Division-Villages ‘L’Avoiron’ Rosé of Gamay Noir Columbia Valley 2016

 

Winery: Located in Portland, Oregon, Division Winemaking Company is an “urban winery” founded in 2010 by Kate Norris and Thomas Monroe. The duo honed their winemaking and viticulture skills working in wineries in the Loire, Beaujolais, Burgundy and the Northern Rhone. Inspired by the time in France, they established Division Winemaking Company. They strive “to make approachable and balanced wines though minimal manipulation”. They source their grapes from “well farmed terroir expressive vineyards, many of which are organic and/or Biodynamic”. The Division-Villages label is their approachable, entry level label.

Philosophy: “A new generation of winemakers that are looking beyond the status quo to create unique styles of wine, with a purpose, a story and without barriers.”

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from Willard Vineyard in the Yakima Valley in Columbia Valley. The terroir was specifically chosen for Gamay: “The mineral intense soils formed from volcanic Miocene uplift against basalt bedrock that is layered with a primary top soil being made up of quartz and lime- silica, overlaid with the mixed sedimentary run- off of Missoula floods that makes the soils in the region so dynamic, unique, and in this case, perfect for making crisp and focused rosé!”

Tasting Notes: Coral pink in colour with aromas of cherry, strawberry, melon and a hint of floral. Silky smooth cherry, cranberry and strawberry with a drop of honey, complimented by clean granite minerality and mouth puckering acidity. A squeeze of lemon over cranberry on the crisp, refreshing finish.

100% Gamay Noir
Columbia Valley
Washington
Produced & Bottled by Division Winemaking Company
13.1% Alcohol
$17
Enjoy now

725 cases produced

Dave Phinney Locations WA4 Washington Red Blend NV

Brand: Renowned, progressive winemaker Dave Phinney can add “rebel” to his long list of winemaking accolades with his creation of ‘Locations’ wines. Based on the concept to “make the best possible wine from a given country or location” by blending grapes sourced from different appellations. This is a much more difficult task then it sounds. Restriction on varietal percentage and blending not only vary from appellation to appellation, country to country, but also are also quite strict. By blending across appellations, Phinney loses the ability to have appellation designation on his wines. Like a true rebel, he bucks authority and crafts his wine the way he wants, producing wines “that uniquely express their sense of place”. The country code stickers seen on cars throughout Europe inspired the eye catching, minimalist labels.

Winemaking: Phinney sources grapes from “high-quality vineyards, and forward-thinking growers”. Grapes came from diverse vineyards within Washington’s best appellations. Barrel aged ten months in French and American oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Inky red-violet in colour with cozy aromas of wild berries, brambly shrubs, vanilla and a hint of woodsy oak. Silky tannins and fresh acidity compliment jammy berries [blueberry, blackberry, raspberry] dusted with chocolate and crushed pink peppercorn. Earth and tobacco notes fuse into the plush finish of espresso, chocolate, black pepper and toasted oak. So silky smooth, each glass will vanish faster then you expect. Fantastic on its own, but pairs great with spicy dishes and chocolate.

Blend of Syrah, Merlot, and Petit Sirah [I could not verify varietal percentages.]
Washington
Bottled by Locations Wines, Napa CA
15% Alcohol
$17
Enjoy now

A Fun, Dashing Trio of Washington State Reds from Rock Star Winemaker Charles Smith

Winery: Renowned, self-taught pioneer winemaker Charles Smith is the founder and winemaker behind Charles Smith Family wines. His “kick ass attitude and bold packaging has earned him the moniker ‘rock star’ of Washington State Syrah”. With his many diverse brands [K Vintners, Wines of Substance, Sixto, Charles & Charles, Secco and Vino] he is able to offer a wide variety of wines varying in cost from budget friendly to highly rated, single vineyard Syrahs in the $100 range. Within all of his labels, Smith strives to craft sustainably farmed wines that “are full of flavor, balanced, and true to place of origin”.

Created in 2006, the Charles Smith Wines label was themed as “The Modernist Project”. Focusing on how people tend to drink wine today, which is immediately, the goal is to create approachable wines “to be enjoyed now, but with true typicity of both the varietal and the vineyard”. A fantastic concept; a Syrah that tastes like a Syrah from Washington State!

Modern with a sassy edge, Charles Smith labels are renowned for their clean black and white artwork created by Charles Smith and artist Rikke Korffsure. Super eye catching and easily recognizable, the style has become synonymous with K Vintners and Charles Smith.

Philosophy: “It’s just wine, drink it.”

Charles Smith Wines ‘The Velvet Devil’ Merlot Washington State 2014

“Truth in a name: Velvet.”

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from the following sustainably farmed vineyards: Sundance, Art Den Hoed, Goose Ridge, Weyns, Hawk, Oasis and Purple Sage. Whole berry fermentation with partial native yeasts. Aged for 10 months on the lees in 30% new French oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Bright garnet in colour with aromas of cherry, warm summer woods and crushed black peppercorn. A spicy edge to the ripe, plush fruit [think blackberry, cherry, wild strawberry]. Appropriately named, velvety tannins fuse with summer woods and spice on the lengthy, plush finish. Fantastic on its own, versatile at the table.

94% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc
13.6% Alcohol
$12 [average price]

Charles Smith Wines ‘Boom Boom!’ Syrah Washington State 2014

“I can tell you this. It is the best Boom Boom! thus far.”

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from the following sustainably farmed vineyards: Art Den Hoed, Pheasant, Weyns, Arete and Gamache. 30% whole cluster fermentation together with the Viognier. Aged on the lees in old oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with aromas of wild berry jam, vanilla and crushed pink peppercorn. Exuding fruit & spice, with cherry, black cherry, blueberry, plum, vanilla and a trace of roasted herbs wrapped around a pepper spice backbone. Silky tannins compliment dark chocolate dusted fruit on the woodsy finish. An elegant edge to the well balanced fruit and spice, each glass will disappear rather swiftly.

97% Syrah, 3% Viognier
13.5% Alcohol
$17 [average price]

Charles Smith Wines ‘Chateau Smith’ Cabernet Sauvignon Washington State 2014

“If you like Cabernet dark and rich, this is your sexy beast.”

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from the following sustainably farmed vineyards: Art Den Hood, Hawk, Roza Hills, Wahluke Slope, Don Talcott and Clifton Bluff. Whole berry fermentation with native yeasts. Aged on the lees for 10 months in 40% new French oak barrels.

Tasting Notes: Red-violet in colour with inviting aromas of roasted jalapenos, cherry, fresh herbs, vanilla and toasted oak. Plump cherry, blackberry and red currant fruits are balanced by a bright acidity. Velvety tannins underscore earth, tobacco and pink peppercorn. The rich fruit follows thru to the plush, lengthy finish, joining vanilla and subtle toasted oak. Well structured, with a robust character, an engaging companion to a wide variety of dishes.

96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot
13.5% Alcohol
$19 [average price]

 

Samples submitted for review purpose.

Kungfu Girl and Eve: Two Charles Smith Washington State Beauties to Welcome Spring

Winery: Renowned, self-taught pioneer winemaker Charles Smith is the founder and winemaker behind Charles Smith Family wines. His “kick ass attitude and bold packaging has earned him the moniker ‘rock star’ of Washington State Syrah”. With his many diverse brands [K Vintners, Wines of Substance, Sixto, Charles & Charles, Secco and Vino] he is able to offer a wide variety of wines varying in cost from budget friendly to highly rated, single vineyard Syrahs in the $100 range. Within all of his labels, Smith strives to craft sustainably farmed wines that “are full of flavor, balanced, and true to place of origin”.

Created in 2006, the Charles Smith Wines label was themed as “The Modernist Project”. Focusing on how people tend to drink wine today, which is immediately, the goal is to create approachable wines “to be enjoyed now, but with true typicity of both the varietal and the vineyard”. A fantastic concept; a Riesling that tastes like a Riesling from Washington State! Modern with a sassy edge, Charles Smith labels are renowned for their clean black and white artwork created by Charles Smith and artist Rikke Korffsure. Super eye catching and easily recognizable, the style has become synonymous with K Vintners and Charles Smith.

Philosophy: “It’s just wine, drink it.”

Winemaking: Both Riesling and Chardonnay grapes were sourced from the ‘Evergreen’ Vineyard. Planted in 1998, the vineyard stretches across steep cliffs above the Columbia River, within Washington’s newest AVA, Ancient Lakes. The soil is composed of fragmented volcanic rock, gravel, limestone and silt, and is known for producing “fruit with sublime mineral character and great acidity”. Kungfu Girl Riesling was aged on the lees for 2 months in barrels. Eve Chardonnay was fermented with partially native yeasts. Aged on the lees for 5 months in barrels [no new oak].

Charles Smith ‘Kungfu Girl’ Riesling Washington State 2015
Pale gold in colour with invigorating aromas of grass, apple, earth and petrol. Peach, green apple, pear and minerals are glazed with a touch of honey. Perfectly balanced, with an energizing play between acidity and subtle sweetness carrying thru to the clean, zippy finish. Super refreshing and easy drinking, the moderate alcohol contributes to what I would call “fantastically gluggable”.

Pairing Suggestion from the Winery: Thai or Chinese food, five spice pork or duck, fresh seafood.

100% Riesling
12% Alcohol
$12 [average price]

Charles Smith ‘Eve’ Chardonnay Washington State 2014
Gold in colour with aromas of lemon balm, orange blossom, anise and a trace of butter. Silky layers of lemon, apple, pear and a streak of minerality culminate in a delectable creamy finish. Sunny and cheerful, fantastic on its own or with a wide variety of dishes. [It was perfect with goat gouda grilled cheese with arugula.]

Pairing Suggestion from the Winery: Golden squash with sautéed Shrimp.

100% Chardonnay
13.5% Alcohol
$12 [average price]

 

Samples submitted for review purpose.

Charles & Charles Rosé 2015

charlesrose

Brand: The Charles & Charles label was established in 2008 and is a collaboration between Wine Enthusiast Magazine ‘2014 Winemaker of The Year’ Charles Smith of Charles Smith Wines and K Vintners fame, and Charles Bieler, a member of the Three Thieves label and Bieler Pere et Fils. They set out to prove that pink wine doesn’t have to be sweet, and “Yes, you can drink Rosé and still be bad *ss”. The label [along with Three Thieves labels] was created by the legendary Nashville Hatch Show prints, which were the essence of old school American entertainment posters for more than 125 years. The abstract American Flag represents “the tremendous wine heritage and current practice right here in our great country”.

Winemaking: The 2015 vintage is the first vintage that grapes were sourced from vineyards that were devoted solely to Rosé production. The desired flavour profile for a Rosé is different then a red blend. “With the Rosé, we strive for a long hang time to develop flavor, but with low alcohol and ripeness. We invite the tension of a touch of herbal and under ripe notes, a problem we don’t at all want for the red wine blend.” 2015 went on record as the warmest vintage in Washington State, resulting in wineries having to take risks in their harvest dates. For the Rosé, Charles Smith “picked early to capture fresh fruit flavors, but not so early as to lose flavor, a line as thin as a knife’s edge”. 55,000 cases made.

Tasting Notes: Bright cherry-pink in colour with aromas of strawberry, mint, watermelon and just a slight hint of anise. Tasting quite similar to the aromas, with strawberry and melon brightened by a good streak of acidity. A hint of shortbread on the dry mineral finish adds an unexpected, enjoyable layer to each sip.

61% Syrah, 12% Mourvedre, 10% Grenache, 7% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Cinsault, 3% Counoise
Columbia Valley
Washington
Produced & Bottled by Charles & Charles
12.2% Alcohol
$10
Enjoy now thru 2017