Tag Archives: Columbia

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

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

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