Friday, August 02, 2013

Friday Find, August 2nd

Each Friday we highlight a wine from the Northwest that we think is a real "find". By find we might mean that it's a steal, as all of these wines we'll feature weekly are at or under $20. We might also mean, "Hey, you really need to go find this", and it might be a wine that we feel not enough people know about. In any case, with the weekend pending, we're hoping to help you "find" a wine to kickoff the weekend right. We'll tell you a little bit about the wine and try to help you track it down here in the Northwest.

August, you got here fast. As we swiftly sprint through this glorious summer it might make sense to check in on how the vintage is going for Washington and Oregon. The folks I've talked to are praising this year for two things, warmth and consistency.

I was on Red Mountain two weeks ago, and speaking with Chris Upchurch of Delille he said that the vintage has been marked by a steady warmth, not spikes of overly hot weather and that that consistency has everyone feeling good. The early onset of warm Spring weather even made a few days of rain storms on Red Mountain in late June tolerable. 

Ahead of schedule, or at least well ahead of the two challenging vintages of 2010 and 2011 is how people are putting it. Winegrowers in particular are feeling pretty good. 2012 was a warm vintage and largely, it was fairly not so nerve-wracking for growers. Early indicators though, if you go by the white and pink wines that have come to market have led to less than compelling wines, at least for me, not in every case but if we're generalizing. The white wines from those two challenging vintages were wicked aromatic, loaded with acidity and zing, zip, pow. The 2012s again, speaking generally (and about the whites and pinks) have been higher in alcohol and by contrast a bit phenolic, and sometimes can even be called flabby.

So therein lies the quandary  Cooler vintage wines, certainly the 2007 Oregon Pinot Noirs, but many of the 2010 wines from Washington can be much more compelling for the wine consumer. The 2010 Tremolo from Waters is a favorite Washington wine of mine, and the 2010 Cabernet from Upchurch Vineyards is outstanding, granted Red Mountain is hardly a cool site. The real rub is neither the consumer or the winegrower has any say in it. It's up to nature, and nature as they say can be a mutha. So we'll look forward to seeing what she has for us come the 2013 vintage, come what may, I'm sure there will be some excellent wines made in the Northwest.

Today's Friday Find, is a Friday Fudge, clocking in at $21 instead of our regular $20. It is a warm vintage white that turned out just right. The 2012 Sémillon from Amavi CellarsSémillon doesn't often ride alone, typically content to call "shotgun!" or sit in the sidecar next to Sauvignon Blanc, and I've even seen it riding with Chardonnay once or twice. Fact is there's a dash more than 10% of Sauv Blanc in this wine but Sémillon is the star. The aromatics are downright vibrant with sweet orange blossom, and candy notes and the wine itself, is a bit more round as a varietal, not as vibrant but still bright. That's a trait of  Sémillon but it may be accentuated by the warm vintage as well. Flavors of ripe peach, honey and pear round this one out. 


Post a Comment