See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Charles Smith.
The maker says: "When Hollywood’s surprise hit Sideways suddenly spawned anti-Merlot sentiments everywhere, Charles set out to rebuff the movie’s unflattering depiction of this great varietal. One sip of this bold, sultry creation and you’ll know he succeeded at making Merlot sexy again".
More traditionally put: This wine is made by Charles Smith, a self–taught winemaker who brings his rock and roll spirit to the vineyards of Walla Walla, Washington. As a romantic young man, Charles Smith moved across the world to Denmark to follow his love for his girlfriend at the time. In Scandinavia, he became a recognized manager for rock bands such as The Raveonettes. While travelling on the road with these bands, he developed his passion for wine. In 1999, he moved back to Washington, opened a wine store and became friendly with a French winemaker, later convincing him to move to Walla Walla to make wine together.
The aromas are that of cherry, cedar and black cherry, with an intense cherry, blackberry and some tobacco on the finish which is clean and lingers for a full mouth feel.
89% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 1% Malbec.
Letting this wine sit in the glass for 10 to 15 minutes will help to enhance the flavors and bring out the aromas while burning off any surface alcohol. The best foods to pair with this wine are lamb chops, steaks, pork chops, beef stew and hearty soups. This wine can also be enjoyed by itself due to its rich velvety texture on the palate.
ABV = 13.5%.
Please click on this link to see a most informative video about this wine which has been made by Ray McKee, red winemaker at Chateau Ste Michelle.
"Great wine can only come from Italy or California" was the misconception Chateau Ste Michelle’s founding fathers set out to prove wrong when they first broke ground and pioneered the Washington wine region, shortly after the repeal of Prohibition in the USA. They have certainly opened our eyes to some of the wonderful wines that Washington State has to offer. Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the few premium wineries in the world with two state-of-the-art wineries, one for red and one for white. The whites are made at the Chateau in Woodinville, WA, while the reds are made at their Canoe Ridge Estate winery in Eastern Washington.
To read Chateau Ste Michelle's excellent tasting note and information on this wine please click on the blue link below.
ABV = 13.5%.
** FOR ORDERS LARGER THAN STOCK SHOWING BELOW, WE HAVE MORE STOCK ARRIVING ON WEDS 29th JULY. **
The winery and vineyards were originally owned and run by the Cecil and Christine De Loach. In 2003, the family run Burgundian estate Jean-Claude Boisset purchased De Loach and brought the focus back to the estate's original high quality winemaking philosophy, with specific emphasis on small lot winemaking, particularly of Pinot Noir from the Russian River Valley. The winery's 17-acre estate vineyard has been completely restored and converted to organic and Biodynamic® viticulture, a tradition upheld by many foremost Burgundian vineyards. The De Loach estate vineyards are certified organic by CCOF.
The Pinot Noir is sourced from four vineyard sites across the Russian River: the BCD Vineyard, the Becnel Vineyard, the Heintz Vineyard and the Murray Vineyard. Each of these Russian River Valley Vineyards contributes their unique complexities to the final blend. The vines are grown on Huichica clay loam soils.
Crafted using traditional Burgundian techniques, the grapes were hand-sorted then fermented in small vats with all punch-downs done by hand. The wine was aged for 10 months in French oak barrels (25% new oak) to create a complex, multi-layered Pinot Noir.
Please click the blue link below to see a full tasting note for this wine from De Loach themselves.
100% Pinot Noir.
The 2016 Russian River Valley Pinot Noir opens with inviting aromas of raspberry, strawberry and a touch of vanilla. Silky on the palate, the wine offers flavours of strawberry, rhubarb, clove and plum. It is well balanced with moderate tannins and bright acidity.
ABV = 14.5%.
The history of Orin Swift Cellars dates back to 1995 when on a lark, David Swift Phinney took a friend up on an offer and went to Florence, Italy to spend a semester “studying”. During that time, he was introduced to wine, how it was made, and got hooked. A few more years of university led to graduation and eventually a job at Robert Mondavi Winery in 1997 as a temporary harvest worker. Deciding that if he was going to work this hard, it would eventually have to be for himself, so in 1998 he founded Orin Swift Cellars; Orin is his father’s middle name and Swift is his mother’s maiden name. With two tons of Zinfandel and not much else, he spent the next decade making wine for others as well as himself and grew the brand to what it is today.
Syrah 45%, Petite Sirah 40%, Grenache 15%.
To see the winemaker's infomation and tasting notes for this wine, please click on the blue link below.
ABV = 15.2%.
Now owned by Crimson Wine Group, who own Pine Ridge, Seghesio remains focused on its family roots with Ted Seghesio making better wines than ever before. The astonishing concentration of flavours that Seghesio achieve in their wines can be attributed to the age of the vineyards, some of which were established as far back as 1895. Italian consultant Alberto Antonini has assisted in improving the quality of their Sangiovese (which is sourced from the oldest vineyards of the variety in California) and his influence can also be seen in the ripe, juicy, approachable style of Zinfandel that has become Seghesio's hallmark. Displaying freshness, purity of fruit, balance and elegance that can be difficult to achieve with the variety, the Seghesio Zinfandels have scooped trophies and Gold medals at the Decanter World Wine Awards and International Wine Challenge for a number of recent years. Although best known for their reds, Seghesio also produces a delicious Arneis, another traditional Italian variety, which is sealed under Stelvin to retain its superb aromatic character.
Grapes were primarily estate-grown from the Home Ranch, River Road, Lone Oak and San Lorenzo vineyards in Alexander Valley, and the Cortina vineyard in Dry Creek Valley. Aggressive hand canopy management was maintained throughout the season. Yield management techniques were employed to ensure even ripening and to keep crop loads in balance.
2015 was equal measures of good and bad weather. Drought early in the season threatened grape set and winegrowers were fearful there wouldn’t be enough water to support the vegetative cycle. But rains in February and April helped to counter this coupled with warm sunny weather during late summer and early autumn. Harvest began early in August and despite lower yields showed great aromatic and flavour potential.
During fermentation the must was divided into three parts and each was vinified in a different way. 20% of the grapes were punched-down by hand in small open-top fermenters, 60% went under pump-over fermentation in closed-top stainless steel tanks with delestage and the remaining 20% was fermented in stainless steel rotary-tank. Fermentation on the skins lasted 7-12 days. The wine was barrel aged for 9 months in 60% American oak (of which 12% was new), 40% neutral French oak and neutral Hungarian oak.
85% Zinfandel , 9% Petite Sirah, 3% Syrah/Shiraz, 3% Carignano/Carignan.
Full of the spicy, lush black fruit of the Alexander Valley. Wild raspberry and blackberry flavours emerge on the palate along with the structure of the cooler Dry Creek Valley. Balanced and elegant.
ABV = 15.0%.