March is Taste Washington Wine Month

And in honor of the great work coming out of WA State, we are doing a series on
WA winemakers! (All WA wine are 10% off the bottle price thru March!!) Starting with…

Isenhower_Brett in the vineyards_v2

Both pharmacists, Brett & Denise moved from Colorado to WA State in 1998, following their dream to make wine. Many crushes, winery & tasting room constructions, good and bad vintages, and 3 daughters later… they are still at it! Enjoying long-term contracts with growers in the NW, they use traditional winemaking methods to craft the wines including punchdowns, foot stomping, saignée, native yeast fermentation, barrel stirring, and sur lie aging. Their goal: each wine should be “unique, age worthy, and delicious.” Current production is 4000 cases.

Try: Isenhower Cellars 2016 Cabernet Franc (Yakima Valley, Washington)

Bartholomew_ Bart with grapes
Bart Fawbush | Bartholomew Winery – Seattle | Kennewick, WA
“Ars Longa, Vita Brevis” from Hippocrates which loosely translates from Latin to mean: Life is short, the art (craft/skill) long. Bart Fawbush grew up in Ogden, Utah, did his undergraduate at Gonzaga, was headed for med school when he took a turn, eventually becoming a winemaker. Like most, he’s obsessed with his craft. Why? Wine tastes like the earth that it comes from, giving us a “sense of place and history. Each craftsman (winemaker) gets to put a final touch and interpretation on it before bringing it to market. It’s like a song writer that takes two years to write every verse, fine tune, and create a story.” 2000-2500 cases produced.

Try: Bartholomew 2014 Carmenere (Red Mountain)

Abeja_David Wampfler & Amy Alvarez-Wampfler
David Wampfler & Amy Alvarez-Wampfler | Abeja | Walla Walla, WA
In 2015, David and his wife, Amy, took over as team winemakers at Abeja. David came via Columbia Crest (part of the 2002 team that crafted the 2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon that earned No. 1 wine in the world in 2009 by Wine Spectator magazine) and Dunham Cellars where he was head winemaker starting in 2008. Amy also worked at Columbia Crest and then took over as head winemaker at Sinclair Estates. They took over for husband/wife winemaking team, John Abbott & Molly Galt.

Try: Abeja 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, WA)

Tranche_Andrew Trio with dogs
Andrew Trio | Tranche Cellars | Walla Walla, WA A native of Perth, Australia, Andrew Trio began his winemaking career in the nearby Margaret River region. He studied oenology at the University of Adelaide and then worked multiple crushes per year around the world (New Zealand, California, the Mosel and Barossa) before landing at Tranche in Walla Walla, saying: “It seemed like a most interesting place to make an impact in a young and fast-moving wine industry.” Tranche is the second label for Corliss, producing 2 lines: a Rhône series & Single Varietal series.

Try: Tranche 2013 Sangiovese (Walla Walla Valley, WA)

Guardian Cellars_Jerry with baby_square
Jerry Riener | Guardian Cellars | Woodinville, WA
Cop/Winemaker! A San Francisco native, Jerry grew up working summers on his uncles’ farms in Kansas & Nebraska. He has a degree in organic chemistry and is a graduate of the police academy. At 23, his love affair with wine began, and he volunteered 40-plus hours a week at several wineries (Mark Ryan Winery, Matthews Winery, Baer Winery) learning the trade. In 2007, he opened his tasting room in Woodinville (with his wife Jennifer) and all 350 cases (a mix of Gun Metal, Syrah & Cab) sold out by EOD. Today, Jerry is still a cop by day, winemaker by night producing 16 different wines (with his team) and just over 10,000 cases.

Try: Guardian 2014 The Alibi (Red Mountain, WA)

Kevin White Winery_Kevin White
Kevin White | Kevin White Winery | Woodinville, WA
Computer scientist by day, winemaker by night. The Rhône Valley is owner/winemaker Kevin White’s inspiration. Syrah, Grenache & Mourvedre grown in the cooler climate and higher elevation vineyards in the Yakima Valley produce wine with the depth and the delicateness required to beautifully accompany food. It’s been a pretty fast rise for Kevin. He became obsessed with wine in 2006 after a taste of one of WA’s finest wines (bottle not disclosed!!), studied intensively over the next years, and produced his first vintage in 2012. Lots of acclaim followed (Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 wines, Seattle Magazine’s “Winemaker to Watch” & more). Current production is 1500 cases.

Stay tuned for more!
And again:  All WA wines = 10% OFF the bottle price thru the end of March!

 

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Food+Wine: Simple, Fresh, Good & EASY

Jamie Oliver_5 Ingredients_ginger shakin beef_square
That’s our theme for the new year, and we’re using Jamie Oliver’s new book: 5 Ingredients for inspiration. Back story: We got our 16-year old a cookbook for Christmas. She enjoys food, is an adventurous eater …can’t scramble an egg! Had fun at Book Larder: A Community Cookbook Store getting suggestions for an engaging, yummy, EASY cookbook to inspire a teen. Landed on Jamie Oliver’s new: 5 Ingredients. I don’t know if she’ll learn to cook, but she’ll get lots of good meals out of it for sure, because I’m hooked! We’ll use these simple, fresh, good & EASY recipes at Portalis for some 2018 wine pairing ideas, starting with:

5 Ingredients_Sizzling Seared Scallops
Sizzling Seared Scallops — Pair with Bodages Langa Chardonnay (Catalayud, Spain) — organic, lightly oaked, delicious.

5 Ingredients_Epic Rib-Eye Steak
Epic Rib-eye Steak — Pair with (splurge) Chateau des Gravières Graves (Bordeaux, France) or (bargain) 1851 Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, WA)

Scrambled Egg Omelette — How very French! Pair with (splurge) Chevalliers Chablis (Burgundy, France) or Ozilhan Réservé Blanc (Southern Rhône, France)

Thai Red Chicken Soup — It’s spicy, so enjoy with a round white that will calm the fire: Domaine Moltes Tradition Riesling (Alsace, France) or Domaine Haut de Mourier Viognier (Languedoc, France) or Weingut Prechtl Alte Reben Grüner Veltliner (Weinviertel, Austria).

5 Ingredients_Easy Sausage Carbonara
Easy Sausage Carbonara — Sausage calls for Chianti from Colli Senesi, full of blue fruits and perfect for sausage flavors. We recommend: Nottola Chianti Colli Senesi or Andreucci Chianti Colli Senesi. Both would be outstanding!

Crab & Fennel Spaghetti — Enjoy seafood meals with world-class fish wine like Albariño (we recommned: Outon Albariño from Spain’s Rias Baixas) or a light red with some licorice undertones. We recommend Palazzo Malgara Negroamaro from Salento, Italy’s heel of boot. Seafood is a staple in this part of the world, and this wine would pair beautifully!

Roast Tikka Chicken — Curry flavors call for an off-dry white, a juicy red, or bubbly! Looking for something festive? Go with Bodegas Maset del Lleo Cava Reserve from vineyards outside of Barcelona.

5 Ingredients_Pork and Mash Gratin
Pork & Mash Gratin — A little spice from the Muscadelle in this French white blend would be terrific: Chateau des Eyssards Sec (Bergerac, France) or a lighter red with lean pork. Try: Weingut Castelfeder Vernatsch (Alto Adige, Italy)

Ginger Shakin’ Beef — It’s beef, but it’s got some sweetness with the honey. Don’t go too tannic! A Pinot Noir would be great. Splurge with Chelan Cellars Pinot Noir (Lake Chelan, WA). Go thrifty with Louise Dubois 1885 Pinot Noir (Languedoc, France).

Have fun! More to come…
Julie