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'16 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Wines of the Month - March 2016

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

This past month I tasted strong sets of new releases from Waters WinerySaviah CellarsFidelitas, and Mark Ryan. I've listed a few highlights below but there is plenty more top quality wines in each of those lineups. Of particular note in terms of Waters, the 2012 Interlude (not listed below) at $28 continues to be one of the best bang for the buck wines in the state. 

In terms of value wines the 2015 Ryan Patrick Rosé ($12) is a winner. I would also recommend the 2013 Renegade Rosé ($12).

Without further ado, here are some highlights from March.

EFESTE Oldfield Estate Rosé Yakima Valley 2015 $22
This wine is still drinking quite young but it’s one of the finest rosés to come out of the state to date. A blend of Mourvedre and Grenache, it brings aromas and flavors of strawberry, citrus and herb, with the acid keeping the attention high.

Fidelitas Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills 2013 $65
Coming from one of the state’s top Cabernet sites, this wine brings layered, generous dark fruit flavors followed by a persistent finish.

Force Majeure Collaboration Series VII Red Wine Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Mountain 2013 $65
This wine, mostly Syrah with a little Viognier and Roussanne blended in, is the first wine from Chris Peterson (Avennia) in the Collaboration Series. It starts out somewhat closed up but opens to show aromas and flavors of dark fruit and orange peel, showing a whole lot of finesse.

Kevin White Winery Red Wine Yakima Valley 2014 $18
This is one of the higher QPR wines to come out of the state this year. A blend of Syrah, Grenache and Mourvedre, it shows the winery’s trademark sense of purity and detail, with generous amounts of red and blue fruit on a silky palate.

Kevin White Winery Heritage DuBrul Vineyard Yakima Valley 2013 $35
This is the winery’s first Bordeaux variety offering and its first fruit from this esteemed vineyard. Aromas of herbs and spice are followed by cherry flavors that show depth and detail. It shows a light touch.

Mark Ryan Long Haul Red Wine Red Mountain 2013 $50
Merlot makes up just over half of this blend with most of the rest Cabernet Franc. Aromas of black cherry and flowers are followed by focused, rich flavors along with a firm sense of structure.

Mark Ryan Lonely Heart Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2013 $95
A cut above, this blend of Ciel du Cheval and Force Majeure vineyard fruit is one for the cellar, with aromas and flavors of black cherry, herb, and flowers.

Saviah Cellars Reserve Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2013 $45
This wine is a blend of Rocks Districts vineyards Funk Estate and Watermill. The aromas are initially locked up, with notes of stems, coffee, and funk. The flavors are pretty and precise, followed by a lengthy finish.

Saviah Cellars The Funk Estate Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2013 $60
This standout wine offers vibrant aromas of flowers, olive, grilled asparagus and stone. It’s chock full of savory flavors with a lingering finish. It’s more about grace than power, with the balance spot on.

Sleight of Hand Cellars The Magician’s Assistant Blackrock Vineyard Cabernet Franc Yakima Valley 2015 $18
This lightly aromatic wine is as much about feel as flavor, with herb and spice notes leading to a restrained, acid driven palate.

Waters Prelude White Wine Washington State 2015 $28
This Roussanne and Viognier blend is a complete knockout, with aromas and flavors of pear, peach and spice, bringing a sense of seriousness and depth.

Waters Patina Vineyard Rosé Rosé Wine Walla Walla Valley 2015 $23
This Syrah rosé is a pretty pale copper color and boasts an elegant palate with vibrant acidity. Bring on summer!

Waters Cappella Red Wine Washington State 2013 $40
A blend of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, this forward wine offers aromas and flavors of herbs and red and green pepper, bringing a texture and mouthfeel that is completely captivating.

William Church Malbec Gamache Vineyards Columbia Valley 2013 $40
Malbec is a consistent standout for this winery and the 2013 vintage continues that trend. It shows classic hallmarks of dark plum, pepper, and herb aromas and flavors with a fresh feel.

William Church Syrah Red Willow Vineyard Yakima Valley 2013 $40
While the aromas are quite closed up at present, the flavors are exuberant, with notes of dark plum and smoked meat. Make sure to give it time to open up.

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  1. Scott Says:
  2. I feel like this WWR is going to turn into a quarterly or yearly report at this rate.

  3. Scott, hard for me to give WWR too much attention unfortunately since I make no money from it (as in zero). Most of my efforts go to paying work for Wine Enthusiast, Seattle Metropolitan, Vineyard & Winery Management etc. Still, I hope to keep WWR updated with 'Wines of the Month' - wines I'm excited about in advance of the Wine Enthusiast scores coming out - and then Wine Enthusiast scores when they are released as well as other articles as time allows. It's obviously a small fraction of what I used to do but it's not easy to make a living freelance writing about wine. It takes up all my time frankly and I barely sustain myself. I used to spend nights and weekends working on the blog, but I can’t do that lifestyle any more I’m afraid. So unless I monetize WWR, I get to it as time allows after I’m done with all of my paying work, which is not often.


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