Saturday Wine Tasting March 12 ’10 (almost the Ides)

Bold suggestion: Flying in from Sydney for dinner at Lummi island’s newly world-famous Willows Inn? Why not pick up a bottle of knockout Washington wine from our extensive cellar selection of the highly acclaimed Quilceda Creek and Betz wines from the last several years???

Our last few tastings have spotlighted some really delicious wines at really amazing bargain prices. Makes me wonder what’s going on in the wine stars–lots of great buys in all directions, and last week followed the trend. First, the Chateau L’Hermitage roussanne blend is lovely and nuanced–I have become a major fan of roussanne blends in the past year or two, with their  sumptuous texture and peachy highlights.

And the new Pend d’Oreille Bistro Rouge was a crowd-pleasing knockout, something of a fruit bomb with a nice touch of class, a terrific value. Finished up the remains of our tasting bottle of the Altos las Hormigas (“the Ants”) malbec a day or two later to find it had opened up considerably from “hmm, pretty good” to “MMMmmmm…hmmm…hmmm!” And then the knockout punch, the Stevens Winery Black Tongue Syrah (is that a great name for a syrah or What?), with the kind of dark, brooding depths one needs this time of year to finally break free from Winter!

The Ides of March live in infamy from the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, although the Ides, along with the Kalends and the Nones, were just ways of counting the days each month–very complicated ways, brought to you by those wonderful folks who thought it would be a good idea to call “seven” VII and “nine” IX. I mean, what were they thinking?

This week’s wines, all (as usual) yummy!

Nera ‘La Novella’ nebbiolo ’10 Italy $15
Offers surprising complexity: zesty lemon cream, yellow apple, and white grapes, with a touch of nut skin, white pepper, and dusty earth.

Manos Negras pinot noir  ’08   Argentina          $12
Mulled cherry, cola and anise notes mingle in this juicy, forward, light-bodied Pinot.

Fernandez Dehesa la Granja ’04 Spain $17
Toasty and smoky notes frame a core of plum and earth flavors in this austere red, which has chewy tannins and a smoky, cedary finish. Tempranillo

Novelty Hill Syrah ’06         Washington      $17           WS89pts
Firm and crisp, showing pretty plum and guava notes that play against refined tannins and a hint of bacon on the long finish.

Wine Tasting

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