April Domestic Wine: 2013 Lone Birch Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley, WASHINGTON

Vintage: The 2013 vintage was the warmest since 2003. Harvest began in late August, which was the earliest that they had ever experienced at Airfield. Temperatures cooled off by mid-September, causing the ripening process to slow in the vineyard. Eventually, the vines adjusted to the cool temperatures and picking proceeded steadily at normal pace. The overall result was ripe fruit without excessively high alcohols or overripe flavors. This vintage provided solid crop yields with no fruit shortages. Every block met its estimate.

Vineyard Source: All of the Lone Birch wines are sourced from fruit from our 950 acre estate vineyard located in the Yakima Valley. Their vineyard site offers a long 190 day growing season, which allows for slow, steady fruit maturation. The warm days and the cool nights provided by the high desert environment allow the vines to produce exceptional balance with ripe fruit flavors and plenty of natural acidity.

Style: This wine is handcrafted in a balanced, approachable style that showcased the quality of fruit from Washington State.

Vinification & Maturation: The Lone Birch winemaking began by hand-sorting fruit to ensure only ideal clusters were vinified. After the destemming process, the must was transferred to stainless steel fermentation vessels. Gentle pump-overs, rack & returns, and punch-downs were used to extract tannin and color from the skin. After the wine finished fermenting, it was pressed and settled before going to barrel. The wine went through malolactic fermentation while in barrel and was racked every 3 months. After nearly 1 year of oak maturation, the wine was bottled.

Varietal(s): Cabernet Sauvignon

Alchohol: 13.9% by volume

Food Pairings: Serve with grilled lamb and vegetables. Yummy!

Tasting Notes: The Cabernet Sauvignon has a red garnet color, with a bouquet of dark cherry and spice. On the palate, it is approachable with good acidity and lingering tannins. Drink now through 2020.

Jim Lutfy’s thoughts: “Lush, ripe and rich with layers of complexity. This is a wine that is in complete harmony. A great value in my opinion, and drinks well right off the cork. Pairs great with anything on the grill! Enjoy!”-JL

April Imported Wine: 2014 Domaine Haut Bridau PicPoul Blanc, PicPoul de Pinet, FRANCE

Located in the heart of the massif of Castelnaux, in the terroirs of Picpoul de Pinet appellation, this family estate spreads over 11 hectares.

The Story: Domaine Haut Bridau is located in Castelnaux, Fance, in the terroirs of the PicPoul de Pinet appellation. The Domaine is run by the Pages family since the beginning of the last century. Today, grandson Christian is in charge of the property.

Vineyard: Known since the 14th century, the grape variety Piquepoul has always been synonymous with quality. The production is limited to 1200 hectares in the appellation and makes the PicPoul de Pinet a rare region.

Varietal(s): 100% Piquepoul Blanc

Alcohol: 12.0% by volume

Food Pairings: The round and well balanced fruit will ideally accompany shellfish and grilled fish. Try with paella as well! Serve well chilled.

Tasting Notes: Lovely pale yellow color, bright and clear. Fruity and floral nose with hawthorne and lime tree fragrances. Lively and fresh mouth with harmonious acidity and roundness.

Jim Lutfy’s thoughts: “Wow! What a wine! Loaded with flavors of lemon and minerality, with zippy, clean acidity and liveliness! Pairs great with oysters, chicken or seafood. Cheers!”-JL