Fine Wine Source Wine


August 2019

The Underground Wine Project: The Underground Wine Project is a
collaboration between Washington wine makers Mark McNeilly (Mark Ryan
Winery) and Trey Busch (Sleight of Hand Cellars). Mark and Trey are close friends of nearly 14 years and have both have word) with Pearl Jam and Mark has a love (not nearly as strong as Trey’s) for the band as well. The first wine from Underground Wine Project was called ‘Idle Hands’ after a Gutter Twins (Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees and Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs) song of the same name. “My eyes have seen, they have been shown, This is an occupation to stand alone”- Idle Hands by The Gutter Twins.

And Why am I Mr. Pink Rose: Since its debut in 2015, Mr. Pink has captured the hearts and palates of Washingtonians. Its popularity has now gone nationwide with the 2017 vintage taking the #70 spot in 2018’s Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Best Buys. The 2018 vintage was just recently rated by Seattle Magazine as the Top Rose Wine for their Top Washington Wines of 2019. 2018 had one of the coolest Aprils and then one of the warmest Mays on record. Temperatures went from almost two weeks behind to a bit ahead by June. Bloom began in late May and conditions were ideal. July and August were warm with temperatures cooling off resulting in near perfect conditions through harvest. 2018 gave us all the right weather in the right order. We loved the wine so much that we think even Steve Buscemi would be happy with the name, and if he bought a bottle at Vertical he may even leave a tip!!!

Varietals: Undisclosed percentages: Sangiovese & Syrah

Alcohol: 12.5%

Tasting Notes: Packed with flavors full of fresh Rainier cherries, crisp watermelon and pomegranates, with lip smacking acidity that balances out mouth-watering fruit.

Food Pairings: Pork, often referenced as the other white meat, can be a great Rose pairing, as can salmon, white fishes, turkey, or chicken. Think picnic fare on a hot summer’s day: sandwiches and salads, summer vegetables, crab or spinach dips, shrimp, seafood, and even some lightly smoked meats. Always a good option for vegetarian or vegan dishes!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Rich yet elegant makes this a perfect summer sipper. Great served with charcuterie and cheeses or antipasti.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: 2018 Chateau la Genestiere Tavel Rose. This Grenache & Syrah stunner is from the original Rose region in France’s Southern Rhone Valley. This dark and delicious Rose, that often appeals to the red wine drinker that may be reticent to step outside their comfort zone, is a great addition to any summer patio party!
Wine Club Member Price $19.99

Fine Wine Source Wine


June 2019

Purple Star Winery: In 2008 winemaker Kyle Johnson and his wife Amy set out to start a winery with a specific vision: to embody the soul of wine from vineyard to bottle to table. Our philosophy is that wine should be accessible, approachable, and affordable. But most of all, they believe a wine’s purpose is to bring together family and friends! With 10 years of viticulture and winemaking experience in Washington State, they know a thing or two about making wine. For starters, Purple Star’s varietal blends are grown from some of Washington State’s finest appellations; including, Wahluke Slope, Yakima Valley and Red Mountain. With grapes handpicked at their optimal flavor profile and juice fermented at cooler temperatures for longer periods, their wines exhibit softer tannins and retain more varietal character..
From Keith and Amy: As a family we find ourselves blessed with good health. Our good fortune comes with a realization that others are less fortunate. As a result we have chosen to donate 15% of Purple Star Wines’ proceeds to Seattle Children’s Hospital to benefit uncompensated care—a gesture we hope will lighten the financial burden of families overwhelmed by the expenses associated with critical medical care. It’s our way of “paying it forward.”

Purple Star Syrah: Grapes were destemmed and lightly crushed, retaining 60% whole berries. Punch downs and pump overs by hand for 8-14 days, depending on lots. Aged for 14 months in 100% French Oak barrels with 1036 cases produced. The fruit was sourced from three of Washington State’s best Syrah vineyards: 75% Weinbau-Wahluke Slope,
16% Red Heaven-Red Mountain, and 9% Kiona-Red Mountain.

Varietals: 100% Syrah

Alcohol: 14.5% (6.4g/L Acidity, 3.84PH, .03g/L Residual Sugar)

Tasting Notes: Black berries, plum and smoke aromas lead to black raspberry and pepper. Followed up by moderate acid structure and fine grained tannins, this wine will age well over the next few years, but is very approachable now.

Food Pairings: Syrah in general pairs very well with roasted leg of lamb, vegetables, wild game, beef stew, mushrooms, and barbequed meats; especially, BBQ chicken, smoked pork, or BBQ spareribs. On the charcuterie board, Syrah is best with salami, chorizo, and pastrami as well as with aged hard cheeses like Cheddar and Gouda. One of the best uses for Syrah, other than drinking it, is in the kitchen is as a demi-glaze reduction.

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts: Rich, opulent and loaded with black and red fruit makes it lush with a long and lingering finish. Best served with braised beef short ribs or beef kabobs.

Wine Club Member HOT Deal: Also from Washington State, we are featuring Sleight of Hand’s 2016 The Spellbinder. This enchanting and charming medium-bodied red blend, which Keith Johnson had a “hand” in making, casts a spell on the drinker with its blend of 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Cabernet Franc, 12% Syrah, and 18% Merlot. Wine Club Member Price $24.99…Take this magical bottle home before it disappears!!!

Fine Wine Source Wine


October 2018

MERF Wines:

David “MERF” Merfeld grew up on a family owned farm in Greene, Iowa, and has had the nickname “MERF” ever since he can remember. In 1990 his brother loaned him $1,000 and he loaded up his car with everything he owned and moved to Seattle. When he first arrived, MERF got a job working at a construction inspection company and started brewing beer as a hobby. In 1996, MERF quit his day job and went into brewing full time while he was attending beer school. In 1997, MERF was hired at Bert Grant’s Ales as a brewer, which was owned at that time by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates. When the opportunity arose to apply his knowledge of fermentation science to making wine, he jumped at the chance to become involved in the Washington wine industry. MERF’s background and experience brewing is a unique point of differentiation from other winemakers. “My entire career I’ve been focused on the balance of subtle oak notes with the pure expression of Washington fruit. I want the customer to taste the Washington fruit, since it’s one of the attributes that really sets the Columbia Valley apart from the rest of the world. The unique growing conditions in Washington produce flavorful and approachable wines. At the end of the day, I make wine that I like and that I want to drink and share with friends. I create wines to be enjoyed.” David “MERF” Merfeld

About:

The 2016 vintage experienced the best of both worlds with a hot spring and early summer, but also cool temperatures before and during the harvest. The cooler temperatures in August and September slowed down ripening and resulted in longer hang time for the fruit; consequently, it was the longest harvest on record for WA State (August 15-November 15). The fruit was sourced from vineyards throughout the Columbia Valley in Eastern WA, including Mike Andrews, Mercer Canyons, and Fountain Farm Mgmt. The valley lies in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mts. and receives just 6-8 inches of rainfall annually. Warm sunny days and cool evening temps create ideal conditions for intense aroma and flavor development in the ripening fruit. The northerly latitude gives the valley roughly 2 more hours of sunlight during the peak growing season than California, increasing the region’s ability to ripen fruit. The grapes were destemmed and inoculated with various yeast strains to maximize complexity. Gentle pump-overs during fermentation were employed to extract color & flavor and produce soft, supple tannins. 75% of the juice was aged for around 12 months in a combination of French & American oak, with the remaining 25% in stainless steel to preserve character & complexity.

Varietals:

80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, 1% Cabernet Franc

Alcohol:

14.4%

Tasting Notes:

The Cabernet Sauvignon is balanced, soft and approachable with flavors of blackberry, vanilla, and subtle spice notes; this wine has silky tannins and a flashy finish—From David “MERF” Merfeld.

Food Pairings:

BBQ Ribs, Grilled Steak, or a decadent & delicious slice (or two!) of Chocolate Cake!!!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:

Rich & Opulent and loaded with flavors of blackberry and currant. It has an explosive and long finish that makes it best to serve with Ribeye or fatty Steaks!

Skyfall Vineyard was named for massive car-sized boulders scattered among the vines, appearing to have fallen from the sky. These glacial rocks were left in the wake of the ancient Missoula floods that cut the Columbia River. Floods deposited silty loam soil mixed with volcanic ash for soil conditions that create complex, elegant wines.

Dave Minick, 3rd generation Washington State grower, oversees all vineyard management for consistent, perfectly ripe grapes across Skyfall vineyard sites. All vineyards receive the same environmentally responsible care with minimalist intervention including a new compost program for naturally enriching soils and use of low impact vehicles in vineyards.

Skyfall Vineyard fruit is sourced from Washingtons top AVAs within Columbia Valley including Horse Heaven Hills, Wahluke Slope, and Yakima Valley. Columbia Valley has optimal growing conditions with hot days allowing grapes to ripen and cool nights where acidity develops. This means Skyfall Vineyard wines are well balanced between the crisp acidity, firm tannins, and ripe fruit structure, ready for immediate enjoyment.

Wonderfully developed plum, vanilla and leather aromas swirl in the glass. Juicy flavors of cherry candy coupled with hints of cocoa powder weave through the palate. Balanced acidity and polished tannins on the finish. Very easy drinking and wonderful with meats off the grill.

FWS Price per btl. $18.99
Case Price per btl. $16.99

Shield

February 2016

Domestic Wine: 2012 Hedges Family Estate C.M.S., Columbia Valley, Washington

Hedges Family Estate:  The history of Hedges Family Estate begins in June of 1976, with the marriage of Tom Hedges & Anne-Marie Liégeois in a 12th century church in Champagne, France. The convergence of separate cultural upbringings provides a strong backdrop for creating a modern day, but traditionally inspired wine estate. In 1986, Tom & Anne-Marie created an export company, American Wine Trade, leading to a negociant-inspired wine called “Hedges Cellars.” They quickly learned that the success of this ancient trade would be based on the site of its vineyards; a developing wine region called Red Mountain. At this location, American Wine Trade transformed itself from negociant & wine trader to the classic model of a wine estate. The second generation of the Hedges Family Estate belongs to Tom & Anne-Marie’s children, Christophe & Sarah. Each has a special set of skills for understanding the terroir. Sarah is the head winemaker of the estate, doing her best to express the terroir with minimal intervention, while Christophe is working on the completion of the estate using modern biodynamic arts. Tom, Anne-Marie, Christophe, Sarah, & the entire Hedges company believe place of origin is the keystone of authenticity. Their goal is to treat the wines with reverence & let the Red Mountain terroir speak for itself.

About:  2012 was another excellent & more normal vintage in Washington State. The “fading” La Nina current brought warmer & even spring and summer temperatures & an extended warm, dry autumn with perfect 80-85 degree afternoon highs and 40-50 degree lows without rain. The result was great set that yielded ripe, disease free fruit with good natural acidity. The resulting wines reflect the excellent qualities of the fruit and are a pleasure to drink; probably one of the top 5 vintages in Washington State’s history.

Varietals:  50%Cabernet Sauvignon, 44%Merlot, 6% Syrah (60%French Oak & 40% American Oak).

Alcohol:  13.5%

Tasting Notes:  Dark, deep ruby color leads into a nose of black cherry, blackberry, plum fruit & sweet toasted oak, dried herbs, & vanilla with hints of cocoa powder. Good body on the palate with lively acidity, dark berry fruits, cocoa, sweetness, & a well integrated tannic structure linger on the finish.

Food Pairings:  The balance of acid & tannin make this a great wine for roasted red meats, steaks, venison, or lamb. Use C.M.S. to sauté some onions & mushrooms to accompany a juicy ribeye!

Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:  Rich & flavorful, loaded with black & red fruits and a long, lingering finish. Best served with any red meats.

November Domestic Wine: 2009 REVELRY VINTNERS Merlot, Columbia Valley, WASHINGTON

Revelry Vintners is a Washington State winery rethinking the crafting and enjoyment of fine wine, founded upon the idea that truly great wine is created from quality fruit, and that it should remain both accessible and unpretentious. As a progressive producer of premium wines, highlighting the viticulture movement and dynamic quality of Washington State’s Columbia Valley, Revelry is a winery building a tradition of excellence. Revelry is the brainchild of northwest native Jared Burns. Jared, drawing on a unique and experience filled upbringing, adopted wine as a personal passion at a young age; the son of self-made entrepreneur Dennis Burns, founder of Pro-Tec Helmets, Gargoyles Sunglasses, and the inventor of the synthetic wine cork. In 1998, Burns was awarded the Golden Grape Award for his pioneering ingenuity, the product of which forever changed the course of an industry and ultimately the quality of wine. Harvesting fruit throughout the Columbia Valley’s distinct and varying microclimates and employing both traditional and modern winemaking techniques, Revelry is a homage to the heritage and excellence of Washington State’s unrivaled winemaking tradition, creating wines of uncompromised quality at unparalleled value. Revelry Vintners is located in the beautiful Walla Walla Valley, in the southeast of Washington State’s unrivaled winemaking tradition, creating wines of uncompromised quality at unparalleled value.

History of Merlot and its Relation to Revelry Vintners:  Merlot is a darkly blue-colored wine grape, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to derive from the Old French word for young blackbird, merlot, a diminutive of merle, the blackbird (Turdus merula), probably from the color of the grape. Merlot-based wines usually have medium body with hints of berry, plum, and currant. Its softness and “fleshiness”, combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin.

In the 1980s, Merlot helped put the Washington wine industry on the world’s wine map. Prior to this period, there was a general perception that the climate of Washington State was too cold to produce red wine varietals. Merlots from Leonetti Cellar, Andrew Will, Columbia Crest and Chateau Ste. Michelle demonstrated that areas of the Eastern Washington were warm enough for red wine production. Today it is the most widely grown red wine grape in the state and accounts for nearly one fifth of the state’s entire production. It is widely planted throughout the Columbia Valley AVA but has earned particular notice from plantings grown in Walla Walla, Red Mountain and the Horse Heaven Hills. Washington Merlots are noted for their deep color and balanced acidity. The state’s climate lends itself towards long days and hours of sunshine with cool nights that contributes to a significant diurnal temperature variation and produces wines with New World fruitiness and Old World structure.  Other US regions producing significant quantities of Merlot include New York State‘s Long Island AVA, Virginia‘s Shenandoah Valley AVA and Oregon‘s Rogue Valley AVA.

Varietal:  100% Merlot                                                          

Alcohol:  13.8% by volume

Tasting Notes:  The 2009 Revelry Merlot exhibits ripe blueberry and the fresh acidity of cherries. Aged in primarily American oak cooperage, the wine has undertones of cocoa and toffee notes. The 100% Merlot wine was harvested from Doval, Sagemoor, and Stillwater. It is an incredibly balanced wine from front to back with an exceptionally smooth quality on the palate.

Food Pairings:  Pair this great Merlot with fatty or heavy meats, pastas with rich Bolognese sauce, hearty cheese, and spicy ethnic foods.

Jim Lutfy’s thoughts:  “Rich, supple and elegant. A complete wine from start to finish. The best of Washington state’s cool, sandy climate and terroir shine through. A great addition for the Thanksgiving table.”-JL