BITS & BOBS

The Fourth of July has come and gone and it lived up to expectations. The third and fourth are the busiest days at the store I work at. The weather was perfect for wine consumption. It wasn’t hot and it wasn’t cold, right in the middle. If it’s blazing hot outside, the only wines that move are cold whites like Vinho Verde from Portugal and Sauvignon Blanc from all over the globe. You can forget about selling any big reds. When it’s hot outside, it seems like no one is in the mood to pour a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon. However, because it was just right outside, big Cabs, Syrah, red blends and Zinfandel flew off the shelf along with Chardonnay. Not too surprisingly, Rose’ was the choice of wine for many customers.

Rose'has gained tremendous strength in the market over the past four years. It has long been a favorite in California and of course France. However, it has only been until recently that it is becoming the wine of choice for wine drinkers in Washington State. Six years ago, we sold a third of what we now see going out the door. There are so many choices out there and it's nice to see folks trying many different styles from different areas of the world. It used to be that if it wasn't very pale in color and from Provence, it wouldn't sell. Now, it can cover the color spectrum and folks will give it a go. Just remember, if it is dark in color it doesn't mean it will be sweeter. Some winemakers like to get more color extraction from the skins of the grape, yet they will ferment them dry. It is true that Rose'can be on the sweeter side, but it is more difficult to find a sweet Rose' than a dry one.

Longship Cellars out of Richland Washington is my winery of the year. I choose a winery at the end of each year that I believe deserves to be recognized for the quality of wines they produce at a fair price. The wines don’t have to be inexpensive, but they have to live up to the price tag. At the end of 2018, I chose Longship Cellars. I recently featured their wines at an event. Kyle and Cassie Welch brought along three new wines with them and I was excited to give them a try. They now produce Merlot, Petite Sirah and Garnacha. They all were amazing! The Petite Sirah was intense and balanced. The Merlot lived up to my expectations for Washington Merlot. It is still youthful (2017), but it shows potential and will only get better over the next ten years. It had everything in place for aging. A nice balance of acidity, fruit and tannins. I’m going to put a few bottles away in my cellar. The 2017 Garnacha is one of the best I’ve tasted from Washington State and is ready to drink now. Full of plum and strawberry notes with a solid backbone of white pepper. Kyle is very proud of it and I understand why. After tasting the three new wines it just confirmed in my mind their deserved spot as “Winery of the Year”. I will be featuring their three new wines on my YouTube channel. Stay tuned.

Cheers!

Stan The Wine Man

Posted in Bits & Bobs, Main | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

STAN’S PICK FOR JULY 2019

I normally focus on whites in the summer for my pick. However, I ran across this gem from the Tuscan region of Italy and I couldn’t help myself. I do a lot of grilling during the summer months and often bust out a red to go with the grilled meats. I’m not stuck on any specific varietal, but whatever it is that I choose, it has to compliment the main course. This red from the Maremma appellation of Tuscany has a ton of flexibility with food. Chicken, steak, ribs or hamburgers would all work nicely with this wine. The other cool thing about it is that the longer it’s open the better it gets. I drank it three days later after opening a bottle and it was stunning. It is a steal for what you pay and I would put away a couple of bottles for up to three years to see how it develops.

2015 Petra “Zingari” Toscana Red (Maremma, Italy)… $14.

Deep aromas of black olives and currants, with a splash of meat marinade and dried red flowers. Sweet tannins support notes of black plums and currants with a hit of leather and a kiss of rust. It expands on the mid-palate and finishes long with a kiss of tobacco on the back-end. Nicely integrated acidity and structured tannins make this baby perfect with food. Decant it to bring out the best this has to offer. A blend of Merlot, Sangiovese, Syrah and Petit Verdot (B/B+

Cheers!

Stan The Wine Man


Posted in Main | Leave a comment

FRIDAY’S FIVE

In a weeks time, I taste a boatload of wine (seriously). A lot of my friends think I’m lucky. Well, they’re right, and I wouldn’t give this job up for the world. The only thing that makes my job hard, is my feeling of responsibility to taste the samples given to me as quickly as possible and to put my reviews either in my Moleskine, on my YouTube channel (Stan The Wine Man TV), or right here on Stanthewineman.com. Here for your reading pleasure, are five wines that I have reviewed in my Moleskine (good or bad), this past week

2017 Bernier Chardonnay Val De Loire (Loire Valley, France)… $12.

Light lemon and apple notes on the nose with a little concrete thrown in. Light and fresh on the palate with notes of lemon and apple and a solid under belly of crushed rock. Nicely integrated acidity keeps it fresh and clean. Lemon and apple notes linger (B-/B)

2016 Aia Vecchia Logone Toscana Red (Tuscany, Italy)… $16.

Aromas of licorice, currants, menthol and dark cherries with a healthy dose of red flowers. Nice integration and balance on the palate. Dark cherry and currant notes come through with a backbone of tobacco and baked earth. Approachable tannins that have a little attitude. Tobacco and currant notes linger on the finish with a big splash of red flower petals. (B/B+)

2017 The Cosmic Egg Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, WA)… $22.

Currants on the nose, with a kiss of brown sugar, cherries, licorice and a hint of chocolate. Notes of currants, chocolate and cherries front to finish on the palate, backed by solid acidity and edgy tannins that show a little grit on the back-end. Currant notes linger on a fresh finish. (B-/B)

2017 Domaine La Calmette “Trespotz” Malbec (Cahors, France)… $25.

Smells just like fermenting grape juice with an edge of cedar and a kiss of orange citrus. Orange citrus on the palate, joined by notes of purple and red flowers with a backdrop of red raspberries, cranberries and cherries. Good balance of acidity and fruit with a fresh, long finish where purple flower notes linger. (B+/A-)

2017 La Senda Diego Losada 1984 (Bierzo, Spain)… $22.

Coffee bean big time on the nose backed by notes of roasted tomatoes with a kiss of earth and blackberries. Red flower and citrus notes all day on the palate backed by edgy tannins. There is an underbelly of coffee bean and blackberry notes leading into the finish where tomato and meat marinade notes join up and linger. 100% Mencia (B+/A-)

Cheers!

Stan The Wine Man

Posted in Friday's Thirteen, Main | Tagged | Leave a comment

FRIDAY’S FIVE

In a weeks time, I taste a boatload of wine (seriously). A lot of my friends think I’m lucky. Well, they’re right, and I wouldn’t give this job up for the world. The only thing that makes my job hard, is my feeling of responsibility to taste the samples given to me as quickly as possible and to put my reviews either in my Moleskine, on my YouTube channel (Stan The Wine Man TV), or right here on Stanthewineman.com. Here for your reading pleasure, are five wines that I have reviewed in my Moleskine (good or bad), this past week.

2016 Quadri Nero D’Avola (Terre Siciliana, Italy)… $11.

Aromas of dark berries, currants, dirt , blackberry bush and red flowers. Round shoulders on the palate with notes of currants, crushed rock, blackberries, earth and red flowers front to finish. There is a candied element that comes through on the mid-palate. The tannins get a little grit element on the finish with earth and tobacco sneaking in on the back-end. Lingering finish. (B-)

2016 Quadri Sauvignon Blanc (Delle Venezie, Italy)… $11.

A touch stinky on the nose, with a little diesel action, joined by notes of wet stone and a little grapefruit pith underneath.. Balanced acidity, keeps it fresh in the mouth, with notes of Meyers lemon, wet stone and a kiss of grapefruit. Dry, but there is enough fruit to keep it from going to bone dry. Diesel notes sneak in on the mid-palate into the finish. Decent complexity for the money. (C+/B-)

2018 Paxton “Now” Shiraz (Mclaren Vale, Australia)… $19.

Aromas of dark cherries, red flowers and a little blackberry thrown in with a hard candy element coming through. Solid dark cherry and blackberry notes up front on the palate into the mid-palate where it thins out just a bit on smooth tannins. Tobacco notes show up big time on the back end with the dark cherry and blackberry notes, joined by a hit of red flower petals. Made from organically grown grapes (B)

2017 Paxton “MV” Shiraz (McLaren Vale, Australia)… $19.

Slight cherry and blackberry notes on the nose with a little kiss of red flowers. Earth and red berries on the palate with a kiss of red Bing cherries. Thin up front and into the mid-palate, than it goes to ripe dark cherries on the finish, joined by a hit of tobacco. Smooth, easy tannins. (C+)

2017 Paxton “AAA” Shiraz-Grenache (Mclaren Vale, Australia)… $19.

Absolutely nothing on the nose (believe me I tried to get something). Slight splash of blackberry and plum notes on light tannins with a hit of pepper on the back-end. Very thin and simple. (F/D-)

Cheers!

Stan The Wine Man

Posted in Friday's Five, Main | Tagged , , | Leave a comment