Browse Tag


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)

Howell 3

Thurston Wolfe 2007 “JTW’s Port” (Washington) – 375 ml. Succulently sweet berry syrup. Just a bit of sweat. I wouldn’t hold it, even a little bit, but it’s fun. (6/12)

I forgot

Pike “Auld Acquaintance Happy Holiday Ale” (Washington) – Solid and heavy, as befits the genre, with some spicy/metallic/preserved lemon stuff going on. Very linear. (11/11)

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)

Celilo Stitch

Sineann 2007 Gewürztraminer Celilo Vineyard (Columbia Gorge) – Juicy, refreshing, and forward. Fragrant. Lemongrass and underripe guava, crisp pear, pretty good acidity. If you’re thinking that none of the preceding sounds anything like the gewürztraminer with which you’re familiar, you’re right. But if you forget what’s on the label, it’s a quite pleasant quaff. (12/08)

Gould & Apple

Glen Fiona 1997 Syrah (Walla Walla Valley) – Massively primary, and yet I don’t know that it will escape that character. The fruit tends towards blueberry, blackberry, and plum, and there’s the aroma (but not the tactile sensation) of freshly-tanned leather, but the tanning liquids are absent, and while the wine is very, very delicious, the structure required for longer aging seems prematurely absent. I don’t think this is going to fall apart anytime over the next decade, so an optimistic hold is warranted (unless you love the boisterous fruit, in which case: drink now), but I suspect this will make old pillows rather than old bones. (10/08)


[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)