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A Holiday Five Wines Under $15

Thursday, December 26, 2013

In holiday times, we continue the search for good, inexpensive wines.

Last month I wrote about Domaine Ste. Michelle rebranding itself to Michelle and spiffing up its packaging. Today we take a look at the new label design from Treveri Cellars.

Treveri Cellars - one of the (very) few sparkling wine dedicated projects in Washington - made a big splash when it started out a few years back with its wide assortment of sparkling wines (read a previous post about the winery here). The latest releases show a much improved label design that is more indicative of the quality that is in the bottle.

“We have spent the last year to about a year-and-a-half bouncing ideas off one another and stakeholders in the company,” said Christian Grieb, winemaker and senior vice president of sales at Treveri. “We have kept major design elements, such as the coin and the fonts that we are using. However, we have added some new touches.”

Among them are different color labels for the different wines to easier distinguish between the lineup. “This really draws attention to the uniqueness of Treveri, having sparkling wines that vary from white to red,” Grieb said.

Meanwhile the wines continue to offer very high quality for the price (read about other offerings from Treveri in a sparkling wine post later this week). The Treveri wines are perfect all-purpose sparklers, from New Years Eve to Tuesday night to Sunday morning.

For A Song is a house wine for Vinum Importing & Distributing. A number of the wines are made by Kyle Johnson, formerly of Olsen Estates and now of Purple Star and Native Sun. Johnson has shown a talented touch for creating top quality Syrah at incredibly affordable prices. The 2012 For A Song Syrah is no different. Like its counterpart from 2009, it’s as good of a Syrah as you will find out there at this (case purchase) price.

From Johnson’s Purple Star label comes a 2012 Sauvignon Blanc. Though not labeled as such, this is a single vineyard wine with all of the fruit (100% Sauvignon Blanc) coming from Caliche Lake Vineyard in the Ancient Lakes appellation.

The final wine comes from Idilico. Idilico is a side project from Javier Alfonso (Pomum Cellars) with a focus on Iberian peninsula varieties. Albariño is still a rare beast in Washington, but Alfonso is one of a number of Washington producers showing that it can grow well here. Stay tuned.

Treveri Cellars Extra Brut Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine Columbia Valley NV $14
(Good/Excellent) A moderately aromatic wine with grapeskins, pear, lemon rind and spice. The palate drinks dry with a fine grained, lively mousse and a clean, grapefruit filled finish. A very enjoyable, lively offering at a superb price. 100% Chardonnay. 12.0% alcohol. 2g/L Residual Sugar. Sample provided by winery.

Treveri Cellars Brut Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Wine Columbia Valley NV $14
(Good) Aromatically linked to its Extra Brut counterpart with grapeskins, pear, and spice. The mousse is coarser grained here which enhances the impression of some additional sweetness to the palate. 12.0% alcohol. 100% Chardonnay. 12% alcohol. 14 g/L Residual Sugar. Sample provided by winery. Recommended

For A Song Syrah Columbia Valley 2012 $15
(Excellent) An aromatically compelling wine with smoke, spicebox, blueberry, boysenberry, and high toned floral notes. The palate shows depth and richness to the fruit flavors backed by chalky tannins. As good a Syrah as you’ll find at this price and better than many others at twice the price. Drinks young still. Give it some time to open up or some additional time in the cellar. 100% Syrah. Weinbau and Olsen vineyards. Aged in second (20%) and third fill oak. 14.4% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.

Purple Star Wines Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley 2012 $11
 (Good) Moderately aromatic with mango, herbs, and spices. The palate is medium bodied with a broad, creamy texture. Concentration isn’t all there but still brings a lot of enjoyment for the price. 100% Sauvignon Blanc. Caliche Lake Vineyard. Fermented in stainless steel and aged sur lie for three months. 13.2% alcohol. 1,500 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Idilico Albariño Washington 2012 $15
(Good) A moderately aromatic wine with citrus zest, lime, and floral notes. The palate has broad fruit flavors and a creamy mouthfeel. 12.5% alcohol. Recommended Reviewed December 11, 2013

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