- Tasting Notes
- Wine Destinations
- Wine Education
- Wine Events
- Winemaker Interviews
Ali and Jarrod Boyle, Alexandria Nicole Cellars
It was Destiny for Ali and Jarrod Boyle. He is the winemaker of Alexandria Nicole Cellars and grower for their Destiny Ridge Vineyard. His wife, Ali, who the winery is named after, works on the business marketing side. On this episode of Decanted, this dynamic duo talk about their partnership and how their vineyards, winery and Destiny Ridge vineyard tiny houses came to be.
Destiny Ridge’s Glamperous Tiny Houses
When you visit Alexandria Nicole Cellars in Paterson, WA, stay in a cozy tiny house as seen on HGTV Tiny House Big Living. Currently, there are four houses with a total of 10 planned through 2019. Jet Black and Gravity and were constructed in competition style on HGTV Tiny House Big Living. Jet Black is 392 sq. ft, with a contemporary design and gourmet kitchen. Gravity is 384 sq. ft. shabby-chic style using re-purposed materials and reclaimed wood. The 210 sq. ft. Affinity Alberiño house is perfect for a single traveler or a couple who crave closeness. The Epiphany Viognier house is 380 sq. ft. and has two sleeping areas, a cozy loft or a petite bedroom. Epiphany would be a great choice for a small family as there’s really room for four. Kids would love to sleep in the upstairs loft as you can’t get to adult standing height there, and climbing up the steep staircase has a tree-fort kind of feeling. And if you don’t have kids, the loft has a large meditation poof to sit on as you gaze at the view of the Columbia River.
Horse Heaven Hills Trail Drive Event
The 13th Annual Horse Heaven Hills Wine Growers Trail Drive event is coming up July 21, 2018 participants are Columbia Crest, Water From Wine, CSM Canoe Ridge Estate, Canoe Ridge Vineyard, Destiny Ridge-Alexandria Nicole Cellars and Coyote Canyon Vineyard.
“Gold Country” El Dorado AVA, California
There’s gold in the El Dorado Hills! Dave describes his wine tasting journey beyond Washington to California’s “Gold Country”, the El Dorado AVA sub-appellation where he explored the robust winemaking community in his old childhood stomping grounds. This AVA is high in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of Northern California, where many wineries are utilizing mountain-grown grapes in volcanic soil.
Check out these four notable wineries!
Nello Olivo Winery, Placerville, CA
California style Italian varietals since 2001—crafted by “The Grapefather.”
Boeger Winery, Placerville, CA
In 1972, Boeger was the first post-Prohibition winery in the El Dorado AVA and they describe themselves as making wine with”underdog” varietals.
Lava Cap Winery, Placerville, CA
Estate mountain grown grapes that are sourced from some of the highest vineyards in California from unique volcanic soils.
Madroña Vineyards, Camino, CA
High elevation, naturally farmed vineyards that produce Rhône and Bordeaux varietals.
Chris Upchurch, Executive Winemaker at DeLille Cellars & Upchurch Vineyards
In Washington state, the names Chris Upchurch and DeLille Cellars rarely need an introduction. Chris is a wine-making legend and if you are new to his wines, you are in for a premium tasting experience. In this episode, he shares the stories about his part in founding the distinguished DeLille Cellars, his family’s sustainable vineyard and Upchurch label and his thoughts about the history and future of Washington’s wine industry.
Taste Washington 2018
Taste WA is the most EPIC wine event in the state and we only had time to attend the two-day Grand Tasting—VIP, of course. How did we survive with 230 wineries in attendance? Focus! Our mission was to taste wines and get to know wineries we were not as familiar with … and eat all the food. We highlight our favorites so check out the list below to explore these Washington beauties yourself.
Wines we loved at Taste WA 2018
Alexandria Nicole Cellars
2015 Jet Black Syrah
We hope Washington State gets its butt in gear and allows more wine on tap because this one was ON TAP. We also enjoy the bottled version.
Visit Alexandria Nicole Cellars
Ambassador Wines of Washington
2104 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon | 2014 Estate Syrah
Both are from Red Mountain and the Syrah is (winery notes): Blackberry, cranberry, dried blueberry, Christmas spice, and a bit of worn leather and fresh vanilla. Just a touch of smoke, game and a slight touch of maple. A lot of rich fruit on the palate, which pairs nicely with a smoky, sweet spice. Full bodied with a perfectly structured finish.
Visit Ambassador Wines of Washington
2015 Native Hand Syrah | 2014 Four Birds Red Bordeaux Blend | 2014 Scotsman Syrah
2016 Sauvignon Blanc | 2102 Cabernet Sauvignon | 2013 Petit Barone Red Bordeaux Blend
The Sauvignon Blanc and Cab Sauv are both 90 pt wines. The Petit Barone is a great wine for the cost and we talk about it in Episode 4.
Visit Barons Winery
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
This is one of the first vintages from Basel Cellars’ new winemaker, Dirk Brink. We are digging his style so look out for more coming this Fall.
Visit Basel Cellars
2016 Merlot & Cabernet Franc
This winery, owned by Nina Buty, has us pretty excited. This one is jammy and elegant.
Visit Buty Winery
2014 Bel Canto Red Bordeaux Blend
50% Cabernet Franc 38% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot
Drink now or cellar for up to 15 years. We still have the first vintage in the cellar!
Cave B Estate Winery
2014 Caveman Red
This was the wine that first got Dave excited about Washington wine, so it was a pleasure to try the new vintage and realize that they’re still making a sub-twenty dollar wine that is this satisfying.
Visit Cave B Estate Winery
Cooper Wine Company
This is a waiting list-kind-of-wine. It will be worth it. And while you are waiting, check out the other amazing wines.
Visit Cooper Wine Company
Cote de Ciel
The 2014 season saw record breaking heat and created ideal conditions for this wine. Long and elegant finish, this one.
Visit Cote de Ciel
Elephant Seven Winery
2017 Blue Mountain Vineyard Viognier | 2016 Grenache | 2014 Yellow Bird Sarah
We love these guys who get their inspiration from the Elephant 6 Music Collective. Check out the detailed tasting banter on Episode 6 Bonus.
Visit Elephant Seven
2011 Logan Malbec | 2011 Isabella Red Blend
The Logan Malbec is incredible and that the NEWEST release is a 2011. Good things come to those who wait.
Visit Elsom Cellars
2014 Old Goat Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
One of our favorite labels and wine of Taste WA 2018. It’s really, really good.
Visit JB Neufeld
Jones of Washington
2016 Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc and a consistent line-up from winemaker, Victor Palencia. Solid quality at great prices.
Visit Jones of Washington
2016 Red Rhone Blend | 2015 Heritage Red Bordeaux Blend
Great wine from a highly regarded vineyard. The Red Rhone Blend is amazing.
Visit Kiona Vineyards
Martedi’s Sangiovese is one of the very best examples of this varietal in WA, if we do say so ourselves.
Visit Martedi Wines
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
MERF wines have good distribution at chain wine and spirits stores, grocery outlets and restaurants. We’ve enjoyed the Chardonnay as well!
Visit MERF Wines
2015 Chapel Block Syrah | 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon | 2015 Rose Mystica Cabernet Franc
Solid line-up and some of our favorite branding and design.
Visit Owen Roe
Palencia Wine Company
2017 Monarcha Winery Pinot Noir | 2013 El Viñador Cabernet Sauvignon
Strong line-up Mr Palencia! The El Viñador is bold with black cherry and chocolate and beautiful tannins.
Visit Palencia Wine Company
2015 “Foundation” Cabernet Franc
Solid line-up but Cab Franc was a stand out. Complex flavors, bold and smooth tannins.
Visit Structure Cellars
2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Stand out wine of the Taste WA 2018. (93-95 points) Wines are member’s only so if you don’t currently have a membership or looking to add another, this would be an incredible one to choose.
Visit Upchurch Vineyard
2017 Rose of Nebbiolo | 2014 Estate Red Rhone Blend | 2015 Estate Red Bordeaux Blend
We’re really excited about Upsidedown as one of the wineries to watch for 2018. Buy their wine and giveback on every bottle sold!
Visit Upsidedown Wine
Winemaker: Aryn Morell
Estate Lawrence Vineyards: Royal Slope—The Royal Slope is a relatively young farming area located in eastern Washington almost halfway between Seattle and Spokane in the Columbia Valley AVA, just northeast of the Wahluke Slope AVA and southeast of the Ancient Lakes of Washington AVA.
Gård Vintners was created in 2006 and run by co-owners Josh Lawrence on the orchard side and Lisa Lawrence on the sales and marketing side. They are joined by winemaker Aryn Morell took over the winemaking at Matthews Estate in Woodinville, and along with Gard, also makes wine for Tenor, Mullan Road, and his own label, Alleromb. Oh, and Aryn’s worked for 14+ other wineries, so there’s a ton of expertise going into Gård wines.
We feature a wonderful representation of an estate white, rosé and red.
63% Viognier and 37% Roussanne
2017 Rosé Grand Klasse Reserve
68% Syrah, 29% Grenache, 3% Viognier
Elephant Seven, Walla Walla, WA
Winemaker: Josh West
The winemaker was inspired by the Elephant 6 collective, who were a group of independent musicians dedicated to an individual and personal approach. This really resonated with Dave since he listened to several of those bands, and was astonished to have “guessed correctly” at this connection when we met them at the Taste Washington event in Seattle, WA.
We talk about two Rhone style wines and their no nonsense (and no shenanigans) approach.
2017 Blue Mountain Vineyard Viognier
2016 Yellow Bird Vineyard Grenache
Lisa Packer, Warr-King Wines
On this episode, we interview the Double Gold award winning owner and winemaker, Lisa Packer of Warr-King Wines. She discusses the power behind her wines’ namesake, her winemaking style and business philosophy.
We recommend a visit to Warr-King in Woodinville, WA. You’ll realize immediately after stepping through the doors at Warr-King, that this is not your average tasting room. There’s a warmth and coziness that is partially due to a focus on artfulness; colorful, whimsical paintings adorn the walls, the barrel cabinets behind the tasting bar and the surprisingly mysterious, dark ceiling. On our first trip, and a recent follow-up, the tables were almost always full. This is not unheard of, but may be an indication that word has gotten out—Lisa Packard makes great wines.
Northwest Women Stars of Food & Wine
Held at the Columbia Tower Club in Seattle, WA, this highly anticipated event showcased trendsetting women chefs, winemakers and sommeliers of the Northwest. Sandi delivers the event 411 and dishes about a few of her favorite winemakers.
Wines we loved
2017 Marie Noelle Rosé
Winery notes: This dry Rosé is light in color with aromas of strawberries, rose petals and a hint of lavender. Nice acid, great texture with an elegant mineral finish.
Awarded Double Gold Winner by San Francisco Chronicle Wine Awards 2018.
Winery notes: This wine has an old-world elegance; blackberry, olive and rosemary on the palate, with a peppery finish. Subtle with a lingering and memorable finish. The perfect wine to pair with all your BBQ favorites!
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Winery notes: This is our first ever Red Mountain Cabernet and it is stellar. Nice acidity with prominent tannins. Black cherry and cocoa powder on the nose, bursts of blackberry and baking spices on the palate. The finish is bold, yet elegant and complex.