Tonight I’m enjoying a glass of Sinistra, a wine produced by Tsillan Cellars in Lake Chelan, Washington. I discovered this blend of Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Barbera when I visited Chelan last fall for a work conference. Since then, I have purchased it when I found it (which to tell the truth was only once). Sinistra is Italian for left – whether it be left-handed, or a leftist political party formed in Italy in the late 90s. I’m not sure what the significance was in naming this wine, but it works. If anybody knows, please let me know!
Tsillan Cellars sit on the hill above Lake Chelan, built in the Italian Villa style, with a beautiful outdoor patio and plenty of seating. The size reminded me more of a Napa winery than most of the ones that we see in Washington and Oregon. That said, the staff are friendly and down to earth, and more than happy to recommend a great wine with dinner – they have a restaurant too.
The wine is a blood red color, which a very acidic nose (not uncommon with the Italian varietals). At first taste, it reminds me of a tart raspberry. The oak that it was aged in is not apparent, leaving a lovely, approachable wine. It is an excellent wine with food – tonight we had it with some delicious hamburgers made from locally raised, organic beef. It complemented the richness of the beef nicely.
Jon doesn’t typically go for the Italian varietals, but he announced that this would be a winery he’d be happy to visit. Hopefully we can make it over to Lake Chelan sometime soon!