Idilico is winemaker Javier Alfonso’s (Pomum Cellars) winery dedicated to Spanish varieties. The winery is named after a bull in Barcelona that survived a fight on September 21, 2008 and was subsequently pardoned for its performance.

The latest releases include the winery’s first Graciano. Often used in Rioja to add color and acidity to Tempranillo-dominant wines, this late ripening grape variety is rarely offered there or elsewhere as a stand-alone wine.

While it’s difficult to put this wine in context due to the rarity of the grape - and this is the first varietal bottling I am aware of in Washington although I have seen it in blends - it’s a wine I kept coming back to, drawn by its aromatic complexity, bold acid and tannic structure. The low cost to entry makes for easy exploration, and the style makes it a perfect fit for the dinner table.

Read previous reviews of Idilico wines here.

Idilico Graciano Washington 2010 $20
 (Good/Excellent) A very aromatically distinct wine with black pepper, plum, orange peel, dark flowers, and high toned herbal notes. The palate has tart, citrusy, mouthwatering acid, firm tannins and bitters on the finish. A very intriguing and promising entry for this variety into Washington. 100% Graciano. Upland Vineyard. Aged 15 months in French oak. 14.0% alcohol. 170 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Idilico Tempranillo Washington 2010 $20
(Decent/Good) A moderately aromatic wine with yellow raisins, sweet spice, and sour cherry. The palate has tart fruit flavors and firm, slightly bitter tannins. 100% Tempranillo. Elerding (Horse Heaven Hills) and Upland vineyards. 14.0% alcohol. 216 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.


Bunnell Family Cellar

At Prosser’s Bunnell Family Cellar, winemaker Ron Bunnell makes three separate labels. The Bunnell Family Cellar label focuses on Rhone and Bordeaux varieties, including a number of vineyard designates. The Wine O’Clock label (named after the attached restaurant and wine bar with the same name) focuses on food friendly wines. Finally, the RiverAerie label is a bit of a playground for Bunnell to experiment with wines that don’t quite fit elsewhere.

There is much to enjoy in all three. From Bunnell Family, the Fraiche white wine, equal parts Picpoul, Grenache Blanc, Marsanne, and Roussanne from Boushey Vineyard, is one of the more intriguing white wines I’ve come across from Washington in some time. The Vif (a Syrah-dominant blend), Lia (a Mourvèdre-dominant Southern Rhone-style blend), and Boushey-McPherson Syrah each demand attention and are among the best wines I’ve had so far this year. Meanwhile the Wine O’Clock label offers up one of the most delicious – and well priced – Sangioveses I’ve had from Washington of late. Finally, the two RiverAerie wines offer both quality and value.

Bunnell Family Cellar is located in Prosser’s Vintners Village and also has a tasting room in Woodinville. Look for additional reviews from the winery in an upcoming issue of Wine Enthusiast. Read previous reviews of Bunnell Family Cellar wines here.

Bunnell Family Cellar Fraiche White Wine Boushey Vineyard Yakima Valley 2010 $24
 (Excellent) An aromatically appealing wine with pear, green apple, mineral, and crème fraîche. The palate balances a zing of acidity with depth and texture, combining to create one of the more fascinating Washington whites I’ve come across in some time. 25% Picpoul, 25% Grenache Blanc, 25% Marsanne, and 25% Roussanne. 14.1% alcohol. 92 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Bunnell Family Cellar Grenache Columbia Valley 2009 $34
(Good) A moderately aromatic wine with vanilla, woodspice, and strawberries. The palate combines rich, tart cherry flavors with oak spices with a chalky feel. 14.8% alcohol. 137 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Bunnell Family Cellar Vif Red Wine Columbia Valley 2008 $34
(Excellent/Exceptional) An aromatic tour de force with pure, ripe black cherry, sweet herbs, white pepper, and dried, crushed flowers. The palate is full of black cherry flavors with great intensity and a real sense of purity. A flat out gorgeous wine. 58% Syrah, 12% Petite Sirah, 30% Mourvèdre. 14.1% alcohol. 426 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Bunnell Family Cellar Lia Red Wine Columbia Valley 2008 $34
(Excellent) An aromatically brooding wine with black cherry, fresh herbs, coarsely ground white pepper, and wood spice. The palate is weighty and rich with pure, textured fruit flavors that linger on the finish. 42% Mourvèdre, 32% Grenache, 10% Counoise, and 8% Syrah. 14.5% alcohol. 288 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Bunnell Family Cellar Syrah Boushey-McPherson Vineyard Yakima Valley 2008 $40
 (Excellent/Exceptional) An aromatically compelling wine with bacon fat, mineral, brooding dark fruit, caramel, and the famous Boushey funk. The palate is polished with satiny fruit flavors and fine grained tannins. 100% Syrah. 14.5% alcohol. 220 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Bunnell Family Cellar Wine O’Clock Pinot Gris Columbia Valley 2010 $18
(Good) An aromatic wine with floral notes and ripe pear. The palate is medium bodied, a touch off-dry with tart, lemony acidity. A delightful bottle of wine. 13.5% alcohol. 125 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Bunnell Family Cellar Wine O’Clock Chardonnay Columbia Valley 2010 $18
(Good) A lightly aromatic wine with ripe yellow apple and spice. The palate is medium bodied with compact fruit flavors. 13.9% alcohol. 203 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Bunnell Family Cellar Wine O’Clock Gewurztraminer Columbia Valley 2010 $18
(Good/Excellent) An aromatic wine redolent with spice, passion fruit, and floral notes. The palate has tart, crisp fruit flavors with a touch of sugar holding it together leading to a drawn out finish. An extremely enjoyable wine with impeccable balance. 12.1% alcohol. 142 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Bunnell Family Cellar Wine O’Clock Sangiovese Columbia Valley 2009 $22
(Excellent) A fresh, aromatically appealing wine with herbs, ground cranberries, raspberries, and leather. The palate has tart, puckering fruit flavors and an open finish. It's everything a Sangiovese should be. 14.5% alcohol. 146 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Bunnell Family Cellar Wine O’Clock Barbera Columbia Valley 2009 $22
 (Decent/Good) An aromatic wine with dried cherry, vanilla, and leather. The palate is medium bodied with tart acidity and sour cherry flavors. 13.7% alcohol. 45 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Bunnell Family Cellar Wine O’Clock Primitivo Columbia Valley 2009 $22
 (Excellent) A lightly aromatic wine with ripe black cherry, red licorice, cashews, and herbs. The palate is full bodied with fresh fruit flavors and a tart, lip smacking finish. 14.9% alcohol. 93 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

RiverAerie Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2008 $20
 (Good) Moderately aromatic with currant, raspberry, cherry, and fresh herbs that lean into the green. The palate has firm, chalky tannins with lighter styled fruit flavors. Shows some heat. 14.5% alcohol. 305 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

RiverAerie Syrah Columbia Valley 2008 $22
 (Good/Excellent) Lightly aromatic with mulberry, sweet herbs, and oak spice. The palate has tart, plump, juicy fruit flavors accented by chocolate with an oak spice filled finish. 14.5% alcohol. 354 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.


Glencorrie

While many wines are blends of several different grapes, the latest releases from Walla Walla’s Glencorrie provide an opportunity to taste several 100% varietal wines. Better yet, in a number of cases, these wines come from single vineyards, allowing for the exploration of both variety, vintage, and place. These vineyards include Stillwater Creek (Merlot), Cabernet Franc (Weinbau), and Dwelley (Cabernet Sauvignon).

Read previous reviews of Glencorrie here.

Glencorrie Merlot Stillwater Creek Columbia Valley 2009 $29
(Good) Dark in color. An aromatically expressive wine with dark plum, cherry, woodspice, and cocoa powder. The palate is expansive but light in feel – filling out after a day open - with silky oak textures, fine grained tannins, and a tart fruit flavors that finish a touch bitter. 100% Merlot. Aged 22 months in French and American oak (50% new). 14.6% alcohol. 120 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Glencorrie Cabernet Franc Weinbau Vineyard Columbia Valley 2009 $38
 (Excellent) An aromatically appealing wine with floral, orange peel, herbal and cherry notes accented by wood spice. The palate has a broad feel with silky tannins and perfumed flavors. A very pretty expression of Franc. 100% Cabernet Franc. Aged 22 months in 100% new French oak. 14.5% alcohol. 24 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Glencorrie Malbec Columbia Valley 2009 $32
(Excellent) Draws you into the glass with ripe plum, plum seeds, and dusty spices. The palate is on the lighter side of medium bodied with elegant huckleberry flavors and soft tannins accented by oak flavors with a tart finish. A thoroughly delicious offering of this variety. 100% Malbec. Aged 22 months in French and American oak. 14.5% alcohol. 48 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Glencorrie Cabernet Sauvignon Dwelley Vineyard Walla Walla Valley 2009 $40
 (Excellent) A moderately aromatic wine with dill pickle, green olive, herbs, spicy pepper, and tart cherries. The palate is layered cherry flavors and firm tannins while still retaining a sense of lightness. A very unique expression of Cabernet – some will find it a bit too green but others will find much to love. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged 22 months in French and American oak (50% new). 14.7% alcohol. 96 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Glencorrie Cuvee Marquis Red Wine Columbia Valley 2009 $45
 (Good/Excellent) A perfumed wine with cassis, cherry cola, floral notes, and black licorice. The palate is soft and silky - dipping in the middle - with fine grained tannins and a spice filled finish. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon (Weinbau), 12.5% Malbec (Gamache), 12.5% Cabernet Franc (Conner Lee). Aged 21 months in French and American oak (50% new). 96 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.


Cloudlift Cellars

Cloudlift Cellars is the work of Tom Stangeland. The winery is located in Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood. Stangeland says of his latest releases, “The whites are barrel fermented as I’m a big believer in the benefits of lees stirring.” The reds meanwhile are notable for being lower in alcohol and new oak than are frequently seen in Washington.

Look for additional reviews from the winery in an upcoming issue of Wine Enthusiast. Read previous reviews of Cloudlift Cellars here.

Cloudlift Updraft White Wine Columbia Valley 2011 $18
(Good) Lightly aromatic with herbs, lemon, and oak spices. The palate is medium bodied with tart, vibrant fruit flavors with a zing of lemony acidity. Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. Bacchus and Dionysus vineyards. Barrel fermented and aged for seven months in neutral French oak. 13.9% alcohol. 95 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Cloudlift Chardonnay Columbia Valley 2011 $18
 (Good) Lightly aromatic with melon, apple, cream, and oak spices. The palate is medium bodied with a textured feel. Bacchus Vineyard. Two thirds barrel fermented in French oak (50% new) and one third fermented in stainless steel. 13.8% alcohol. 70 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Cloudlift Panorama Red Wine Columbia Valley 2010 $25
 (Good) Light in color. A lightly aromatic wine with plum, herbal notes, sweet cherries, and spice. The palate is medium bodied with (quite) tart fruit flavors and firm tannins. 57% Merlot, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 17% Cabernet Franc. Aged in French and American oak (33% new). 13.3% alcohol. 131 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.


Anelare

Anelare – Italian for ‘desire’ or ‘yearn for’ - is located in Benton City, Washington and also has a tasting room in Spokane (Nectar Tasting Room). Victor Cruz serves as winemaker.

Anelare Nonna Viola Red Wine Columbia Valley 2010 $29
(Decent/Good) A lightly aromatic wine with red fruit, wood notes, and sweet spices. The palate has light, tart fruit flavors – leaning slightly sour - with firm tannins. 70% Syrah, 20% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. 13.8% alcohol. 242 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Anelare Merlot Ciel du Cheval Red Mountain 2010 $49
 (Decent/Good) A moderately aromatic wine with cinnamon, exotic spice, raisins, and sweet red fruit. The palate is on the lighter side of medium bodied with light fruit flavors and firm, grainy tannins. 100% Merlot. 13.7% alcohol. 100 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

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