Kiona – OG Red Mountain

“Red Moutain has established itself as not only Washington’s premier wine-growing region, but one of the finest in the world.”
“Red Mountain has established itself as not only Washington’s premier wine-growing region, but one of the finest in the world.”
— SEAN SULLIVAN, WINE ENTHUSIAST MAGAZINE

Red Mountain has made its name by growing some of the best Cabernet in the state. Now, many other grapes are grown here but many of the most highly regarded bottlings in the state are sourced in part or exclusively from here. The highest scoring Cabernet from Washington in Wine Spectator came from Ciel du Cheval, the 2007 Grand Reve Collaboration  (97 pts).

The Wine Advocate just gave the 2014 Quilceda Galitzine Vineyard a perfect 100 pt Score! “The utterly spellbinding 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Galitzine Vineyard is 100% Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon that was brought up in new barrels. Bravo to the team at Quilceda! This is a sensational vintage from Quilceda’s Paul and Alex Golitzin! Both the classic Columbia Valley Cabernet and the Galitzine Vineyard are sheer perfection.” Jeb Dunnick

Click here to take a tour of Red Mountain AVA

Kiona – OG Red Mountain

The Red Mountain AVA is located on a southwest-facing slope in south central Washington, a little more three hours from Seattle.  At just over 4000 acres it is the smallest wine-grape growing region in Washington.  I always tell people that it feels more like a neighborhood than an appellation. Even for Columbia Valley it has a unique combination of diverse geology, gentle south slope, consistent winds and happens to be the warmest spot in the state for grapes.

Kiona – OG Red Mountain
But, years ago (1972), two men, John Williams and Jim Holmes, pioneered grape growing in the area. Everyone thought they were crazy. Even the engineer they hired to dig the well thought they were a couple of crazy “boys”. In 1975 they planted grapes. “It was a good spot, and best of all, we could afford It.” says John Williams. Eventually they would plant another vineyard, Ciel du Cheval (see above), the partnership ended in 1994 very amicably both families remain friends to this day and both went on to great things.

Kiona – OG Red Mountain
The first Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon fruit was sold to Preston. Winemaker is Rob Griffin, now of Barnard Griffin Winery. “The conventional wisdom in the late 1970’s was that Washington was a first class white wine region with limited prospects for reds. My opinion on this point was permanently changed in 1978 with the opportunity to crush the first crop from Kiona Vineyard on Red Mountain. The depth of color and fruit intensity was definitely a revelation as to the potential for Washington Merlots and Cabernets. The fruit yielded wines of tremendous depth and intensity, real diamonds in the rough and a foreshadow of great things to come.” – Rob Griffin.

“For decades the Williams family has been farming classic varieties on Red Mountain, one of America’s great AVAs. They know the land like few others do, and their grapes reflect it.” Bob Betz, Master of Wine

Kiona – OG Red Mountain
Kiona is a family farm. Today, the third generation works the farm and makes the wine. They sell to the best wineries in the state and keep some of the best fruit for themselves. Today, all the land that can be planted with grapes is. But, one of the benefits in being the first to plant is that they can produce truly world class wine that is remarkably affordable.

Kiona – OG Red Mountain

Kiona – OG Red MountainExhibit A:
Kiona Estates Cuvee 2014
A new wine from some of the oldest grapes on Red Mountain (plus some Columbia Valley fruit). The Columbia Valley components bring acid, fruit, and drinkability, while the Red Mountain additions contribute depth, structure, and color. This is a terrific blend of Estate fruit, primarily Cabernet and Merlot with a little Syrah thrown in for good measure. This wine packs serious punch for the price! Holds up to wines twice or even three times the price!

Vineyards: 34% Vista, 23% Nine Canyon, 17% Emory, 15% Kiona Estate, 7% Heart of the Hill, 4% Ranch at the End of the Road
Composition: 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 21% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre.

Now you can spend more money if you want to.  But a wine of this provenance is rarely seen at this price point.

The post Kiona – OG Red Mountain appeared first on Madewine's Sippy Cup - Blog.

Paul Hobbs : A Farmboy at Heart

 

Photograph Copyright Mitch Tobias

Paul Hobbs is one of the most respected and influential winemakers in the world. Paul started his career in 1977 and over the last 40 years has worked with Robert Mondavi, Opus One, Simi and most famously in Argentina with the Catena family and was the first winemaker bottle varietal labeled Malbec. He founded Paul Hobbs Winery in 1991 and Vina Cobos in 1999. Twice named Wine Personality of the Year by Robert Parker, Jr., he continues to be a leading consultant winemaker around the globe. He has made wines everywhere from Hungary to Uruguay.

Paul Hobbs : A Farmboy at Heart
Photograph Copyright Mitch Tobias

Paul is highly regarded as winemaker and has inspired a number of nicknames among the press, from “Trendsetter” to “Prospector”. Forbes recently called him “The Steve Jobs of winemaking”.

In 2004, Paul Hobbs Winery 2002 To Kalon Cabernet Sauvignon earned 100 pt score in Wine Advocate and Hobbs was named “Most Important Winemaker in California” by Robert Parker

Paul Hobbs : A Farmboy at Heart

 

Paul Hobbs Winery focuses on single vineyard varietal wines sourced from some of the best sites in Northern California – Hyde, Beckstoffer, Stagecoach to name just a few. A farmer at heart, Paul is a true vigneron. They have put together a solid team of vineyards and growers. It is these strong relationships that the winery is built on. The focus is small production, vineyard designated wines. Meticulous vineyard management, hand harvested, low intervention winemaking, all native ferment, aged in French oak, all unfiltered and un-fined mean that these wines taste of place.

“Terroir- driven chardonnay, pinot noir, and cabernet are the focus at Paul Hobbs Winery.” –Paul Hobbs

Paul Hobbs : A Farmboy at Heart

In addition to his eponymous winery his second label CrossBarn is not so much a lesser wine but a place to put all that fruit that he finds. CrossBarn began as just one small lot of Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2000 vintage but its popularity has inspired the introduction of chardonnay, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc and more.  With CrossBarn, Paul ventures beyond the vineyards sourced for Paul Hobbs wines while holding to his ideals of sustainable vineyard practices and gentle winemaking techniques, to bring you wines of stunning quality and exceptional value.

With as much as Paul has going on it is not surprising that he needs a little help.

Paul Hobbs : A Farmboy at Heart

Greg Urmini a Sonoma native and graduate of Cal Poly came to work as a summer intern in 2007. Greg progressed up the ranks from Cellar Worker to Production Assistant then to Assistant Winemaker. In 2014, he was promoted to Winemaker at CrossBarn. Then in 2016, Greg was promoted to Director of Winemaking.

“Working for Paul Hobbs has been a true honor and blessing. To learn and grow with an organization makes me feel like I’m part of a family. Paul’s winemaking and personal philosophies coincide with my own. Care and nurture for the fruit from vine to bottle which then turns that great fruit into a beautiful glass of wine. I enjoy waking up each morning with a burning passion for the industry as well as curiosity of how we can make our wines great,” said Greg.

Paul Hobbs : A Farmboy at HeartCrossBarn is named for the Family farm in upstate New York. His father grew apples, as well as few table grapes. He and his father always talked about planting Vinfera and making wine. He tells the story of tasting Chateau Yquem with father at an early age, and how he was transported by the experience. Seems poetic that would name the winery after his Father’s farm. Goes to show you can take the boy out of the farm but you can’t take farm out of the boy.

The post Paul Hobbs : A Farmboy at Heart appeared first on Madewine's Sippy Cup - Blog.

Underground Wine Project

“With my idle hands there’s nothing I can’t do
But be the Devil’s plaything baby and know that I’ve been used”
-Idle Hands by the Gutter twins


To say Mark McNeilly and Trey Busch like to keep busy is literally an understatement. Both have made a name for themselves in the wine business, not just as winemakers but as leaders in the industry. Both Mark Ryan Winery and Sleight of Hand Winery garner scores in the 90’s across the board in the press. Both, these guys are not just successful winemakers but champions of the Washington wine industry. They are also great friends, lovers of good food and great music.

Underground Wine Project
“Let your hands do what they will do
Stand inside, make your maker’s move”

Launched in 2009 with a wine called Idle Hands, the wine quickly became a cult hit. ‘Idle Hands’ was named after a song by Gutter Twins – Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees and Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs.

Both of the Underground wine project wines are sourced from Red Mountain. Idle Hands is a 90% Syrah 10% Cabernet Blend sourced from Red Heaven Vineyard. Devil’s Playground is the inverse, 90% Cabernet and 10% Syrah sourced from Quintessence Vineyard. Both these wines are great expressions of Red Mountain fruit.

“My eyes have seen, they have been shown
This is an occupation to stand alone”

In the highly competitive world of wine it is rare to see this sort of collaboration and camaraderie. These guys make great wine and are the sort of guys that make working in the business fun.

Underground Wine ProjectDEVIL’S PLAYGROUND CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2014 (WA)  $37.99 

This is a delicious, lively and very luxurious Red Mountain Cab for the price. Lots of vanilla laced blackberries, cassis and mocha flavors, with bright, refreshing acidity and juicy tannins. The wine is full bodied and definitely drinks with some sizzle. A nice buy in small batch, top shelf Cab.

Underground Wine ProjectIDLE HANDS CAB SYRAH 2014 (WA) $32.99

Super rich and full bodied Syrah based blend From Mark Ryan and Trey Busch using Red Mountain’s top vineyards. Dark, sexy and full of mocha, blackberry, plum and roasted coffee bean notes. Delicious with a big steak.

The post Underground Wine Project appeared first on Madewine's Sippy Cup - Blog.

Ross Andrew Michel and Red Mountain Cabernet

10 years ago, the 2007 vintage marked one of the best in Washington State. Quilceda received another 100 pts score, Cayuse and K Vinters both received 99 pts for Syrah and a little project on Red Mtn got the highest score 97 pts, for a Cabernet sauvignon from Red Mountain in the Wine Spectator.  The Grand Rêve Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Collaboration Series Reserve 2007 was jointly made by Ross Michel and Mark Ryan using Ciel du Cheval fruit. “No Washington Cabernet has rated higher in Wine Spectator annals.”

Grand Reve Vintners started as a collaboration between Paul McBride and Ryan Johnson to focus on the Red Mountain AVA. This was a fascinating project where five top winemakers made wine from the same vineyard. Ben Smith (Collaboration I) made a Cabernet blend, Ross Michel (Collaboration II) a Rhone blend, Mark McNeilly (Collaboration III) a Syrah, Carolyn Lakewold (Collaboration IV) a Merlot, and Chris Gorman (Collaboration V) a Grenache.

One of the releases was that Cabernet Reserve. Harvey Steiman wrote, “Supple, generous and beautifully focused, accenting its ripe currant and raspberry fruit with hints of licorice, sage, red meat and mineral, lingering on the expressive finish. Combines ripeness with power and exceptional grace.” Only 100 cases were made of this wine. Drink ‘em, if you got ‘em.

Ross got his start in the wine biz working at Canlis with Master Sommelier Rob Bigelow. He went on to work with Chris Upchurch at Delille. (Interestingly Chris’ Eponymous vineyard is on Red Mtn.) He then went on to work with Master of Wine, Bob Betz. For almost ten years he worked at the masters side fine tuning his skills not only as a winemaker but as a scholar and taster.  He has traveled the world (Australia, South America, Europe and South Africa) to learn all he could about wine.

Let’s just say Ross knows his way around Cabernet and Red Mountain. What I am writing about today is his 2013 Red Mountain Cabernet.  This is made using Red Mountain fruit: Quintessence & Ciel du Cheval and just flat out rocks!

ROSS ANDREW RED MOUNTAIN CABERNET SAUVIGNON 2013 $19.99 btl / save $10

Ross Andrew Michel and Red Mountain CabernetRich and dense with black fruit, licorice and spice. Well-structured and refined. This is a powerful blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon & 4% Merlot. This is what Washington State Cabernet should taste like! Seriously the best deal on Cabernet in the state!

 

This is a great example of Red Mtn Cabernet and $29.99 it is a remarkable value. At $19.99 well it’s just stupid.  get yours while you still can!

Lenny

The post Ross Andrew Michel and Red Mountain Cabernet appeared first on Madewine's Sippy Cup - Blog.

Bare-Knuckled Boxer Inspires Cabernet Sauvignon

The Heavy, a powerful Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with “depth, complexity and finesse,” called for a label design that would mirror those characteristics. Designers at Tank Garage Winery, which makes the wine, found just the image: legendary boxer John L. Sullivan, considered both the sport’s first heavyweight champion and the last recognized bare-knuckle fighter.

Known as the “Boston Strong Boy,” Sullivan dominated the timeframe that bridged boxing’s bare-knuckle and modern gloved eras during the late 1800s.

“Sullivan wasn’t just a brute,” says James Harder, co-founder of Tank Garage. “He was a strikingly dynamic, athletic and complex fighter who could dazzle the crowd with speed and swagger, or shut his opponent’s lights out with one punch. There were just too many parallels with this wine not to put him on it.”

A  rare 1898 photo of Sullivan conveys the spirit of a Napa Valley blend.

The design team chose a screen print of a 1898 photo of Sullivan to convey the spirit of the heavy-hitting 2014 Napa Valley blend of 73 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 20 percent Merlot and 7 percent Cabernet Franc.

A flashy dresser known to proclaim that he could “lick any son-of-a-bitch in the world,” Sullivan was the first athlete to earn more than $1 million.

Bare-Knuckled Boxer Inspires Cabernet SauvignonWhat Makes a Good Wine Label?

The bouts were brutal endeavors that could last 100 rounds or more, and Sullivan was brutally good at it. He went undefeated, suffering just two draws in 42 fights. Gloves were introduced gradually in the 1880s and Sullivan fought with both bare knuckles and gloves during the transition. His ring dominance came to an end in New Orleans on July 9, 1892, when he lost the title by knockout to James J. Corbett in the 21st round.

After he retired from the ring, Sullivan was involved in several ventures, owned a bar, but later gave up alcohol to promote temperance. He died in 1918 at age 59, and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.

Located in Calistoga, Tank Garage Winery operates from a 1930s mechanic’s garage and gas station. The wine is a partnership between Harder who owns James Cole Winery in Napa, Jim Regusci of Regusci Winery in Yountville, and T-Vine Winery in Calistoga, in which Regusci is also a partner.

Cabernet Classic: Porsche Bellevue

CABERNET CLASSIC

Saturday, March 4th

Porsche Bellevue
11910 NE 8th Street, Bellevue
6 – 9 pm – Tickets $75 / VIP $100
To Purchase Tickets

Join us for our 7th Annual event featuring the king of the grapes, The Cabernet Classic! This prestigious event is located at the new Porsche Bellevue!

Cabernet has long been the “KING OF WINES!” Experience the class act of the wine world & the range of this famous grape varietal with a dazzling array of over 50 of the best Cabs from 25 of Washington’s premier wineries.
Enjoy An Array of Cabernet & Cab Based Blends
Featuring 25 of Washington’s Best Cab Producers
Light Noshes
Help Raise Funds For “Talk It Up TV” – changing the world thru positive messaging and acts of kindness for those in need.

 

*Complimentary Valet Parking From Butler Valet

If you love Cabernet, you’ll love “The Cabernet Classic!”

Featuring Cabernet’s From:
Ambassador Wines of WA
Avennia Winery
Bookwalter Winery
Bunnell Family Cellars
Charles Smith / K Vintners
Corlis/Tranche/Secret Squirrel
Côte Bonneville
DeLille Cellars
Den Hoed
EFESTE’
Five Star Cellars
Guardian Cellars
Goose Ridge Estate Winery
Hedges Family Estates
JM Cellars
Lauren Ashton
L’Ecole No. 41
Lobo Hills
Long Shadows
Love That Red Winery
Mullan Road
Noviello Vineyards
Pepperbridge/Amavi
Reininger Winery
Smasne Cellars
Ste Michelle Wine Estates
Upchurch Vineyards
Walla Walla Vintners
Produced by Sommelier David LeClaire & Seattle Uncorked

Wine Reviews: Wakefield’s Pioneer Shiraz & Visionary Cabernet

Wakefield produces some exciting wines from Clare Valley, South Australia, ranging the spectrum from approachable, relatively inexpensive bottles to, well, these big boys.

The Pioneer Shiraz and The Visionary Cabernet Sauvignon come from the Wakefield team’s best vineyard blocks in the Clare Valley. These are bold, concentrated wines that spend time in American oak, but the purity of fruit, complexity of flavors and aging potential make these wines very impressive. They’re special wines for sure — as they should be, considering the suggested retail price is $200.

These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.

Review: 2012 Wakefield Shiraz The Pioneer - Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley
SRP: $200
Rich purple color. Complex nose that needs time to open up and show it’s full bounty, but I start getting black cherry, blueberry and black currant mixed in with notes of bacon fat, black pepper, mushroom, notes of roasted coffee, eucalyptus and anise. Full-bodied, firm tannins but they’re smoothed out around the edges, and an impressive amount of acid holds the wine together. Black cherry, blueberry and dark currant fruit, tart and crunchy but full of sweet flavors. A complex web of black pepper, soy sauce, cedar, eucalyptus and mint makes this a delight to sip and ponder. Long finish with deep notes of asphalt and minerals. Rich and mouth-filling but so elegant. Really bold and worthy of cellar development, but impressive in its accessibility and vibrancy at this young point. (93 points IJB)

Review: 2012 Wakefield Cabernet Sauvignon The Visionary - Australia, South Australia, Mount Lofty Ranges, Clare Valley
SRP: $200
Medium purple color. Aromatically slugging, with deep red and black currants and tart plums, but with air more reserved and elegant notes come out, tobacco, eucalyptus, mint, sweet violets, pickle, white pepper. Seriously complex sniffing. On the palate, this shows a firm tannic structure, some medium acid. Tart black currants and dark plums, the fruit has crunchy skins but lots of ooze on the inside. Complex secondary notes of tar, charcoal, wet forest, mint, white pepper, clove, roasted chestnut and dark roast coffee. Crazy complex but the elements unravel beautifully on the palate. The oak signature is written in thick pen, but it has enough other elements going for it. A burly wine that will improve for ten years and hold for longer, but it’s quite a thing to taste the power right now. (93 points IJB)

Giving Thanks: Napa Cab, Willamette Pinot

November in Oregon's Willamette Valley

November in Oregon's Willamette Valley

Just in time for Thanksgiving I’m excited to share my new Cornerstone Oregon releases with you. Certainly there is no better match for the traditional cuisine of this American holiday than wines from America’s premiere pinot noir and chardonnay region: Oregon. With the 2014 vintage I passed my first decade making wine in Oregon and I am more convinced than ever that it is here in the United States that pinot and chardonnay can best show their true personality.

For this reason at Cornerstone Cellars we do not make any chardonnay or pinot in California as, while there are a few examples of wines that are true to these varieties, the vast majority of wines produced in California from pinot and chardonnay speak far more of winemaking than terroir. I believe in pinot and chardonnay grown in the Willamette Valley just as fervently as I do in cabernets, merlot, syrah and sauvignon blanc grown in the Napa Valley.

Very soon Cornerstone Oregon will be at the same production level as Cornerstone Cellars in the Napa Valley (about 5,000 cases each) and so these wines are of the highest priority to me.

As from the beginning of Cornerstone Oregon in 2007, our wines are a collaboration between myself and my friend and the Northwest’s premiere winemaker, Tony Rynders. The style of Cornerstone Oregon reflects my over three decade immersion in the wines of Burgundy and Tony’s two decades in the Northwest, which includes stints as the red wine winemaker at Hogue and a decade as winemaker at Domaine Serene. The wines of Cornerstone Oregon are a synthesis of our perspectives and together we are crafting wines with a classic structure intertwined with a vibrant New World personality. As always, all of the wines of Cornerstone Oregon are grown, produced and bottled in Oregon.

This Thanksgiving I am giving thanks for the privlege of making cabernet in the Napa Valley and pinot noir and chardonnay in the Willamette Valley. Certainly this is having the best of both worlds.