I’m last on board for Washington Wine Month, but better late than never. And, to use another cliché, some things are worth the wait. As you can probably tell, I’m most familiar with California wines, predominantly due to proximity and availability — not to mention the added bonus that I can often meet with the winemakers directly. When it comes to Washington, I know my Chateau St. Michele from my Charles Smith and have tasted from the more boutique Amavi Cellars. But when I heard that DeLille Cellars is Washington’s Bordeaux-style pioneers, I was more than willing to reach outside my border. I present to you DeLille Cellars 2014 D2 Bordeaux-style red blend.
I don’t like a lot of Merlot. I know I’ve said this before — It has nothing to do with an un-named movie, it’s just a personal experience thing. Many Merlots in my pre-wine adventure days, seemed to taste like bland, generic red table wine: boring, flavorless, not worth the time and effort. But I’ve learned to not let one or two (or half a dozen) bad eggs spoil the whole bunch. Just note, when I write about a Merlot, it means it’s a wine worth at least exploring. Cheers, Rutherford Ranch: you made the cut.
After experiencing the sophistication of Lombardi Wines 2014 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, I had nothing but high expectations for Tony Lombardi’s Pinot Noir. Rightly so since the Lombardi family has called Petaluma — host to the cool climate Petaluma Gap district of the Sonoma Coast — home since 1947. And since 2012, when Tony first started his label, he and his team have been sourcing small lot Pinot Noir grapes from the prestigious Griffins Lair, Sonoma Stage, Spring Hill, and Terra de Promisso Vineyards.
What I love — what I really love about boutique wineries is that “single vineyard” is (often) a norm. And, I don’t want to be a wine snob or anything, but I’ve had the opportunity to taste the difference between an “appellation series,” a “vineyard series,” and “single vineyard series” as it pertains to the same winery and same varietal. And I have to say, the attention to detail given to the single vineyard series — whether from a major player or an up-and-comer — is astronomical. So you can imagine that when a small-lot winery, like Lombardi wines, stakes its whole business on two varietals (PN and Chard) that those vineyards are going to be quality sources and that the winemaker is going to take the utmost care to respect the fruit during production. So then it becomes — what I really love about boutique wineries is the quality of wine.
A delivery from Lindeman’s magically appeared on my doorstep one day. Not complaining — a gift of wine will never be turned down by me. I’d never heard of the name so had no expectations as to the value or quality of the wine.
Although I’m not usually a fan of the screw cap, I will say that it’s actually kind of great when one finds herself traveling quite a bit. No worries about forgetting to pack a corkscrew. So it was during my travels that I found myself enjoying my first bottle of Lindeman’s Bin 65 Chardonnay.