1st Bottle Red: Growers Guild 2019 Merlot, Columbia Valley

For the wine snob: 100% Merlot, Growers Guild celebrates the longtime relationship between our winery and its early vineyard partners, many of whom we have worked with for over two decades. We collaborate with each vintage to grow, harvest, and select the very best fruit for Growers Guild. This wine is the product of our proud and thriving partnerships with these top Columbia Valley vineyards.

For the rest of us: A powerful Washington State Merlot primarily from the Walla Walla AVA. Big plush textures with plenty of fruit flavors and a long silky finish. This Merlot shows aromas of cranberry, tart cherry, violet, and spice. Dazzling flavors of black cherry, currant, plum, and hints of pepper are nicely balanced with bright acidity and firm tannins, finishing with a hint of baking cocoa.

1st Bottle White: Domaine Cheveau, Mâcon-Chaintré Le Clos 2018

For the wine snob: Domaine Cheveau is one of the most compelling and exciting producers in the Mâconnais: old vines in prime vineyard sites, sustain- able viticulture, low yields, hand harvesting, spontaneous fermentations, and extended élevages help set it apart from the ocean of Mâcon blanc coming from the region’s fertile plains, established by André Cheveau in 1950. This single-vineyard site is in the southernmost village (Chaintré) in the Maconnais. The vines are young (of an average age of 10 years as of 2011). After a manual harvest, the grapes are pressed pneumatically and a long, slow, temperature-controlled fermentation occurs in the underground cellars of the domaine. Chapitalisation is avoided except when absolutely necessary. The wine is aged in stainless steel on the fine lees for eight months before undergoing a light filtration at the moment of bottling.

For  the rest of us: 100% Chardonnay, This single-vineyard site is in the southernmost village (Chaintre) in the Maconnais.The Macon-Chaintre “Le Clos” is consistently marked by notes of citrus fruits (lemon, orange, grapefruit) with a lively acidity, fruit blossom aromas and excellent balance.

2nd Bottle Red: Château Massiac, Minervois Rouge

For the wine snob:The domaine lies in the foothills between the Massif Central’s Cévennes mountains and the Mediterranean port of Narbonne, atop limestone-clay soils with deposits of flint and marble. Exposed to both the frigid, drying Cers wind that sweeps down from the Cévennes and the Marin, which brings warmth and humid- ity from the sea, Massiac’s vineyards see little disease pressure and are ideal for organic viticulture.

For the rest of us: This is the most important wine of the estate, a serious red vinified to reflect its capacity to age. The cuvaison continues for at least a month; then, the wine is racked into tank for aging. The wine is bottled twenty to twenty-four months after harvest. As the wine ages in bottle, it develops enticing notes of juniper, rosemary and thyme as well as the savory flavors of wild berries and a hint of earthiness.

2nd Bottle White: Villa Creek 2019, Cherry House White, Paso Robles. CA

For the wine snob: Cherry House White is a new cuvée from the famed Villa Creek Cellars in western Paso Robles.  This Châteauneuf-du-Pape inspired white blend of Clairette and Grenache Blanc is from their MAHA estate and surrounding vineyards, all farmed naturally using organic principles. The Clairette grapes fermented and aged in French oak (10% new) with full malolactic fermentation. The Grenache Blanc grapes fermented and aged in neutral barriqueswith partial malolactic fermentation.

For the rest of us: 50% Clairette / 50% Grenache Blanc. Yellow flowers dominate the nose while yellow fruits play a supporting role. The wine shows good salinity and hints of sunflower kernel and anise. The neutral oak aging provides good texture and body to this white wine without imparting flavor. Excellent acidity produces a snappy finish.

Reserve Bottle Red: Tamarack Cellars 2017, Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, WA

For the wine snob: 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Petit Verdot, 2% Merlot, 2% Cabernet Franc. Crushed gently and dropped into 1.5 ton bins, cold soaked for 24 hours, then inoculated with a variety of yeasts, hand-punched and pressed directly to barrel where the wine finishes both primary and secondary fermentations. The individual lots of wine that comprise the Cabernet Sauvignon are kept separate for at least one year before they are blended.

For the rest of us: Dark purple, blue and black fruits stand out on the nose, with hints of cedar and dark chocolate. On the palate, dried red fruits highlight a luscious mouthfeel that includes flavors of roasted red beets, red plums, and cigar, capped off by dry, savory tannins on the finish.

Reserve Bottle White: Forjas Del Salnes, O Raio da Vella Albariño

For the wine snob: Forjas del Salnes, came to life in 2005 when vineyard owner and winemaker Rodrigo Mendez began to revitalize a rare piece of Galician history that was fading; the production of red and estate white wines. What makes this wine unique is that, The altitude for this wine is 0 feet. O Raio da Vella is located on the edge of the Atlantic. This is the inaugural vintage for this 1.5 hectare single parcel 100% Albarino selected for its extraordinary aromatic and textural characteristics. Rías Baixas is tucked into the green rolling hills of the northwest corner of Spain, just above Portugal, hugging the deep blue Atlantic coastline. It is a breathtaking region overall, and the sub-region of Val do Salnes, the birthplace of Albariño, is no exception. Within the five unique subzones that fall under the D.O. Rías Baixas , Val do Salnes’ prime location is the coolest and most fertile area of the D.O. on the Atlantic coast of Spain.

For the rest of us: 100% Albarino, Intense aromas of Meyer Lemon, bay leaf, fennel, white grapefruit, lime rind with a hint of paperwhites and lemon meringue. What is found in the nose follows through on the palate with the addition of fennel, quince and silky olive oil texture. The wine has beautiful length with a backbone of acidity and salinity that hints at its proximity to the ocean.

2nd Reserve Bottle Red: 2015 Estate Perigee, Seven Hills Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley

For the wine snobs: L’Ecole No. 41 is a partner in the 10 acre acclaimed Seven Hills Vineyard, which is planted in wind-blown loess of geologically young and mineral rich soils. Originally planted in one of the Ten Great Vineyards of the World by Wine & Spirits Magazine. Our Estate Perigee captures the essence of Seven Hills Vineyard’s characteristic rich elegance, seductive aromas and earthy structure. L’Ecole has been producing wines from Seven Hills Vineyard since 1993. We hand-select our oldest and most distinguished blocks to produce this stunning, flagship wine.

For the rest of us: 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot, 7% Malbec. Perigee exemplifies this vineyard’s characteristic cedar and black plum structured elegance. Alluring aromas of blueberry, cigar box and herbal favors are accented with notes of cassis and earth, on a fine tannin finish.

2nd Reserve Bottle White: Martha Stoumen 2019, Honeymoon White Blend, California

For the wine snobs: 75% Colombard / 25% Chardonnay, Martha Stoumen Wines was founded upon the desire to recapture a farming and winemaking culture that has all but faded away: a winemaking culture of patience. Martha Stoumen Wines is a one-woman grape growing and natural winemaking project out of Northern California. Martha works with varieties historic to California, like Carignan and Zinfandel, as well as those she’s helping pioneer under California’s sun, such as Nero d’Avola. Rare among California’s new guard, Martha leases and farms 75% of her vineyards. She focuses on biodiversity, and prunes with vine longevity in mind. Most importantly, to truly respect her Californian roots, she farms their vineyards in such a way that maintains healthy ecosystems.

For the rest of us: Aromas of wildflower honey and alpine herbs, alongside a hint of hazelnut and golden apple skin; reminiscent of Roussette de Savoie. While this year’s Honeymoon has less weight compared to last year’s botrytized vintage, the bright acidity, rounded texture, and slightly bitter finish nicely balance a honeyed core.