Tag Archives: 2014

Domaine Lombard Grand Chêne Côtes du Rhône

Braised Impulse

Domaine Lombard 2014 “Grand Chêne” Côtes du Rhône Brézème, France

Fellow wine lovers, within the Southern Rhone Valley of France there lies a specific village known as Brézème. It’s name is derived from the French word for “braise”, in reference to the area’s baking warm weather. Brézème bears the soils of the Southern Rhone (where Grenache blends are the standard), but the climate of the Northern Rhone (where single varietal Syrah wines are the norm). This unique confluence of climate and soil makes the village one of few places in the Southern Rhone from which you can grab a 100% Syrah wine, such as those of Domaine Lombard.

Domaine Lombard 2014 “Grand Chêne” Côtes du Rhône Brézème $22.99

Decades ago, the wines of this village were nearly made extinct by phylloxera, a bug that likes to eat the vines and their roots. Sylvette Lombard was a key contributing in helping to restore Brézème, ensuring that it doesn’t disappear from the wine map for good- while also establishing Domaine Lombard’s place in winemaking history.

Domaine Lombard’s “Grand Chêne” Côtes du Rhône is sourced exclusively from the Les Chassis Vineyard, within the village of Brézème, and is 100% Syrah. It’s fairly nimble on its feet, not overly heavy, making a great red wine for warmer weather and backyard entertaining. It sees no oak treatment, rather it’s aged for 12 months in large concrete vessels, to help soften its structure and build depth of character. The nose has hints of violets, hickory, and freshly steeped tea leaves, while the smooth and medium bodied palate offers notes of cured meats and dark cherries, with a bit of blood orange and sandalwood chiming in on the background. A well balanced and classically styled Rhone red- right up my alley!

Domaine Lombard 2014 “Grand Chêne” Côtes du Rhône Brézème

Domaine Lombard 2014 “Grand Chêne” Côtes du Rhône Brézème

Click here to order the Domaine Lombard Côtes du Rhône Brézème

Region: Côtes du Rhône AOC, Southern Rhone Valley, France

Vineyard(s): Les Chassis Vineyard. Elevations as High as 900 ft, Vines as Old as 20 Years

Grape(s): 100% Syrah

Aging: 12 Months in Concrete Tanks

Drinkability: Now through 2020

Body: Medium

Drink This if you Like: Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Food Pairing: Rack of Lamb

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

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

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

Albert Bichot Macon-Village

Macon Impulse:

Albert Bichot 2014 Macon-Village, White Burgundy

Fellow wine lovers, it’s literally been two years since I last offered up a Macon. Sadly, the one I fell in love with back then is no longer imported here, but luckily I’ve found a new love. Albert Bichot is an estate in France’s Burgundy region with family roots in the area going back to the year 1350. They produce wines from almost every corner of the region, including this lovely Macon-Village, coming from the Mâconnais, in the clay and sandstone hills of Southern Burgundy.

Albert Bichot 2014 Macon-Village $16.99

In the 1990’s Albert Bichot’s descendant Alberic Bichot took over the company, after having spent time abroad. He brought with him new perspectives, as well as a vision toward the future of the family winery. He pushed to modernise how the grapes are grown and how the wines are made, expanding the barrel facilities in order to allow for the aging of more complex wines, and introducing organic viticulture into their farms.

In true Macon style, this is a bright and easy style of Chardonnay, aged in just 20% French oak barrels for 8 months. It’s crisp and nimble, showing notes of fresh yellow apple and anjou pear, hints of lemon and white flowers, with just slight suggestions of cinnamon and hazelnut. It’s readily enjoyable, and easy to pair with light foods such as oysters, halibut, crudo plates, and soft cheeses. Also, just a great value.

Albert Bichot 2014 Macon-Village

Albert Bichot 2014 Macon-Village

Click here to order the Albert Bichot Macon-Village
Region: Macon-Village AOC, Mâconnais, Côte-d’Or, Burgundy, France
Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay
Aging: 8 Months in 20% French Oak Barrels and 80% Stainless Steel
Drinkability: Now through 2018
Body: Medium
Drink This if you Like: Macon, Oregon Chardonnay, Chablis
Food Pairing: Oysters, Clams, Halibut, Soft Cheese

Cheers

Yashar

Newsprint 2014 Malbec

Newsprint Impulse

Guardian Cellars “Newsprint” 2014 Malbec, StoneTree Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington

Fellow wine lovers, last year we debuted a new series of wines by Guardian Cellars, called Newsprint Wines. The label is an homage to owner Jennifer Sullivan’s long time career as a reporter with the Seattle Times, while the original Guardian Cellars label is a nod to husband and co-owner Jerry’s careers as a police officer. The Newsprint wines showcase the same level of care and dedication as Guardian Cellars, along with top vineyard sourcing- only they carry a lighter price tag.

Newsprint Wines 2014 Malbec $17.99

This year’s Malbec is big and juicy, even more so than last year’s. With lots of ripe jammy fruit, and bold yet velvety texture, this Newsprint Malbec mirrors the Malbecs of Argentina more closely than most I’ve seen. Very enjoyable and easy to drink, it’s 100% Malbec aged in 21% new French oak. The grapes are sourced from the Wahluke Slope region, specifically from StoneTree Vineyard. StoneTree is one of the Washington State Wine industry’s best kept secrets, and a long-time favorite among winemakers. It’s not very well known by the public, but vintners who source here are extremely fond of it. I’ve visited the site myself and had pointed out to me how perfectly manicured the vineyard is. There’s virtually not a thing out of place among the rows, vines, and grape bunches at StoneTree. It’s truly an exemplary site.

The wine itself is just plain delicious, with smooth and unctuous texture to boot. Serving up flavors or black cherry jam, stewed black plum, with a touch of blueberry pancakes, it’s easily a crowd-pleaser. Newsprint Malbec ends with a long lingering finish, hinting of cocoa and violets. Jennifer and Jerry made just 350 cases of this beauty.

Newsprint 2014 Malbec

Newsprint 2014 Malbec

Click here to order the Newsprint 2014 Malbec

Region: Wahluke Slope AVA, Washington State Wine
Vineyard(s): StoneTree Vineyard
Grape(s): 100% Malbec
Aging: 21% New French Oak barrels, 79% Once Used
Drinkability: Now through 2019
Body: Full
Alcohol: 14.3% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Argentine Malbec, California Zinfandel, Australian Shiraz
Production: 350 cases

Cheers

Yashar