Tag Archive | Riesling

2015 Sleight of Hand The Magician Riesling

Yesterday, a day after getting home from a fabulous spring break road trip down to California on Sunday, I pulled a bottle out of the wine fridge.  It felt like summer in California, even if it doesn’t feel like summer here at home, so I wanted a summer sweet Riesling!

My friends and I visited Sleight of Hand Cellars when we were in Walla Walla last Memorial Day.  It was a great visit, and they had wonderful wines!

The 2015 The Magician Riesling is sourced from Evergreen Vineyard, which located high on the cliffs above the Columbia River in Central Washington. 2015 was a warm year in Washington for wines, but Evergreen Vineyard is a cooler site, which allowed for extra hang time for the grapes.  It has a delicious balanced acidity, with green apple and pear flavors, crisp minerality, and plenty of citrus.

2015 Sleight of Hand Riesling

It is sold out at the winery, but I think it cost about $18.  If you have tried it, let me know what you thought!

 

Traverse Bay Winery Cherry Riesling

For the last couple of evenings, I have been enjoying a Michigan wine.  It is the Traverse Bay Winery’s Cherry Riesling wine, a blend of 25% Cherry wine and 75% Riesling. 

Their website describes it as a “unique and flavorful wine was made from our Semidry Riesling Wine and Northern Michigan Cherry Wine. Simply put, this enchanting semidry wine displays crisp, fruity style with a delicate hint of cherry. We recommend serving this versatile wine slightly chilled as an accompaniment to picnic or barbecued fare, as well as cheese and fruit. This is a sweeter-style blush wine with crisp Riesling flavors and just a hint of fresh cherry.”

Traverse-Bay-Cherry-Riesling(384x640)

At only $9, it is a great mid-week sipper, offering something different than a typical Riesling with its light cherry flavor.  While it is a bit late in the season for outdoor picnics, it is a nice, sweet wine that reminds me of summer.  If only the summer would return!   

Cheers to the impending return of the weekend!  One more day!

2012 Chehalem Three Vineyard Riesling

It’s been a long week…  I am nearing the home stretch of a big recruitment process to hire my next boss, but that has meant several long days.  I’m ready for the weekend now!

To relax after my long day, I’m sipping on the 2012 Three Vineyard Riesling from Chehalem Winery.  It has a crisp minerality that is balanced by sweetness, something that is unusual in Northwest Rieslings.  There are flavors of tropical fruit – I picked up pineapple – with wet stone.

Even though it was raining and I was feeling the need to get bundled up against the cold, this crisp wine really hit the spot and reminded me that summer is on its way.

This wine contains 10% alcohol and 1.1% residual sugar, and is sourced from all three of Chehalem’s estate vineyards: Ridgecrest, Stoller and Corral Creek.

Have you had the 2012 Chehalem Three Vineyard Riesling?  What did you think?

2011 Panther Creek Pinot Noir Winemaker’s Cuvée

My weeks have been tough lately.  Working long hours, on tough stuff.  I’m wiped out and it’s only Wednesday!

Jon opened up a 2011 Panther Creek Pinot Noir Winemaker’s Cuvée last night.  I was still finishing off a bottle of Chehalem Riesling (delicious!), so I didn’t have a glass of the Pinot until tonight.  I poured myself a glass to pair with a quick dinner of Gardenburger and edamame, and settled in to relax.  On the nose, this wine has that characteristic Pinot pickle aroma, as well as an earthy aroma.

On the palate, this wine is bold; earthy with lots of tobacco and spice on top of overripe cherries.  I love it.  It is delicious, making me wonder if it was even better last night!  This wine is definitely turning my evening around.

I couldn’t really find any information on this wine online, so I suppose you’ll have to take my word for it that it is great.  Panther Creek is located in McMinnville, Oregon, and they just opened a new tasting room in Dundee, Oregon too.

Have you had Panther Creek wines?  What are you drinking tonight?

Arbor Crest 2012 Riesling

I was craving a white tonight – even though the temperature is currently 27 degrees outside with the wind chill bringing it down to 19.  But it is nice inside, as I watch the first of the Olympics broadcasts with Oliver snuggled up next to me.

Arbor Crest Wine Cellars is located in Spokane, WA and this Riesling is sourced from the Dionysus Vineyard in the Columbia Valley.  Arbor Crest is one of the oldest wineries in Washington – it opened in 1982 as the 29th winery in the state.

When we visited in August 2013, we didn’t get to visit the winery’s Cliff House Estate (it was closed that evening), a beautiful mansion located at the top of a 450 foot cliff.  The views from the top of the hill outside looked spectacular, so I’m sure it would be an amazing place to relax on the patio with a glass of their wine.  One day…

Arbor Crest Wine Cellars 2012 Riesling - Dionysus Vineyard

Arbor Crest Wine Cellars 2012 Riesling – Dionysus Vineyard

2012 was a great year in the Dionysus vineyard, with warm summer days and cooler nights that allowed for the right amount of acid retention.  The 2012 Riesling was aged in stainless steel tanks.  It is a lovely straw color, and on the nose, you pick up a lot of tropical fruit smells, ripe pineapple and honey, with a hint of a floral smell.  On the palate, you get the same ripe pineapple flavor with loads of honey.  The mouth feel is thick and syrupy.

If you have a chance to try it, be sure to let me know what you think!

Chelan Beginnings – Day 1

At the end of September, I had a conference over in Chelan, Washington.  I headed over with my coworkers on Tuesday, and attended the conference session from Wednesday through noon Friday.  Jon then took Saturday off from work and drove over Friday after he finished work to meet me.  Chelan is east of the Cascade mountains in Washington and typically gets hotter drier weather than we do in Western Washington.  This year the temperatures were nice, but not overly warm.  I could walk around in a skirt and t-shirt and be quite comfortable – which typically isn’t the case at the end of September at home.  But sadly, there wasn’t much sun to be found.  Because even though the sun was up there in the sky, it was obscured by the thick smoke in the air from the nearby wildfires.

Friday after Jon arrived, we spent the afternoon wandering around the shops in the downtown business area.  Chelan has about 3500 year round residents, and the population balloons by several thousand during the summer.  But with the season winding down, and the heavy smoke in the air, it was certainly less busy than I think it would usually be.  After wandering around and checking out the shops, we decided to head out to Tsillan Cellars to go do a wine tasting.  I had their Sinistra wine a few years ago, and it is one of my favorites – but I hadn’t tried any of their other wines for a couple of years.

Tsillan is on the main drag just outside of town – up on a slope overlooking the lake (although you couldn’t see down to the lake because of the smoke).  They grow some of their own grapes, and some they truck in from the Yakima Valley.  For a $5 tasting fee, you can sample five wines (they did pour us a sixth though).  Jon and I shared a flight, and we started with the 2009 Estate Chardonnay.  This Chardonnay had a nice light butter flavor, but without being too heavily oaked.  It was one that we could both agree on.

Tsillan Cellars Tasting Room and Restaurant

Their 2009 Estate Riesling was very floral at first taste, but then settled into a rich pear flavor with the taste of vanilla.  It was a drink now wine.  The 2011 Bocciolo di Rosa was a light Syrah based Rosé with flavors of honeydew melon.  It had a light sweetness, and did not have much acidity.

The 2009 Bellissima Rossa is a Syrah Merlot blend, with big structured tannins and flavors of smoke and caramel.  The 2009 Reserve Syrah had even bigger tannins, and tasted of brown sugar, ripe cherry and lots of prune.  I liked the wines more than the reds at Tsillan, with the exception of the Sinistra that I love so much, but sadly it is sold out for the season!

Tsillan Cellars Tasting Room

After the winery, we pondered what to do about dinner.  Tsillan Cellars has a large Italian restaurant at the winery, but neither of us felt like eating heavy Italian food.  We decided to head back to the hotel and walk somewhere downtown.  We asked around for some other suggestions, and everybody kept recommending Local Myth Pizza.  It is apparently the best pizza ever – based on the numbers of rave reviews I have heard!  I’m convinced that these pizza place owners are true geniuses and are paying people off for the recommendations, because to be honest, I had their pizza a few days before and just was not that impressed.  It was one where you had to blot the oil off the top before you could eat it – with the New York style flat crust.  Jon is not a fan of heavy, greasy foods on his best days, so I knew there would be no way he would like it.

We decided to go to a place that served burgers and salads called BC MacDonald’s.  We both had salads that were nice and big, and Jon had a glass of wine.  My iced tea was good too.  The ambience was not great – there were two men in the bar arguing loudly, but the server was fast and attentive and we both left satisfied with our meals.  But the reviews on BC MacDonald’s are mixed, so I could easily see having a much worse experience than we did.

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and relaxed with some wine and TV watching.  Vacation is the life!

Michigan Wines, Round One

After my birthday dinner out on our Michigan trip (Cracker Barrel! – although I do like Cracker Barrel, he still owes me a real birthday dinner), Jon and I stopped at the local Meijer in Jackson, Michigan to sample a few Michigan wines.  We picked a red and a white that we hadn’t heard of before, with no research on the wineries, the wines, or the reviews of them.  Jon chose a red – and I chose a white.

We got back to the hotel and busted out the corkscrew that lives in our suitcase and broke out the hotel plastic cups.  We didn’t do this officially – as in taste the white wine before the heavier red.  Jon prefers red wines, so he opened that one first.  The red was a bit of a disappointment, very fruity, not much structure, and it contained an odd fizzy texture.  It was certainly drinkable, but just one of the best wines we have had.  But that’s all I can tell you, because neither of us can remember what the red wine was!

I picked the Grand Traverse Select – Semi Dry Riesling.  At $7.99 for the bottle, it wasn’t going to be a big disappointment if we didn’t like it.  This wine was much better than the red Jon picked.  It has a faint pear nose – it may have more scent than what I was detecting, but remember, I was sampling from a plastic hotel cup.  The mouth-feel is slightly syrupy, which gives way to a pear and golden delicious apple flavor, with a nice amount of acidity.  It wasn’t anything special, but it was certainly a solid pick for a night at home – or in a hotel with a plastic cup!

So there you have it…  Completely unscientific, unprepared and totally random wine tasting.  Get out your plastic cups – you know you want to!