Tamarack Cabernet Franc is made from 100 percent Cabernet Franc.
Glorius vintage with wonderful weather conditions for normal production of low tonnages equaling delicious, balanced and succulent fruit.
Elegant with spiced cherry, blackberry and boysenberry mingling pleasingly and lingering seductively with a hint of oak, smooth chocolate and mocha on the structured tannins and fine-grained finish.
"Sleekly layered, with precise cherry, lead pencil and dusty dill flavors that persist toward refined tannins. Drink now through 2028. 1,176 cases made. — TF"
- Wine Spectator (Web only 2019), 90 pts
The Tamarack Cellars Estate
Founded in 1998 by Ron and Jamie Coleman, Tamarack Cellars is dedicated to the production of small lot, hand-crafted wines from select vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley, Yakima Valley, Red Mountain and Columbia Valley appellations.
“Boutique winery from Waterbrook and Canoe Ridge alumnus Ron Coleman delivers ripe varietals and blends; Syrah-Bordeaux blend Firehouse Red is outstanding value.”
- Anthony Dias' blue pocket guide to wine 2006
The Tamarack Cellars Vineyard
Grapes are purchased throughout the Columbia Valley and are crushed, fermented and blended in a small winery located in a World War II firehouse complex at the Walla Walla airport.
Intense and vibrant, with focused notes of rich, zesty raspberry puree, blackberry, black licorice and pomegranate that are focused, easing into the plush texture.
Medium-deep ruby color; deep, complex aromas of plum, earth and pepper; deep, focused plum flavors with oak and pepper notes; some tannin; good structure and balance; long finish. Complex, deep Pinot that needs some air to open up. Pinot Report 94 Points
"Deep ruby color; deep, earthy plum and cherry aromas with herbal notes; full, rich plum flavors with savory spice and pepper notes; some oak; good structure and balance; long finish. Earthy, complex Pinot that's drinking nicely now."
Medium-deep ruby color; complex and deep plum aromas with pepper and anise notes; complex, full, ripe plum and cherry flavors with pepper and oak notes; good structure and balance; long finish. Deep, full Pinot with the structure for some age. Pinot Report 93 Points
Monteagrelo Cabernet Franc has beautiful ruby red with purple highlights.
It displays aromas of ripe red berries with a nice wood smoke complexity, thanks to the aging in French oak barrels. The wine has a very good structure, but the tannins are still quite round and integrated.
Aged in French and American oak barrels for 15 months. No filtration and no fining.
The finish is very long and will allow the wine to be consumed with food, such as grilled meat or cheese.
"The pick of the Monteagrelo wines, at least for me, in 2016, this comes from Vista Flores and is a beautifully judged expression of a variety that has found a home in the Uco Valley. Leafy, fine and refreshing, with black cherry and graphite notes. 2019-26"
- Tim Atkin (Argentina Special Report 2018), 93 pts
"The Cabernet Franc that Bressia acquires in Vista Flores comes from a 15 year old vineyard (same one as the Syrah) planted on the area’s alluvial soils with a high percentage of sand. But 2016, one of the coldest ever in Mendoza, molded the fruit in a very different way, highlighting more herbal notes. For those unfriendly to herbal flavors, they may be excessive, but we like that there here at “Descorchados”, mainly because they’re accompanied with heaps of red fruit in a lightish body with crisp acidity."
- Descorchados, 92 pts
Short Street Chenin Blanc is made from 100% Chenin Clanc
Situated at the very heart of South Africa’s Swartland wine region, Short Street is the shortest street in the Riebeek Valley. A melting pot of creative energy, gourmet fare, farm fresh produce and the vibrant, uncomplicated lifestyle of the people, Short Street captures the essence of the Swartland, where passion, creativity and simplicity are distilled into a captivating experience.
Short Street Chenin Blanc is an aromatic and richly textured wine, with intense tropical flavors, typical of Chenin Blanc grown in the Swartland. The palate is a delicate balance of apricots, almonds, citrus and a hint of minerality for a luxurious finish.
To ensure an array of layered fruit flavors, only free run juice was fermented long & slow under cool conditions. After fermentation the wine is matured in French oak for 3 – 6 months.
Served well-chilled, the wine is exceptionally food-friendly, enhancing enjoyment without masking food character. Especially well-suited to decadent spicy food like, aromatic Thai green curry.
Babylons Peak Paardeberg Shiraz is made from 100 percent Shiraz.
Babylon's Peak winery, situated on the highest weathered granite slopes of the Paardeberg Mountain, is privately owned by the Basson family who has passed down the tradition, passion and art of winemaking over four generations. Predominantly low-yield dryland bushvines are selected to produce these excellent wines with distinctive character.
A classic Shiraz with dark fruit, violets and white pepper. An elegant wine with ripe tannins and a lingering aftertaste.
The grapes were harvested by hand. The grapes were destalked only, no crushing was done. Cold maceration was done before fermentation started in open fermenters. The grapes fermented between 24-26°C for 5-7 days, after which the wine was taken to barrels where it went through malolactic fermentation. After malolactic fermentation was completed, the wine spent 14 months in 225 litre French oak barrels until bottling.
Pairs with rich and creamy meat dishes eg. oxtail and venison.
"The Shiraz is our favorite of the Babylon Peak portfolio. It offers nice purity of black fruit with a licorice note on the nose and flavors of blackberry, mocha, and a touch of dried fruit. It’s softly textured with good supporting acidity and has an attractive cracked pepper spice note. Fermented with some viognier skins and matured 12-14 months in oak barrels. - Don Winkler" - i-winereview.com (The Wines of Babylon’s Peak in South Africa’s Swartland, September 30th 2019), 91 pts
Dark ruby color. Aromas of cherry, currant, vanilla bean and hint of tar. Full-bodied, with flavors of cherries, cocoa powder and oak. A touch of sweetness on entry with a little bit of air with soft tannins that are starting to integrate well.
The latest step in the project is Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) Dioro. The earlier Valsacros were made from a field selection of the older vineyards. Now, thanks to the new facility Amador has been able to build an upmarket version of Vinsacro (formerly Valsacro) with a four-stage selection process that includes an initial field selection of the fruit followed by a second table selection as the grapes come into the winery. After fermentation wine from selected tanks is transferred to new French oak barrels for 12-14 months of barrel age. Finally, the best barrels are set aside for Dioro and the remainder used to "upgrade" the normal Vinsacro.
Vinsacro Dioro is a blend of grapes from 100+ year old "vidau" vineyards where many varieties were planted together in the same plot.
Today the grapes are harvested and vinified separately. The final blend depends on the vintage but typically it's Tempranillo (50%), Garnacha (20%) and remaining 30% is a mix of mainly Graciano (10%) & Mazuelo (10%) with a little of Monastrell (5%) & Bobal (5%).
"The top of the range is the 2015 Vinsacro Dioro, a wine that is only produced in excellent vintages. It's a blend of 40% Vidau (the old field blend) plus 45% Tempranillo and 15% Mazuelo, from a slope in the south of the Monte Yerga called Cuesta la Reina, from a big, 120-hectare plot that has been with the Escudero family for generations. It fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel with a long maceration. It matured in new French (70%) and American oak barrels for 18 months. It's still very young and a little shy, with a reticent nose where the lactic and spicy aromas are intermixed with earthy and dark fruit aromas. The palate is full-bodied but perfectly balanced, compact, powerful and serious, with abundant tannins, extract and clout. This should develop nicely in bottle, given its stuffing and balance. An excellent, modern version of a classical Rioja. 20,000 bottles were filled in June 2017. - Luis Gutierrez"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #235, February 2018), 92 pts
"(sourced from a 100+ year old plot of mixed varieties; aged in new and used French oak barrels for 14 months) Deep, bright-rimmed ruby. Ripe black and blue fruits on the expansive, spice- and smoke-accented nose, along with suggestions of vanilla, candied flowers and cola. The oak qualities recede quickly on the palate, which displays sappy, deeply concentrated boysenberry, black raspberry and spicecake flavors that show a suave blend of richness and energy. Supple tannins build steadily on the penetrating finish, which leaves cherry-cola and baking spice notes behind. - Josh Raynolds"
- Antonio Galloni's Vinous (February 2019), 93 pts
"I loved the 2015 Vinsacro Dioro Rioja, and this beauty is 50% Tempranillo, 20% Grenache, 10% each of Mazuelo and Graciano, and the balance Mourvèdre and Bobal, all of which spent 12-14 months in French oak. It boasts a deep ruby/purple color as well as smoking good notes of black currants, dried herbs, licorice, and background oak. Medium to full-bodied, seamless, and layered on the palate, with terrific fruit and impeccable balance, I suspect it will shine for over a decade."
- Jeb Dunnuck (March 2019), 93 pts
Tamarack Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Franc, 2% Petit Verdot
Crushed gently and dropped by gravity into 1.5 ton bins, cold soaked for 24 to 72 hours, then inoculated with a variety of yeasts, hand-punched and pressed directly to barrel where the wine finishes both primary and secondary fermentations. The individual lots of wine that compose the Cabernet Sauvignon are kept separate for at least one year before they are blended.
A warm summer led to an early start to harvest, followed by a stretch of lower than average temperatures in late September that slowed ripening so grapes hung longer without sugars skyrocketing, providing balance, more flavor development and concentration. A long but successful harvest!
Full bodied with black currant jam, honey glazed dates and black peppered seasoned T-bone steak aromas intertwined with piercing boysenberry, rosemary rack of lamb, balsamic, blue cheese, bacon wrapped figs and intriguing tannins extended out over an intricate and balanced finish.
Avennia Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard is made from 100% Cabernet Franc.
This very limited bottling shows the compelling potential of Cabernet Franc from a top vineyard. Though it’s often used as a spice in Avennia's Bordeaux blends, this wine, from the legendary Champoux Vineyard, has its own unique character and complexity that convinced them to feature it alone.
“Featuring a dark garnet color, this year’s Cabernet Franc opens with dark red cherry, boysenberry, damp earth, winter mint, and hints of rose petal on the nose. The palate is weighty, full-bodied, and complex, with mulberry, tobacco leaf, earthy notes, and savory herbs, kept lively with bright acidity. One of the standouts of the vintage, this beauty can stay in the cellar another year or two, and be enjoyed over the following decade plus." - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
"From a cooler site in the Horse Heaven Hills and all varietal, the 2017 Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard has brilliant notes of crème de cassis, red plums, chocolate, spice, flowery incense, and cedarwood. Beautifully textured, medium to full-bodied, and balanced on the palate, it shows the elegance and purity of the vintage yet still packs plenty of opulence and texture. It’s one of the finest expressions of this variety I’ve tasted from Washington State. Drink this beauty any time over the coming 10-15 years.”
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 96 pts
Tamarack Firehouse Red is 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Syrah, 22% Merlot, 11% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, 3% Sangiovese, 2% Grenache, 2% Cinsault 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Counoise, 1% Mourvèdre and 1% Carmenere.
Deceptively sweet aromas of strawberries, raspberries and rose petals. The flavors are dark, rich, lusciously mouthwatering, with cherries, boysenberries, tart plum skins, hints of leather, sweet pipe tobacco, and coffee beans. The tannins are firm, but not a bit edgy and the finish lingers with just a touch of anise. A truly lovely vintage.
Sunset Hills Cabernet Franc is made from Cabernet Franc 80%, Petit Verdot 18%, Merlot 2%
Ripe red cherry, black plum, and hazelnut bring this medium bodied wine to the table. Elegant tannins and subtle toasty notes round out the finish.
The base for the Cabernet Franc is from the Shenandoah Vineyard site, which is typically cooler than the other sites offering bright acidity and red fruit characteristics. Hand picked, chilled, destemmed to bins and tanks for fermentation. Fermentation 6-12 days. 15 years old vines.
Avennia Sestina Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc.
The story of this wine - The Sestina is an ancient form of poetry from Medieval France. Just as a modern poet can fill this form with new expressions, Avennia uses the traditional Bordeaux blend to express Washington. Sestina is their vision for an old vine, complex blend where all of the components complement each other. This wine is designed for the cellar, so the emphasis is on structure, balance, and complexity.
Winemaker Tasting Notes - “Good deep ruby/garnet color, with aromas of black cherry, fresh black currant, dark mocha, cigar box, and graphite. The palate is lively and dense with mountain berries, mocha, vanilla honey, damp earth, and wildflowers. The finish shows a distinct chalky minerality and beautiful tension. This is a classically balanced and ageworthy Sestina. Drink 2025-2040.” - Chris Peterson, Winemaker
"The Cabernet Sauvignon-dominated release from Peterson, the 2017 Sestina comes from the Red Willow, Bacchus, and Dionysus vineyards. Rocking levels of crème de cassis, sappy herbs, violets, and cedar pencil all flow to a full-bodied, incredibly pure, polished 2017 that offers flawless balance, ripe tannins, and a great, great finish. It's more approachable than normal yet is still going to evolve for 15 to 20 years. The blend is 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, and the rest Cabernet Franc, all raised 20 months in 50% new French oak."
- Jeb Dunnuck (April 2020), 95 pts
Tamarack Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay.
Bright aromas of ruby red grapefruit, mango and stone fruit are found in the bouquet while on the palate, the bright acidity of this wine showcases flavors of guava, crisp Granny Smith apples and Asian pears. Combing the best of both cooperage techniques, the combination of aging in stainless steel highlights the fruit while the aging in neutral French oak provides an added complexity to the wine.
Aged 60% in neutral premier French oak and 3% in new premier French Oak 37% stainless steel.Dropped by gravity straight to the press, the juice is pumped directly to barrel or tank and chilled, inoculated with Chardonnay 3079 yeast, primary fermentation started and finished, secondary fermentation started but completed to preferred taste, typically around 50% completion. All fermentation is done in a 58 degree Fahrenheit barrel room.
Walla Walla Valley Appellation: Alderbanks Vineyard
Columbia Valley Appellation: Bacchus and Gamache Brothers Vineyards
Yakima Valley Appellation: Olsen Brothers and French Creek Vineyards
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the "vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.
Grand Veneur Cotes Du Rhone Les Champauvins is made of 70% Grenache, 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvedre
Intense, brilliant garnet-red colour. It reveals lovely fruit, loads of body and a heady bouquet of ground peppers, raspberries cherry liqueur, currants, and spice box. Full-bodied and dense, it tastes more like a "baby Châteauneuf" than a Côtes du Rhône.
A complete wine, rich and elegant, thanks to the harmony of all the elements which make it up.
Drink between 1 and 6 years.
Soil type DOMAINE GRAND VENEUR “Les Champauvins” stretches on 34 ha classified in Côtes du Rhône. The plots are located in the northern border of Châteauneuf du Pape, exactly from 3 meters outside the appellation. A small lane of rocks going through the rocky plateaux has been decided to be the AOC limit in 1936. Here, soils are made of red clay and rocks (pebbled stones of quartz). The quantity of rocks can be amazing as they can completely cover the soil (see picture). In summer and during the day, the rocks temperature will increase to 55°C. This accumulated heat will be get back to the vines during nights . Day after day, this unique phenomenon allow the grapes to reach a perfect maturity and produce a unique wine. Winemaking & Ageing Traditional, in stainless steel vats. Harvest crushed and destemmed. Fermentation in temperature controlled vats at 28°C. Eighteen-day vating period with “pigeage”. Grenache is aged in concrete vats, Syrah and mourvèdre in 4 years old barrelsntense, brilliant garnet-red colour. It reveals lovely fruit, loads of body and a heady bouquet of ground peppers, raspberries cherry liqueur, currants, and spice box. Full-bodied and dense, it tastes more like a “baby Châteauneuf” than a Côtes du Rhône. A complete wine, rich and elegant, thanks to the harmony of all the elements which make it up.
"Not yet bottled, the 2018 Côtes Du Rhône Les Champauvins offers slightly darker notes of cassis, blackberries, ground pepper, violets, and spring flowers. Soft, forward, and straight-up plump, it shows the fleshy, ready-to-go style of this vintage beautifully."
- Jeb Dunnuck (August 16th 2019), 88-90 pts