Category Archives: USA

Newsprint Chardonnay

Newsprint Impulse

Newsprint Wines 2016 Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, some say newsprint is dying medium, but today it’s alive and well in the form of Newsprint wines, made by Jennifer Sullivan and Jerry Riener of Guardian Cellars. The story of Guardian and Newsprint Wines is a fascinating one – it starts with Jerry, a local cop, and Jennifer, a journalist with the Seattle times, meeting serendipitously at a crime scene, and ultimately getting married. Meanwhile, Jerry the cop was pursuing his dream of starting a winery, pulling double duty as assistant winemaker at Mark Ryan Winery, in the early 2000’s. In 2007, Jerry and Jen launched their own winery, calling it Guardian Cellars as a nod to Jerry’s career as police officer. Later they launched Newsprint, which of course is a nod to Jennifer’s career in print journalism.

Newsprint Wines 2016 Chardonnay $17.99

If you like a good buttery Chard, then bring your rolls and butter knives because this one has it- and at such a great price too. The grapes are sourced from Conner Lee Vineyards in the Columbia Valley of Washington, which often go towards making $40 Chardonnays. Jerry and Jennifer aged this one for 12 months in 50% new French oak barrels, giving it plenty of character, with notes of toast, vanilla, hints of caramel and buttered popcorn, yellow and red apples, and bit of toasted marshmallow. Given how fantastic their reds have been in the past, it comes as no surprise that their Newsprint Chardonnay is at that same level. A really great value!

Newsprint Chardonnay

Newsprint Chardonnay

 Click here to order the Newsprint Chardonnay

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine

Vineyard(s): Conner Lee

Grape(s): Chardonnay

Aging: Aged 12 Months in 50% New French Oak Barrels

Drinkability: Now through 2019

Body: Medium

Alcohol: % by volume

Drink This if you Like: Disruption Chard

Palencia Wines Vino la Monarcha 2013 Merlot

Monarch Impulse

Palencia Wines “Vino la Monarcha” 2013 Merlot, Columbia Valley, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, the state of Michoacán in Western Mexico is well known as the home of the largest population of Monarch Butterflies in the world. These butterflies migrate between Mexico, the US, and Canada every year, and are in danger of dieing out- having seen approximately 80% decline in their popular in recent years. Victor Palencia’s family comes from Michoacán, and his Palencia Wines “Vino la Monarcha” labels are an homage to the Monarch butterfly, and its import rolls in farming as a pollinator.

Palencia Wines “Vino la Monarcha” 2013 Merlot $19.99

Last year Victor Palencia of Palencia Wine and Vino la Monarcha was listed in Wine Enthusiast’s list of “40 Under 40 Tastemakers” at just 31 years old. Legend has it that Victor Palencia starting working in the vineyards of Washington at the age of 13, alongside his father.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a huge fan of a well-made Merlot, especially from Washington State, only trouble is that I struggle to find ones I like. I think this is only the second or third single varietal Merlot I’ve featured on Impulse, so that’s exciting for me. Victor Palencia’s Vino la Monarcha 2013 Merlot is sourced from Frenchman Hills Vineyard in the Columbia Valley and aged for 14 months in French oak barrels. It’s shows bold flavors of dark cherries and plums, with big notes of oak, vanilla, and toast. There are hints of baking spices, herb, and the wine is medium-full in body, with very smooth texture.

Victor made just 250 cases of the Vino La Monarcha Merlot

Vicotor Palencia Wines Vino la Monarcho 2013 Merlot

Vicotor Palencia Wines Vino la Monarcho 2013 Merlot

Click here to order the Vino la Monarcha Merlot

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine

Vineyard(s): Frenchman Hills Vineyard

Grape(s): Merlot

Aging: 14 Months in French Oak Barrels

Drinkability: Now through 2019

Body: Medium-Full

Alcohol: 14.9% by volume

Production: 250 cases

Cheers

Yashar

College Cellars Muscat Ottonel

Muscat Ottonel Impulse

College Cellars of Walla Walla 2016 Muscat Ottonel

Fellow wine lovers, College Cellars of Walla Walla continues to top the charts at big-time national wine competitions- this time it’s their Muscat Ottonel. You may remember that we featured their Viognier and Rosé last year, but here is a quick refresher on the winery. These wines are made by winemaking students at the Walla Walla Community College, under the instruction of top industry leaders, and advisement from Walla Walla’s biggest names such as Rick Small of Woodward Canyon, and Gary and Chris Figgins of Leonetti/Figgins. The wine program and today’s featured Muscat have been written about a number of times by Andy Perdue, and you can read a recent article by clicking here.

College Cellars of Walla Walla 2016 Muscat Ottonel $16.99

The College Cellars Muscat Ottonel was awarded Double Gold at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, which is among the top 3 most prestigious wine competitions in the nation. Right now, just five cases have made it over the mountains from Walla Walla, and we are offering them first come first serve. It’s a single vineyard Muscat from Red Boar Vineyard in the Walla Walla Valley, and it’s done in an effervescent and off-dry (medium-sweet) style. The wine features a playful nose of stone fruits, starburst chews, and citrus zest. It tickles your palate with its lightly sparkling nature, and tastes of ripe peaches, candied lemons, and hints of pears.

 Click here to order the College Cellars of Walla Walla Muscat Ottonel

College Cellars of Walla Walla 2016 Muscat Ottonel

College Cellars of Walla Walla 2016 Muscat Ottonel

Region: Walla Walla Valley AVA, Washington State Wine

Vineyard(s): Red Boar Vineyard

Grape(s): Muscat Ottonel

Drinkability: Now to 2018

Sweetness: Off-Dry, Medium-Sweet, 6% Residual Sugar

Alcohol: 9% by volume

Drink This if you Like:

Press: Double Gold – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

Food Pairing: Spicy Asian Cuisine, Fresh Salads, Blue Cheeses

Availability: 5 cases

Cheers

Yashar

Ross Andrew 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris Impulse

Ross Andrew 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris, Columbia Gorge, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, it’s a nice sunny day today and I’m in the mood for a refreshing white wine. You don’t see me featuring many Washington State Pinot Gris, but when I find a good one I commit to it. I think the only two we’ve offered on Impulse have been the Nine Hats Pinot Gris and the Ross Andrew Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris, and it’s even been a while since we’ve worked with either of those.

Personally, I’ve been a fan of Ross Andrew Mickel’s wines for a decade now. He used to be the assistant winemaker at Betz Family Winery, back in the early 2000’s, and is an all around great guy. When I was working at Matthews Cellars in 2006/2007, Ross would occasionally come by to borrow a piece of equipment. We were among the few in Woodinville with top of the line winemaking gear back then, so many smaller wineries would come to our facility to use our stuff. Because of this, I had several good opportunities to chat with Ross, even work with him a bit in the cellar. I always found him to be very knowledgeable and passionate about wine.

Ross Andrew Winery 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris $18.99 (Regularly $24)

Sitting at an elevation of 1,370 feet in the cooler climate of the Columbia Gorge region of Washington State, Celilo Vineyard is well suited for the production of refreshing and crisp white wines. Ross Andrew has been doing a bang-up job with Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris for several years now, truly expressing its sense of place. It comes from old vines, some older than 43 years, and they make certain to hand-harvest amidst the cool of the morning, so as to keep the newly picked grapes as fresh as possible.

Ross Andrew ages the Celilo Pinot Gris in stainless steel vessels for 4 months, with no oak, so as to maintain the bright and vibrant nature of the grape. During that time, the wine is kept on its lees, so as add a supplementary layer of complexity. It’s an invigorating wine, with just a hint of sweetness in the middle, and a clean dry finish. Starting with clean and pretty fruits of anjou pear, Tuscan melon, white peach, lemon zest and tangerine peel, it moves towards hints of hazelnut, kiwi, and freshly plucked jasmine. The palate has a little bit of residual sugar, which makes for a beautifully viscous wine, and everything is very nicely balanced. An excellent companion to light seafood dishes such as prawns, ceviche, and oysters.

Click here to order the Ross Andrew Celilo Pinot Gris

Ross Andrew 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris

Ross Andrew 2016 Celilo Vineyard Pinot Gris

Region: Columbia Gorge

Vineyard(s): Celilo Vineyard

Grape(s): Pinot Gris

Aging: 4 Months on Less in Stainless Steel

Drinkability: Now through 2018

Body: Medium

Alcohol: 13.8% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Nine Hats Pinot Gris, Alsatian Pinot Gris

Food Pairing: Prawns, Ceviche, Oysters

Production: 950 cases

Cheers

Yashar

Secret Squirrel 2013 Bordeaux Red

Blended Impulse

Secret Squirrel 2013 Bordeaux Red, Columbia Valley, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, Washington State is certainly among the best in the world at putting together scrumptious Bordeaux style blends. Today it’s a Bordeaux blend by Secret Squirrel, dominated by Cabernet and Merlot. They had a 2012 Bordeaux blend last year, but I didn’t feel the quality was on par with their other wines, however their recently release 2013 Bordeaux definitely makes the cut. If you’ve enjoyed their Cabernet and their GSM from our previous offers on Impulse, you’ll surely enjoy this one

Secret Squirrel 2013 Bordeaux Red $24.99

The Secret Squirrel 2013 Bordeaux red is a crowd pleaser. It’s comprised of the classic Bordeaux grapes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec, all sourced from the Corliss Estate vineyards, aged for 22 months in 35% new French oak. It’s medium-full in body, and smooth with lovely dark color. There are notes of blueberries, blackberry, black currants, and stewed black plumbs, followed by hints of vanilla, toast, and sage. The finish is clean, medium long, and shows hint of crushed rocks.

Click here to order the Secret Squirrel Bordeaux Red

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine

Vineyard(s): Corliss Estate Vineyards

Grape(s): Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec

Aging: 22 Months in 35% New French Oak

Drinkability: Now through 2020

Body: Medium-Full

Alcohol: 14.5% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Avennia, Manu Propria, Numbskull

Cheers

Yashar

Broadside Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Paso Robles Impulse

Broadside 2014 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon

Fellow wine lovers, for many today and yesterday are snow days, and I feel like we need a big warm Cabernet to cozy up to. I’ve long been a fan of the boldness, purity, and beauty of Paso Robles wines, but they are not very well represented here in Washington State. In many ways, I think of Paso Robles as the Washington of California. When I visited the region a few years ago, I found the culture of the wine industry there to be very similar to our own, and the winemaking style is somewhat similar as well, yet distinctly different. The wines of Paso Robles are a tremendous value, and often can go toe to toe with a big bold red from Napa for half the price, which is certainly the case for today’s Broadside Cabernet Sauvignon

Broadside Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles $14.99 (Regularly $18)

In the short time they’ve been around, the Broadside wines have been written up by the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Jon Bonne, and even been reviewed by Channing Tatum and Snoop Dogg. Husband and wife team Brian and Stephanie Terrizzi run the show as owners and operators, with Brian focused on the winemaking and Stephanie on the viticulture. Stephanie has degrees in enology, chemistry, and plant science, and was recently nominated as winegrape grower of the year in San Luis Obispo County. Brian spent several years making wine for others in Italy, Sonoma, and Santa Barbara County, before the couple decided to start a home and a winery in Paso Robles

Wine Enthusiast Magazine has called Broadside, “A go-to brand for everyday sipping,” and personal I agree. It’s a smooth and easy drinking wine with lots of deep dark color. Pretty aromas jump out of the glass immediately, showcasing the popular style of ripe and dense reds which Paso Robles has come to be known for. There are scents of menthol, blueberries, and dark cherries on the nose. The palate is velvety smooth, with flavors of stewed plums, raspberry jam, Chambord liqueur, trailed by hints of cedar, cola, and leather.

Broadside Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Broadside Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Click here to order the Broadside Paso Robles Cabernet

Region: Santa Margarita Ranch & Estrella District Sub Regions, Paso Robles AVA, California

Grape(s): Cabernet Sauvignon

Aging: 14 Months in Neutral French & American Oak

Drinkability: Now through 2020

Body: Full

Alcohol: 13.9% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Argentine Malbec, Napa Cab, California Zinfandel

Cheers

Yashar

Underground Wine Project 2014 Devil’s Playground

Devil’s Impulse

Underground Wine Project 2014 Devil’s Playground, Red Mountain, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, another Impulse favorite is back with a new vintage, the Devil’s Playground Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s yet another hit from Underground Wine Project, who also gave us Idle Hands and the Mr. Pink Rosé, all of which are huge hits. Mark Ryan McNeilly and Trey Busch continue to outdo themselves, and just about everyone else, with this collaboration series which brings to the table supremely enjoyable and hedonistic wines, with fantastic pricing.

Devil’s Playground 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon $31.99

The 2014 Devil’s Playground is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon with 10% Syrah added to soften up the tannins and add extra layers of flavor. The grapes are sourced from Quintessence Vineyard, which I’m sure I’ve raved about as being among my favorite new vineyards on Red Mountain. The wine is aged for 24 months in 100% new French oak, and the final product is big, bold, soft, deep, rich, and smooth.

The nose is full of big ripe fruit, baking spices, cocoa nibs, and toast, going down many layers. The palate is medium-full, soft, and easy drinking, with loads of blackberries and raspberries. There are notes of mocha, cassis, vanilla bean pod, and smoke. A serious crowd-pleaser, outright delicious!

Underground Wine Project Devil's Playground 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Underground Wine Project Devil’s Playground 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Click here to order the Devil’s Playground Cab

Region: Red Mountain

Vineyard(s): Quintessence Vineyard

Grape(s): 90% Cabernet Sauvignon 10% Syrah

Aging: 24 Months in 100% Few French Oak

Drinkability: Now through 2020

Body: Medium-Full

Alcohol: 14.9% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Idle Hands, Secret Squirrel, Old Scratch

Cheers

Yashar