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!