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Reviewed Wineries

Fresh Sheet October 20th 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014







Today’s Fresh Sheet – reviews of new and recent releases – includes wines from Kevin White WineryKerloo CellarsBrian Carter CellarsColumbia CrestLong Shadows project wines, Guardian CellarsMaryhill Winery and more.
Note: These are reviews for wines received and sampled prior to October 1st when my responsibilities changed for Wine Enthusiast to cover all of Washington.

Kevin White Winery

Kevin White Winery La Fraternité Red Wine Yakima Valley 2012 $28
(Exceptional) A vibrantly aromatic, expressive wine with notes of raspberries, kirsch, licorice, huckleberry, and dark coffee along with floral notes and spice. The palate is medium bodied, filled with luscious, direct, primary fruit flavors that linger on the finish. 41% Grenache, 40% Mourvèdre, 19% Syrah. Olsen, Upland, and Wallula vineyards. Aged 10 months in used French oak. 14.5% alcohol. 279 cases produced.

Kevin White Winery En Hommage Red Wine Columbia Valley $28
 (Exceptional) Jumps out of the glass with huckleberry, spice, high toned violets, and an assortment of dark fruit. The palate is on the lighter side of medium bodied, richly fruit filled with a real sense of texture. 82% Syrah, 15% Grenache, 3% Mourvèdre. Olsen, Upland, and Wallula vineyards. Aged 10 months in French oak (20% new). 14.5% alcohol. 196 cases produced.


Kerloo Cellars

Kerloo Cellars Majestic Red Wine Columbia Valley 2012 $26
(Excellent) A moderately aromatic, very pure smelling wine with complex notes of pomegranate, plum, and raspberry, pepper, and cranberry. The fruit flavors are fresh and plush with a light grip of tannins. Thoroughly delicious now, it will only get better with some additional time in the bottle. Best after 2014. 50% Grenache (Angiolina Farm), 25% Syrah (Va Piano Block 6), and 25% Mourvèdre (Olsen Ranch 23). 13.6% alcohol. 276 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Kerloo Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Bacchus Vineyard Columbia Valley 2010 $48
(Exceptional) 100% varietal all coming from a single block of this esteemed vineyard, it’s aromatically intoxicating with notes of black currant, fresh cranberries, raspberries, vanilla, and earth. The palate is supple in feel with soft, plump tannins and tart, vibrant cranberry flavors. High on the delicious scale yet quite restrained showing great purity and an exquisite sense of balance. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Block 10. Unfined and unfiltered. 13.2% alcohol. 46 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Kerloo Cellars Syrah Upland Vineyards Snipes Mountain 2012 $40
Leaps up from the glass with perfumed Viognier (8%) notes of flowers and orange peel followed by plum, smoked meat and wet gravel. It’s intensely flavored with blue fruit, bringing a real sense of purity along with a squeeze of chalky tannins. Drinking young. Best after 2016. 92% Syrah, 8% Viognier. Unfined and unfiltered. 13.8% alcohol. 46 cases produced. (Wine Enthusiast review to be published in an upcoming issue).

Kerloo Cellars Syrah Blue Mountain Vineyard Walla Walla Valley 2012 $40
(Exceptional) An aromatic wine with notes of lavender, black pepper, blue fruit, mineral, and smoked meat. The palate shows a dazzling sense of texture, suppleness, and balance with little new oak showing and a real sense of restraint. 100% Syrah. Unfined and unfiltered. 13.9% alcohol. 46 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.


Brian Carter Cellars

Brian Carter Cellars Oriana White Wine Blend Yakima Valley 2012 $22
(Good/Excellent) An aromatic wine with assorted notes of pear, melon, and apricot. The palate is medium bodied and flavorful with stone fruit notes, pulling up a bit short on the finish. Viognier 53%, Roussanne 32%, Riesling 15%. Residual Sugar 0.47%. 13.6% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.

Brian Carter Cellars Abracadabra Red Wine Columbia Valley 2012 $15
(Good) A moderately aromatic wine with high toned notes of barrel spices, milk chocolate, coffee, raspberry, and cherry. The palate is medium bodied with abundant coffee flavors. 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 12% Syrah, 8% Tempranillo, 6% Grenache, 6% Malbec, 6% Cabernet Franc, 5% Mourvèdre, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Sangiovese, 2% Cinsault, and 1% Counoise 1%. 14.0% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.

Brian Carter Cellars Byzance Red Wine Columbia Valley 2010 $34
(Excellent) Quite aromatic with notes of white pepper, roasted meat, vanilla, coffee, and citrus twist. The palate is medium bodied, fairly elegant in its styling with a tart lick of acidity and a lingering finish. 58% Grenache, 18% Syrah, 18% Mourvèdre, 4% Counoise, and 2% Cinsault. 14.2% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.

Brian Carter Cellars Le Coursier Red Wine Columbia Valley 2008 $35
(Good/Excellent) A moderately aromatic wine starting to show its age with notes of herbs, leather, and dried cherries with the aromas seeming a bit compact. The palate is medium bodied with the tannins still showing a fair amount of firmness. 52% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc, 6% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot. 14.2% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.

Brian Carter Cellars Corrida Red Wine Blend Columbia Valley 2010 $33
 (Good/Excellent) Lightly aromatic with notes of pencil eraser, baking spices, coffee, herbs, citrus, and red fruit on a wine that still seems quite locked up. The palate is medium bodied with abundant coffee flavors and tannins that need some time to stretch their legs. Best after 2017. 2% Tempranillo, 12% Graciano, 11% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Garnacha. 14.3% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.

Brian Carter Cellars Solesce Red Wine Columbia Valley 2009 $65
(Excellent/Exceptional) A moderately aromatic wine with notes of cherry, espresso, and char. It's full bodied and rich with cherry and coffee flavors and firm tannins. 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 16% Cabernet Franc, 8% Malbec, and 5% Petit Verdot. 14.3% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.


Columbia Crest

Columbia Crest Reserve Malbec Columbia Valley 2011$30
(Excellent) An aromatically appealing, barrel forward wine with notes of chocolate, coffee, and vanilla along with plum and blackberry seed. The palate is rich, seamless, and supple with soft tannins and a lingering finish. The variety gets a little lost in the oak influence, but if you put that aside, it’s pretty delicious. 14.5% alcohol. 200 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Columbia Crest Reserve Red Blend Columbia Valley 2011 $30
 (Exceptional) An aromatically alluring, complex wine with notes of coffee, caramel, blackberry, blueberry, and baking spices. The palate is full bodied, rich and seamless with abundant coffee flavors and a long, lingering finish. Supremely good stuff. 50% Syrah, 30% Grenache, 10% Cinsault, 5% Counoise, and 5% Mourvèdre. 14.1% alcohol. 300 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2011 $45
(Excellent) A moderately aromatic, alluring wine with notes of coffee, blackberries, and black cherries with high toned spices and vanilla. The palate is tightly packed with dark fruit flavors and barrel accents supported by firm, tightly wound tannins that need time in the cellar to come into their own. Best from 2017 to 2024. Aged 26 months in French oak (100% new). 14.5% alcohol. 6,500 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2011 $30
(Exceptional) An aromatically appealing wine with notes of dark coffee, dark cherries, toast, and assorted barrel spices. The palate is structured, densely packed with coffee flavors and chewy tannins without ever seeming overweighted. A cellar worthy wine with a long life ahead of it. Aged 18 months in French oak (100% new). 14.5% alcohol. 300 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.


Long Shadows Project Wines

Nine Hats Pinot Gris Columbia Valley 2013 $23
(Decent/Good) A moderately aromatic wine with notes of fresh red and yellow apple and petroleum jelly. It tingles the palate with full bodied, tart fruit flavors, showing some warmth on the body and finish. 14.1% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.

Nine Hats Red Wine Columbia Valley 2011 $25
(Good) An aromatically brooding wine with cranberry, sour cherries, slightly stewed fruit, mineral, and barrel spices. The palate is full bodied with rich fruit flavors, chewy tannins, tart acidity, and a warm finish. Give some additional time in the bottle or a long decant.33% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, 15% Malbec, 15% Merlot, 10% Syrah, and 7% Petit Verdot. 14.8% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.

Nine Hats Red Wine Columbia Valley 2012 $25
(Excellent) Quite aromatic with notes of dark brewed coffee, milk chocolate, and dark cherries. The palate is full bodied bodied with abundant coffee flavors. 14.9% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.


Guardian Cellars

Guardian Cellars Confidential Source Merlot Columbia Valley 2011 $30          
(Good) An aromatic, barrel forward wine with notes of toasty spices, char, dark roasted coffee beans, red fruit, herbs, and woodspice. The palate is medium-plus bodied with a gritty feel to the tannins, abundant coffee flavors, and tart acids. 100% Merlot. Ciel du Cheval, Conner Lee, and StoneTree vineyards. Aged in French oak (60% new). 14.5% alcohol. 250 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Guardian Cellars The Wanted Columbia Valley 2011 $37
(Excellent) Moderately aromatic with appealing notes of mocha, high toned herbs, Rainier cherries, and spice. The palate is on the lighter side of medium bodied with an elegant styling and a supple feel. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc. Stillwater Creek and StoneTree vineyards. Aged 20 months in French oak (65% new). 14.5% alcohol. 400 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.


Maryhill Winery

Maryhill Winery Cabernet Sauvignon Les Collines Vineyards Walla Walla Valley 2011 $40
(Decent) A moderately aromatic wine with notes of green herbs, bell pepper, and cherry. The palate is medium bodied with a slightly viscous feel backed by chalky, dry tannins. 14.3% alcohol. 270 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Maryhill Winery Merlot Les Collines Vineyards Walla Walla Valley 2011 $36
(Decent/Good) Moderately aromatic with notes of cocoa, barrel spices, and high toned herbs. The palate is medium bodied with somewhat astringent tannins. 14.5% alcohol. 425 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.


Onesies

San Juan Vineyards Afterglow Washington 2013 $17                       
(Good) A pale salmon color, this rare white and red blended rosé is moderately aromatic with notes of strawberry and papaya. It drinks dry with tart citrus flavors. 56.8% Chardonnay, 10.5% Pinot Gris, 10.2% Merlot, 7.5% Riesling, 7.5% Cabernet Franc, and 7.5% Cabernet Sauvignon. Crawford, Destiny Ridge, Les Vignes de Marcoux, and Alder Ridge vineyards. Fermented in neutral French oak and aged in stainless steel. 13.8% alcohol. 227 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Three Rivers Winery Merlot Columbia Valley 2011 $21           
(Decent) Moderately aromatic with notes of raspberry, herbs, and mint with a vanilla top note. The palate is medium bodied, with gritty tannins and an astringent feel. 91% Merlot, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Petit Verdot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. Katherine Leone, Weinbau, Bacchus, Klipsun, Discovery, and Sagemoor vineyards. Aged 16 months in French and Hungarian oak (37% new). 14.5% alcohol. 1,677 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Cadaretta Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2010 $40
(Excellent) Moderately aromatic with brooding notes of blackberry, savory herbs that lean a touch green, and barrel spices. The palate is tightly wound with tart, bright acids and firm tannins that need time to unwind. Has a long life in front of it. Best after 2018. 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, and 3% Malbec. Aged 26 months in French oak (75% new). 14.1% alcohol. 732 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Lauren Ashton Rosé Columbia Valley 2013 $18
(Excellent) A very pretty pale salmon color. It’s moderately aromatic with appealing notes of red fruit, mineral, and spice. The palate is lightly spritzy, full bodied with a textured, rich feel. 50% Mourvèdre, 50% Grenache. Old Field Vineyard. Fermented and aged in stainless steel. 13.3% alcohol. 300 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Syncline Subduction Red Red Wine Columbia Valley 2012 $20
(Excellent) A vibrantly fresh, fruit filled wine with notes of blackberry, black cherry, herbes de Provence, pepper, and cigar box. The palate is full, rich, pure, and intensely flavorful. A superb value at this price. 28% Mourvèdre, 26% Grenache, 23% Syrah, 12% Counoise, 8% Carignan, and 2% Cinsault. Aged 11 months in French oak (10% new) and concrete. 14.2% alcohol. 3,000 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

Waitsburg Cellars Three Merlot Malbec Mourvèdre Columbia Valley 2012 $25
(Good) Coming in at a nearly unheard of (in recent times) 12.8% labeled alcohol, it’s aromatically a bit locked up with notes of cranberry, red currant, herbs, wet stone, and spice. The palate is rich and flavorful with good purity to the fruit flavors and tacky tannins. Drinking young and still needing time to stretch its legs. Best after 2014. 73% Merlot, 20% Malbec, 7% Mourvèdre. Aged in French (70%), Eastern European (20%) and American oak. 14.3% alcohol. 12.8% alcohol. 480 cases produced. Sample provided by winery.

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