Category Archives: Columbia Valley

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

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

And Why Am I Mr Pink Mr Pink Rosé

Mr Pink Impulse

And Why Am I Mr Pink Mr Pink Rosé by Underground Wine Project

Fellow wine lovers, it’s back! Last year’s most popular debuting Rosé is back for its second vintage, and they tell me it will sell out just as quickly as it did the last time. It’s the “And Why am I Mr. Pink” Rosé, by Underground Wine Project – A Collaboration between Mark Ryan Winery and Sleight of Hand Cellars, so you know it comes from good stock. I know it’s a bit tricky, because you might be looking outside and thinking it’s not yet time for Rosé, but Rosé releases are coming earlier each year to allow early birds to jump on them. Last year, a lot of people were asking for this wine into the height of summer, and it was long gone by that time, so I recommend stocking up on your year’s supply now while it’s still available.

And Why am I Mr. Pink 2016 Rosé of Sangiovese $11.99

It’s very much so on par with the previous vintage. Bright and fruity, with just a hint of sweetness. The nose has the essence of orange blossoms and nectarines, while the palate shows flavors of watermelon, grapefruit, and strawberry yogurt. It’s bright and refreshing, making your mouth water just a bit. Spring is just around the corner, and we’ll all be very happy to have this one stashed away when the seasons change.

Underground Wine Project 2016 "And Why am I Mr Pink" Rosé

Underground Wine Project 2016 “And Why am I Mr Pink” Rosé

Click here to order the And Why am I Mr. Pink Rosé

Region: Columbia Valley

Grape(s): 100% Sangiovese

Aging: 4 Months in Stainless Steel

Drinkability: Now through 2017

Body: Medium-Full for a Rosé

Alcohol: 12.5% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Julia’s Dazzle

Food Pairing: Oysters, Prawns, Salmon

Cheers

Yashar

Sparkman Cellars Kindred Chardonnay

Kindred Impulse

Sparkman Cellars 2014 “Kindred” Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, I first met Chris Sparkman back in 2006, when I was working at Matthews Cellars and he was the General Manager of The Waterfront Restaurant, now Aqua by El Gaucho. That same year, he debuted Sparkman Cellars, and we did a collaboration winemaker dinner for the Auction of Washington Wines. With his years of experience in the food and beverage business, and having Mark Ryan McNeilly as his consulting winemaker for the first few years, he was well on his way to success.

Sparkman Cellars 2014 “Kindred” Chardonnay $17.99

Now Sparkman Cellars has a value line of wines called “Kindred”, and the 2014 Chardonnay offers a lot of bang for the buck. It’s a nice, fat, buttery, Chardonnay with a healthy amount of oak. The fruit is sourced from Oasis, Olsen, and Stillwater Creek Vineyards, then aged for 18 months in 27% new French oak barrels. It tastes of fresh apricots, yellow apples, and hints of hazelnuts and straw, finishing with a rich and creamy texture.

Sparkman made just 334 cases of their Kindred Chardonnay

Click here to order the Sparkman Kindred Chardonnay

Sparkman Kindred Chardonnay

Sparkman Kindred Chardonnay

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine

Vineyard(s): 60% Oasis, 33% Olsen, 7% Stillwater Creek

Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay

Aging: 27% New French Oak Barrels for 18 Months

Drinkability: Now through 2018

Body: Medium-Full

Alcohol: 14.5% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Disruption Chardonnay, La Crema

Food Pairing: Scallops, Pasta with Cream Sauce, Chicken

Production: 334 cases

Damsel Cellars Stillwater Creek Syrah

Damsel Impulse

Damsel Cellars 2013 Syrah, Stillwater Creek Vineyard, Columbia Valley, WA

Fellow wine lovers, not every Damsel is in distress. In fact, today’s Damsel seems to have things pretty well in order. Damsel Cellars is a new winery started by owner and winemaker Mari Womack. She spent a several years working and volunteering at boutique Washington wineries such as Obelisco, Bear, and Darby, before having the gumption to start her own project. Now into her second vintage, she’s making some wines worth sharing on Impulse.

Damsel Cellars 2013 Columbia Valley Syrah $34.99

Mari Womack is focusing on making all 100% single varietal wines, such as this Syrah, which is also a single vineyard Syrah, all from Stillwater Creek Vineyard in the Columbia Valley. Over the past 10 or so years, Stillwater Creek has become a favored site for Syrah, and other varieties, among boutique winemakers in Washington. I myself had the pleasure of working with their Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc, and other grapes, when I was making wine at Matthews back in the day. It’s a very well managed vineyard, growing excellent wine grapes.

The Damsel Cellars 2013 Columbia Valley Syrah is aged for 14 months in 25% new French oak barrels. Mari Womack also included 25% stems in the fermentation, which bring a bit of earth tones to the profile, as well as adding texture and a bit of tannin. It’s a smooth wine, but does have a bit of grip to the palate, and those extra tannins will go a long in making this an ageable and food friendly wine, especially with a fatty meat dish. The nose reminds me of the sweet smoky essence of a barbecue pit, with notes of black raspberry, cured olives, and hints of tobacco and dried leaves. The color is deep and dark, and the palate is full bodied, with flavors of vanilla, cherries, blueberries, and hints of toast. It finishes with a hint of game and palate cleansing acidity.

Click here to order the Damsel Cellars Syrah

Damsel Cellars 2013 Syrah

Damsel Cellars 2013 Syrah

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine

Vineyard(s): Stillwater Creek Vineyard

Grape(s): 100% Syrah

Aging: 14 Months in 25% New French, 25% Stem Inclusion

Drinkability: Now through 2021

Body: Full body

Alcohol: 14.5% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Darby Cellars, Mark Ryan, DeLille Doyenne

Food Pairing: Burgers, Steaks, Summer Sausage

Production: 104 cases

Disruption Red Wine

Disruption Impulse

Disruption Wine Co. 2014 Red Wine

Fellow wine lovers, sometimes good winemakers are obscured, working in the shadow of their bosses. It’s until they have an opportunity to break out on their own that they start to shine. Andrew Latta spent years working for Charles Smith, crafting some of the most well known wines in Washington State, but not a lot of people knew who he was until recently. He introduced his eponymous Latta Wines just a couple of years ago, and immediately got a bit of press for it. In 2015 he was named as a “Washington’s Game Changer” by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, then in 2016 he was named one of Washington State’s winemakers to watch by Seattle Metropolitan Magazine.  Now he’s launching a second label, with pure pleasure wines and great pricing- Disruption Wine.

Disruption Wine Company 2014 Red Blend $14.99

The Disruption Wine Company red leans towards the hedonistic side of things. It’s big, dense, ripe, and bold. Rather primary in nature, with great purity of fruit, it’s smooth and easy to enjoy. A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Malbec sourced from quality vineyards Clifton Bluff, Newhouse, and DenHoed, throughout the Columbia Valley. It’s full of dark berry notes, such as blackberries, chocolate covered blueberries, with hints of violets, cedars, and pepper

Disruption 2014 Red Wine

Disruption 2014 Red Wine

Click here to order the Disruption Red Blend

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine

Vineyard(s): Clifton Bluff, Newhouse, and DenHoed

Grape(s): 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Malbec

Drinkability: Now through 2018

Body: Full

Alcohol: 13.5% by volume

Drink This if you Like: Secret Squirrel

Cheers

Yashar

The Walls Vineyards Chardonnay

New Yorker Impulse

The Walls Vineyards 2014 “Les Jeunes Vignes” Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, almost everyone knows and enjoys the cartoon stylings of The New Yorker Magazine, and many people are fans of the wines turned out by Corliss Estates in Walla Walla, and their sibling winery, Tranche Cellars. Something I never expected is to see elements from the two converging into a single new wine project from Walla Walla, but that’s what’s happening now.

Ali Mayfield, formerly on the winemaking team for Corliss/Tranche, is launching a brand new winery, with label art drawn by a New Yorker Magazine cartoonist. The result is great wines, fun labels, and something exciting and new for us to share.

The Walls Vineyards 2014 “Les Jeunes Vignes” Chardonnay $24.99

For this Chardonnay, Ali is seeking out warmer vineyard sites which give rise to bigger and riper wines, conveying the full magnitude of complexity which Washington State can express. Despite the name translating into “young vines”, the plantings go back as far as 1982, which is rather mature. She is sourcing from Conner Lee Vineyard and Stillwater Creek Vineyard, which are often the backbone of well known washington Chardonnays from the likes of Buty Winery, Tenor, Ashan Cellars, and Gorman Winery. While I’ve typically leaned toward more delicate styles of Chardonnay to offer on Impulse, this one is a bit bigger, yet still very balanced- so if you’ve been looking for something with more oak and butter, this one is for you.

The Walls “Les Jeunes Vignes” Chardonnay is barrel fermented in 78% new French oak barrels and 22% stainless steel barrels, and then aged for 11 months in those same vessels. The result is a generous flavors of vanilla bean and freshly made toast, with hints of custard and buttered popcorn. The Chardonnay is equitably ripe, showing classic notes of golden delicious apple and bartlett pear, with hints of pineapple and lemon. It finishes clean with hints of mineral, and is overall a lovely Chardonnay which competes well with many priced $5 or $10 higher.

The Walls Vineyards 2014 "Les Jeunes Vignes" Chardonnay

The Walls Vineyards 2014 “Les Jeunes Vignes” Chardonnay

Click here to order the The Walls Vineyards “Les Jeunes Vignes” Chardonnay

Region: Columbia Valley AVA, Washington State Wine
Vineyard(s): Conner Lee Vineyard and Stillwater Creek Vineyard
Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay
Aging: Barrel Fermented in 78% New French Oak Barrels and 22% Stainless Steel Barrels, and Aged for 11 Months
Drinkability: Now through 2018
Body: Medium-Full
Alcohol: 13.9% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Chard from Woodward Canyon, Buty, Tenor, Ashan, Gorman
Food Pairing: Wild Caught Alaskan Halibut, Copper River King Salmon
Production: 241 cases

Cheers

Yashar