Friday, July 29, 2011

The Greatest Wines You're NOT Drinking!

You read it right. 
These are the two GREATEST wines 
you're not drinking.

Last week we got to try the new wines from Kamiakin. We instantly knew that we would be 1 of only 3 retailers to offer it on-line. These two wines are amazing VALUES and I know that everyone who drinks either the red blend or the syrah, 
will come back for more! - Jeff 
2009 Kamiakin Yakima Valley Syrah
2009 Kamiakin Yakima Valley Red Blend
$18.00 per bottle*

"The Kamiakin Syrah is a gorgeous dark ruby-red. This great syrah-combines a brilliant nose of bright, inviting raspberry, blueberry, brown spice and chocolate cherry. With a nice decant, the nose broadens into a sweet, smokey and meaty Syrah with soft tannins. I absolutely love how this wine finishes long, pure and focused. This is a blockbuster of a Syrah and one that is certainly not to be missed. This could benefit with a few years of rest or a good 60 minute decant." -Jeff 

"The Kamiakin Red Blend, which is comprised of mostly Cabernet, with the remaining share comprised of Merlot and Cab Franc. This blend sings from the start, with a knockout nose of boysenberry, blackberry, espresso bean and bitter chocolate. Rose oil just peeks out from the background. This baby just sings! This superripe wine offers lovely mid-palate texture, excellent fruit and an easy but pure finish! I could drink this wine everyday and never tire of its class!!" -Jeff

Kamiakin is great barbecue wine with big red flavors, made by one of Washington's most notable winemakers, Scott Greer. Previously the "value" label of Scott's winery, Sheridan Vineyards, Kamiakin is now part of the Dineen winery. The wine is still made by Scott Greer at Dineen.
With some of the highest ratings given to Washington wine by Wine Advocate, Scott Greer is a superstar of Washington wine. He is known for his passionately made, intensely flavored reds. He works with vineyards to produce super-concentrated grapes with huge flavors.
Wine Advocate's Jay Miller describes Scott Miller and Sheridan:
The intense Scott Greer is one of Washington's rising stars. His wines are all sourced from estate vineyards which are just now starting to come into maturity. He keeps yields low and the farming and winemaking are impeccable... Sheridan's newest collection begins at "outstanding" and rises from there. In addition, the two entry-level wines are superb values.There is really no mystery as to what Scott Greer is doing at Sheridan; total attention to detail, a great vineyard, impeccable farming, and non-interventionist winemaking.

Out-of-state buyers, we will continue to hold for the summer months.

*No Further Discounts 

Washington WE 

The term "cult wine" came into widespread use in the 1990s, though no single person or publication lays claim to having coined it. Perhaps it was Screaming Eagle or Harlan that was the first wine to earn the tag. In the minds of most people, the term is almost always attached to a pricy Napa Valley Cabernet or Bordeaux-style blend.

What qualifies them as cult wines? It seems to be the magic combination of rarity, expense, high scores and buzz. A wine needs all four to qualify for true cult status, which leaves out such things as first-growth Bordeaux (not rare) and favors new wineries over traditional ones (more buzz). By any standard, these are trophy wines.

In other words, they're unaffordable, which is just as well since they're also unobtainable.

Which raises the question-should there be a new model for cult wines? A model that preserves the most desirable attributes of those we already know and love (or hate), and eliminates the least desirable. In other words, keep the requirements for rarity, high scores and buzz, but lose the absurd prices, drop the alcohol levels a bit and substitute genuine terroir for 100% new French oak barrels.

Where are these new-era cult wines found? Start with the world-class boutique wineries of Washington. The best of them deliver all of the above. And even if the Northwest is not your home, if you are fortunate enough to live in a state that allows direct to consumer shipping, many of the wineries listed here will be happy to welcome you as a customer. Some of them may be flying under the national radar, which is an advantage.

Don't get hung up on the word "cult." Think of this as a move to New World classified growths. These are all candidates to be named super seconds, and some will make it all the way to first-growth status.

Though rarely produced in quantities of more than a few hundred cases, you can still find them, and, better yet, afford them. These are wines both for cellaring and for near-term drinking.

Washington's Bordeaux-style wines and blends have the structure and balance to age for decades. Even the Syrahs-especially those from Betz, Cayuse, K Vintners and McCrea-have the muscle to cellar well for 8-10 years. The most expensive Washington Cabs and reserves may reach $135 a bottle, but the vast majority cost less than half that.

The most sought-after Washington boutique wineries fall into three distinct categories: the Old Guard, the New Guard (with closed mailing lists) and the Rising Stars (great wines, consistent quality, open mailing lists).

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