Tag Archives: Vineyard

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

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

Red Car Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Flash Impulse: 30% Off Pinot Noir Today Only

Red Car 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Fellow wine lovers, I have a bit of lead time on today’s flash sale, allowing me to do a more thorough write-up. Coming in at just over 30% off, it’s an excellent Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir which sells on the winery’s own site for $45, but we have it for $29.99 just for the day. All orders must be in by midnight tonight, Friday December 16th, or until it sells out, whichever comes first

Red Car Winery is a newer one, launched around 2000. They take their name from the Red Car Trolleys which once traversed the streets of Los Angeles. They hold the belief that wine should embody the place from which it originates, and this sentiment is summed up nicely in their own words, “Wine is important because it connects us to nature. But to offer meaning beyond itself, a wine has to come from a certain place, not just any place. And the winemaker must stand aside and allow that place to transmit its story without manipulation. This is our never-ending pursuit at Red Car.”

It’s rated 91 points by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, with the following tasting note provided:  “This wine draws from a handful of tremendous vineyard sites, including the producer’s estate, Platt and Clary Ranch, all cool-climate and windswept. It’s a tight, light and minimally messed-with wine…”

At Red Car Winery, they’re believers in cooler climate viticulture, hence their sourcing from the Sonoma Coast. The grapes for this Pinot Noir come from cooler sites which are both at higher elevation and close to the coast, yet the wine is still ripe and luscious- not thin and ultra-light as we’ve seen with many Pinot Noirs lately. It’s fermented with 13% stem inclusion to add some meat and earth notes, then aged in 100% French oak barrels, 10% of which are new. Ripe dark cherry and strawberry jam, hints of rose petals, cedar, dried leaves, just a touch of vanilla, are what drive this wines tasty profile.

Red Car 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Red Car 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Just a few cases are available, and they are first come first serve.

Click here to order the Red Car 2013 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Region: Sonoma Coast AVA, California
Vineyard(s): Red Car Estate, Platt, Bohemian Station, Falstaff, Riddle Ranch, Hagan, Clary Ranch
Grape(s): Pinot Noir
Aging: 100% French Oak Barrels, 10% New, 90% Used
Drinkability: Now through 2019
Body: Medium
Alcohol: 13.3% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Failla, Flowers, La Crema, Littorai, Patz & Hall
Press: 91 Points Wine Enthusiast

Cheers

Yashar

Ambassador Boushey Sauv Blanc

Ambassador Impulse:

Ambassador Winery 2015 Boushey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, Yakima Valley

Fellow wine lovers, it’s no secret that I’m rather fond of Boushey Vineyard. I firmly hold the opinion that it’s one of the best vineyards in Washington State, and if you’ve had the wines, chances are you know what I’m talking about. Owners Dick and Luanne Boushey are meticulous stewards of the land, and their passion for what they do shines through immediately when you converse with either of them. Aside from knowing exactly how to farm their land, they’re also very particular about what wineries they will sell grapes to, making certain to only sell to the best of them. I’ve witnessed first hand, as they regularly collect and taste wines which incorporate their fruit year after year to ensure they are up to par.

Ambassador Winery 2015 Boushey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc $21.99

This is the first year that Ambassador Winery has made a Sauvignon Blanc, thus the production is a mere 300 cases. If you’re not familiar with Ambassador, they’re a smaller winery on Red Mountain, established approximately 10 years ago. Their own estate Red Mountain vineyards are planted only with red grapes, which are more suited to the hot climate of the region. For this reason, when they decided to make a white, they went to a cooler climate vineyard- Boushey.

I think Dick and Luanne Boushey will be pleased with the results, as Ambassador Winery has done right by their grapes. The wine is rather tightly wound for a Sauvignon Blanc, and really opens up with time, which can be good sign that it will age nicely for a few years. The nose shows hints of flint and mineral with a touch of citrus. The palate is bigger than the average Sauvignon Blanc, about medium-full in body for a crisp white. It’s fresh, and soft with notes of white peach, hints of tarragon, green and yellow apples, and asian pears. It’s a blend of 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon, co-fermented in a combination of neutral French oak barrels and stainless steel, the result of which is a wine that is complex, subtle, and pleasing.

Ambassador Winery 2015 Boushey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Ambassador Winery 2015 Boushey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Click here to order the Ambassador Boushey Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Region: Yakima Valley AVA, Washington State Wine
Vineyard(s): Boushey Vineyard
Grape(s): 80% Sauvignon Blanc and 20% Semillon
Aging: Co-Fermented and Aged in Neutral French Oak and Stainless Steel
Drinkability: Now through 2020
Body: Medium-Full
Alcohol: 13.8% by volume
Drink This if you Like: Fume Blanc, Bordeaux Blanc, Avennia Oliane, Efeste Sauvage
Food Pairing: Oysters, Soft Cheese
Production: 300 cases

Cheers

Yashar