Tag Archives: Mourvedre

Kevin White Yakima Valley Red Blend

Kevin White Impulse

Kevin White 2015 Yakima Valley Red Wine

Fellow wine lovers, a blockbuster wine from last year is back its second vintage today. Kevin White’s wines have been an Impulse favorite since we first featured them a few years ago, and last year he came out with a new wine, a declassified red made in the same style as his flagship Rhone style wines. The new vintage was just release and has already sold out on his website, disappearing in a flash, but we are lucky enough to have a bit to feature on Impulse today.

Kevin White 2015 Yakima Valley Red Wine $17.99

 If you like Rhone style reds from Washington State, Kevin White’s are not to be missed. This one in particular will be gone in a hurry, as there is so little of it made and the value is tremendous. It’s made using the same fruit from the same vineyards as is earth shattering La Fraternité and En Hommage wines, with Kevin assembling those two blends first, then everything else that’s still worthy goes into this Red Wine.

Simply put, the wine is really good! It’s beautiful, smooth, and spicy. It’s soft and medium bodied on the palate, very easy drinking, and ready now with the ability to lay down for a few years. It has a lovely nose of delicate red berries, with hints of pepper, herb, and rose petals. There are flavors of strawberry, cherry, and raspberry. A perfect every day drinker.

Kevin White Red Wine

Kevin White Winery Red Wine

Click here to order the Kevin White Red Blend

 Region: Yakima Valley

Grape(s): 44% Syrah, 31% Grenache, 25% Mourvedre

Drinkability: Now through 2021

Body: Medium

Alcohol: 14.9% by volume

Drink This if you Like: La Fraternité, En Hommage, W.T. Vintners, Savage Grace,

Food Pairing: Lamb Chops

Production: 466 cases


Kevin White 2014 Red Wine

Kevin White Impulse

Kevin White 2014 Red Wine, Yakima Valley, WA

Fellow wine lovers, Kevin White Winery is on fire! White hot, if you will… Last year Kevin White was named “Winemaker to Watch” by Seattle Magazine’s Washington Wine Awards, and for those of you who have ordered his wine from me in the past, you have already discovered why. He’s just now launching a brand new Red Wine, and for only $17.99 – as if his previous wines were not already a killer deal, at around or under $30. His main line of wines are so small in production that you’ll recall we’ve typically only had 1 or 2 cases to offer on Impulse. Today’s new Red Wine is still only produced in finite quantity, 388 cases, but at least we’re able to get enough to let everyone stock up on this perfect everyday drinker

Kevin White Winery 2014 Red Wine $17.99

Seattle Magazine referred to his wines as being, “remarkable for their purity and freshness,” and called Kevin White himself a, “winemaker on the ascendancy”. This is undoubtedly a winery on the rise, but for now Kevin White is operating at a near microscopic production level. He makes so little wine, that it’s hard to find any around town. If you’ve had Kevin White’s other wines, you know his style to be delicate and very smooth, and this Red Wine is right in line with that. It showcases beautiful, clean, bright fruit, with hints of spice, and very little oak. It’s a blend of 54% Syrah, 23% Grenache, and 23% Mourvèdre, aged for 16 months in only 10% new French oak barrels.

It’s medium bodied, well balanced, and very easy drinking. Packed with plenty of complexity, especially considering the price, and is also very food friendly. The nose is full of bright berry notes and hints of tobacco. The palate shows blueberries, black plums, vanilla bean, a bit of cigar box, and preserved bing cherry. If you prefer your wines to not be heavy, with little to no oak, and no aggressive tannins, you’ll certainly love the Kevin White Red Wine.

Kevin White 2014 Red Wine

Kevin White Winery 2014 Red Wine

Click here to order the Kevin White Red Wine

Region: Yakima Valley AVA, Washington State Wine
Grape(s): 54% Syrah, 23% Grenache, and 23% Mourvèdre
Aging: 16 Months in 10% New French Oak Barrels
Drinkability: Now through 2020
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Côtes du Rhône, Perrin Family Wines, En Hommage, La Fraternité
Press: Kevin White name “Winemaker to Watch” by Seattle Magazine
Food Pairings: Very versatile, Duck, Red Meat, Grilled or Roasted Veg
Production: 388 cases



Les Trouvés Red Wine

Trove Impulse

Les Trouvés 2013 Red Wine by Avennia

Fellow wine lovers, the wine industry has a-buzz this week with everyone raving about a brand new offshoot label by the good people of Avennia Winery – winemaker Chris Peterson and business partner Marty Taucher. They’re introducing a completely new set of wines called “Les Trouvés”, named for a French expression meaning found or discovered. They’ve been giving some some sneak previews of the wines, ahead of its official release, and we are among the first to have the pleasure of trying it.

Les Trouvés (by Avennia) 2013 Red Wine $24.99

The idea with this new wine is to keep things simple and easy drinking, modeling it after the wines of Southern France, specifically Provence. There, the the warm Mediterranean climate (not unlike our current climate here in Seattle) calls for a more refreshing style of red, with less oak and a more relaxed disposition. This is a traditional Provencal style blend of Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah, about half of which comes from declassified Avennia juice, while the rest is source by Chris Peterson, négociant style, from the Rocks in Walla Walla, Red Mountain, and the Horse Heaven Hills.

It’s a completely different style than what we’ve seen from Chris Peterson in his Avennia and Passing Time wines, but still holds the same high standards in quality and value. The nose is aromatic with hints of flowers, juicy red fruits, and a touch of bubblegum-like character. The palate is easy, medium-bodied, and holds flavors of brandied cherries and herbes de Provence, backed by a bit of meaty gamey quality and hints of lavender. This is a perfect wine to enjoy at a bistro in Provence, or in the comfort of your own patio on a beautiful day.

Les Trouvés 2013 Red Wine

Les Trouvés 2013 Red Wine

Click here to order the Les Trouvés Red wine

Region: Columbia Valley, Washington State
Grapes: Mourvedre, Grenache and Syrah
Drinkability: Now through 2018
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 14.5% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Southern Rhone, Provence, Côtes du Rhône
Press: Seattle Metropolitan Magazine Weekly Wine Pick by Sean Sullivan
Food Pairings: Antipasti on the patio
Production: 400 cases



Fraternal Impulse: Kevin White “La Fraternité ” and “En Hommage”

Fellow wine lovers, I’m really excited to finally offer a wine which I didn’t get the chance to feature this time last year. That’s because the wines ofKevin White Winery are so small in production, and so well received, that we can hardly get any. Last year I was able to get my hands on a whopping 6 bottles, and they were snatched up before I could even offer them on Impulse. This year, we are able to land just 12 bottles each of two different wines, and I’m betting they won’t last long either. 

The tale of Kevin White is boy-meets-wine story of a 20-something guy who moved to Seattle to take a job with Microsoft. He quickly discovered the wonders of Washington Wine and was hooked, deciding to enroll in winemaking classes at South Seattle Community College, then working for industry veterans like Chris Sparkman (Sparkman Cellars) and Jon Meuret (Maison Bleue Winery). Fast forward, and Kevin has matured into one of Washington’s most talked about new winemakers, with his previous vintage of wines scoring 93 and 94 points in Wine Enthusiast Magazine, one of them making it on to the Top 100 Wines of the Year list. Ratings for this year’s crop have yet to be published, but everyone is anticipating big numbers for Kevin White once again. 

Kevin White 2012 La Fraternité Grenache Blend $27.99 

I’m privileged to meet up with Kevin in his home where he’s kind enough to open up a bottle each of his newly released wines. What I think will be a quick in and out tasting, rapidly escalates into me asking to re-taste and then re-re-taste everything. After just the first few sips, it’s obvious to me that these stunning wines have hardly begun to show their full potential. After a few hours of tasting and chatting, I’m completely enamored, these wines are glorious! I like these 2012’s even more than Kevin’s previous vintage, and I didn’t think that was possible. 

La Fraternité is a blend of 41% Grenache, 40% Mourvedré, and 19% Syrah; in the style of a traditional Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The nose is slightly perfumed with rose petals, dried strawberries, and liquorice. The palate is smooth and soft, yet rich and textured, due to the additional lees stirring it undergoes while aging in 100% neutral French Burgundy barrels for 10 months. It holds flavors of spicy white pepper and roasted strawberries up front, hints of paprika and kalamata olives in the middle, finishing with the sweet essence of roasted sage. 

This “La Fraternité” is named so in honor of the fraternity and community of winemakers who took Kevin under their wing and didn’t hold back to teach him the skills he would need to realize his goals as a vintner. He made only 290 cases, and we are only able to offer 12 bottles on Impulse today. 

Click here to order the Kevin White La Fraternité Grenache Blend 

Region: Yakima Valley 
Vineyard: Upland, Olsen, and Wallula Vineyards 
Grape: 41% Grenache 40% Mourvedré 19% Syrah 
Aging: 100% neutral French oak for 10 months with stirred lees 
Drinkability: Now through 2020, decanting recommended 
Body: Medium 
Food Pairings: Merguez, braised lamb, cured meats 
Production: 290 cases 
Availability: 12 bottles 

Kevin White 2012 En Hommage Syrah $27.99 

En Hommage, named so by Kevin as a tribute to the winemakers who came before, both here in Washington and in the Rhone Valley of France. This is a blend 82% Syrah from Wallula and Olsen Vineyards, 15% Grenache from Upland Vineyard, 3% Mourvedré from Olsen Vineyard. 

It’s a bit fuller bodied than the La Fraternité, given that this is dominated by Syrah and sees 15% new French oak for 11 months. The nose is slightly darker in nature as well, with blueberries, violets, and hints of smoke. The palate starts with crushed black pepper at the tip of your tongue and moves in a meaty mid-palate with more berries, showing a slight hint of vanilla, then finishes with lip smacking acidity, smoked black olives and a light toastiness. 

Kevin made only 175 cases of the En Hommage, and we have a meager 12 bottles to offer on Impulse. 

Click here to order the Kevin White En Hommage Syrah 

Region: Columbia Valley 
Vineyard: Wallula, Upland, and Olsen Vineyards 
Grape: 82% Syrah 15% Grenache 3% Mourvedré 
Aging: 15% new french oak, 11 months burgundy barrels 
Drinkability: Now through 2020, decanting recommended 
Body: Medium-Full 
Food Pairings: Smoke meats, beef stew, grilled vegetables 
Production: 175 cases 
Availability: 12 bottles 

Robert Ramsay 2010 Mourvèdre & 2010 “Par la Mer”

Hi everyone. Today we have a pair of wines which impressed me on multiple occasions, and even stood out as my favorite in blind taste tests.
Recently I had the pleasure of participating as a judge for the Art of Wine Competition in Ellensburg, where I blind tasted and evaluated just under a hundred wines, along with a panel of other Sommeliers and wine experts. We tasted all day long without being given a clue what was in our glasses, with the wines only being revealed to us at the very end. Just two weeks before, I visited the Robert Ramsay Cellars tasting room and fall in love with his Mourvèdre and Mourvèdre based blend, so when the wines were finally revealed to us, I was thrilled to find that my favorite wine of the day was one of his. I’m excited to offer these two temptations with at an appealing discount.

Robert Ramsay 2010 Mourvèdre
McKinley Springs Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills

Mourvèdre is one of the first “off the beaten path” grapes I fell in love with when I was just starting out in the wine business. I remember an amazing bottle of Domaine Tempier changing my perspective on life as I enjoyed it with a rack of lamb at the old Waterfront Seafood Grill. The Robert Ramsay is a reminder of exactly what it is that I loved about my first experience with Mourvèdre. These grapes were originally destined to be blended with Syrah, but after tasting them, Robert realized that they’re worthy of singing solo instead providing backup. The nose draws me in with its provocative notes of smoked black olives and crushed pepper. The palate leaves me transfixed with velvety smoothness, and flavors of baked berries, oregano and sweet herbs.

Oak: 100% French oak barrels
Production size: 294 cases
Awards: Gold Medal, Seattle Wine Awards

Robert Ramsay 2010 “Par la Mer” Red Blend

An hommage to Bandol, I truly feel Par la Mer is in a class of its own among Washington wines. It was my favorite at the Art of Wine judging, and it came just shy of winning “Best in Show” with all the other judges. A blend of 72% Mourvèdre, 19% Grenache, and 9% Cinsault, it’s one of the most complex wines I’ve had recently. The nose takes you away with exotic spices, sumac, and hints of smoke. The palate is beckoning to the Mediterranean with juicy figs, dates, sun drenched tomatoes, and ra’s al hanout. There are few moments that pass by when I’m not thinking about drinking this beauty. I’m tempted to get a license plate frame that reads “I’d rather be drinking Par la Mer”.

Vineyards: Upland, McKinley Springs
Oak: 100% French oak barrels
Production size: 281 cases
Awards: Double Gold Medal Seattle Wine Awards

Maison Bleue 2012 Rosé & 2011 Chardonnay

Hi everyone, and thanks for reading the fourth installment of the Impulse newsletter.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Jon Meuret is on the forefront of the Washington wine industry. He’s part of a growing contingent of vigneron who make wines with lower alcohol, higher acid, and subdued oak. In this group of mutineers going against the grain, he’s pushing the envelope even farther than the rest and crafting some of the most earthy and food friendly wines in the state.

Jon Meuret was kind enough to donate his wines, and his time, to the Fred Hutch Premier Chefs Dinner where we paired them with an outstanding smoked escolar dish by Chef Rachel Yang of Joule Restaurant. It was a hit…

Maison Bleue 2012 “La Famille” Rosé of Mourvèdre

I was chatting rosé with a buddy and he said “makes me think of salad with smoked salmon, or better yet lox,” (so I’m stealing that, let’s pretend I came up with it). Normally Mourvèdre can make a heavier, fruitier rosé, but Jon grew this batch of grapes expressly for a dry pink wine, not a red. In fact, it’s one of the lightest color rosé around. With flavors of membrillo, blood orange, soft berries, and the right amount of acid, “La Famille” is perfect with a meal. At the Willows Inn on Lummi Island, I loved pairing it with our seared salmon dish. The hint of strawberries contrasting the spicy mustard greens and the acidity balancing out the rich oiliness of the fish was a crowd pleaser. You can see a photo of Chef Blaine Wetzel’s beautiful dish here (I’m borrowing it from ChuckEats.com). The only problem I had pairing it with food was that it sells out so quickly, since he only makes 365 cases.

Not to let salmon hog all the attention (we all know how Copper River will do that), halibut is also in season and the “Au Contraire” Chardonnay is a great accompaniment for the flat-bodied fish.

Maison Bleue 2011 “Au Contraire” French Creek Vineyard Chardonnay

This is a Washington Chardonnay that a Meursault fan would enjoy; I’m not saying it’s a replacement for Burgundy, still you can get your fix in a pinch. It’s already sold out, and Jon’s been nice enough to hook me up, though I’m only allowed 12 bottles. It’s not an oak centric wine, so it has the freshness of bartletts pairs and citrus floating out of the glass. Coming up on two years old, it’s developing some hazelnut aromas, with a little eggnog and nutmeg.

Wine Enthusiast gives it 92 points