Browse Tag

columbia valley

My belle

[csm]Chateau Ste. Michelle 1995 Meritage (Columbia Valley) — I would absolutely have guessed this would be presentable and drinkable. I would not have guessed it would be pretty good. It’s a safe wine that manages to show some nice tobacco-leaf and drying-fruit development despite the corporate baggage it carries. I like it a lot more than the allegedly superior Saint-Julien that it easily outshines. (4/16)

Cigarette Smoking Man

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2010 Riesling (Columbia Valley) – Almost-riesling. It actually doesn’t taste much like riesling, nor does it have riesling’s nerve, but it’s not unpleasant either. (8/12)

Santa Mishy

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2010 Riesling (Columbia Valley) – At first opening, sticky-sweet and very synthetic. Five days later, mostly drained and in the fridge, it’s still sticky but has the very beginning hints of rieslingish sharp-apple character. I think it’s only a dying gasp, though; this is the sort of thing that, while hardly undrinkable, gives riesling a bad name among future wine folk in their nascence. (8/11)


[bottle]Columbia Crest “Grand Estates” 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley) – Basic, textbook cabernet with the chocolate/vanilla oak sheen one expects from inexpensive New World versions, precious little greenery or complexity, and yet a non-casual bite of tannin buried somewhere in the mid-finish. It’s not bad. It’s not something to seek out, but should a glass be forced upon one, it’s not something that will induce retching. (7/08)

Solare, oh, oh…

Col Solare 1995 Red (Columbia Valley) – Served blind, with guesses all over the map, but nothing approaching the target. It’s crisp, with dill-infused blueberries and walnut-tinged tannin. It would be OK for a cheapo red, which of course it’s not, and it’s clearly falling apart rather rapidly. A failure. (2/08)

Col Solare 1996 Red (Columbia Valley) – Also served blind, with similarly wild guesses no nearer the mark (but no one appears to think it’s the same wine as the previous version). My favorite assessment: “it smells like wood that’s soaking in water.” And indeed it does, plus minty chocolate, grass, and abrasive tannin. A slightly more coherent failure. (2/08)

A winged barn

[bottle]Barnard Griffin 2005 Syrah Port (Columbia Valley) – 500 ml. The problem here is that the wine is much, much more “syrah” than “port,” and I’m not sure smoky, leathery blueberry is the best canvas on which to draw sweetness and fortified intensity. It’s not at all a bad wine, and in fact the form of it is quite enticing, it’s just that the wine seems misguided from conception. Perhaps with a very carefully-selected food. Cheese, certainly, over dessert…and something that can take the sweat and toil of syrah in stride. (6/08)

Leonetti another fish

Leonetti 2005 Merlot (Columbia Valley) – Big, lush black cherry with mixed chocolates. Satiny tannin. Syrupy and port-like. Excellent in a style I find fairly repellent after about two sips. (2/08)

[label]Woodward Canyon 2006 “Dry” Riesling (Columbia Valley) – Ripe honeydew melon and honeysuckle with fig and Golden Delicious apple. Despite the label, it doesn’t taste entirely dry, but that could be a mere inference from the extremely ripe, almost boisterous palate. There’s a touch of heat on the nose, but otherwise this manages to pair intensity and balance fairly well. It is big, however. (9/07)

[bottles]DeLille 2006 “Chaleur Estate” Blanc (Columbia Valley) – 61% sauvignon blanc, 39% sémillon. Fig, peach rind and dried yeast, with pit bitterness and lurid nut oils drizzled over the top. Far too thick, and (blessedly?) short. (9/07)

[label]Di Stefano 2006 Sauvignon Blanc (Columbia Valley) – 92% sauvignon blanc, 8% sémillon. Fig, cucumber and white rose. Round and ripe, with good acidity, yet it also seems softened…normally, I’d guess with a tiny bit of aging in wood, but that doesn’t seem otherwise indicated here. Pretty nice. (9/07)

  • 1
  • 2