My last bottle of this wine and I was very pleased that it was able to duplicate my immediately prior bottle from Nov 2015. Again opened two hours ahead of time with solid blackfruit and mineral notes on the nose. Medium bodied and fully smooth and integrated with no rough edges. Blackfruit, plum and cassis up front with some brighter berry notes behind and earth, licorice and integrated spices on the finish. Tannins were very fine gained and lent backbone but were completely unobtrusive. Again showed as a medium bodied, fully integrated blend that was easy to drink and quite enjoyable. I didn't detect any fading yet, so my hope would be that this wine could stay at this peak level for at least another year. It will last beyond that, but I would drink these over the next year or so to capture this peak experience.
Consistent with previous notes: nice combo of sweet and savory, deep black fruit and soy sauce. Still seems mute on the palate. Could be that it needs more time, but considering the price point, probably not.
Really nice Cab/Syrah blend. Stood up to 3 days open, and was quite enjoyable across all 3 days. Day 1 was more primary: Blackberry and cassis fruit, oak, and acid, with slightly drying tannins. Day 2 was more of the same, with less tannic structure and acid. Day 3, the final glass, was very smooth, creamy and lush. Fruit just slightly turning to plum, acid and tannin integrated, just delicious. Drink now with air, through 2020+.
Second bottle opened about 2 years after the first. Could this still be a young wine? On opening, seemed unbalanced and slightly tannic. On second day the wine blossomed. Dark fruit (blackberries and plums) with anise and cocoa. Tannins softened nicely and resolved into a wonderful full-bodied wine. Some things take time.
Best showing for this wine so far and noticeably better than my immediately prior bottle (July 2015). Opened two hours ahead of time, this wine was slightly above medium bodied and nearly perfectly smooth and round. Fruit notes of blackfruit and berry through the middle with well integrated tannins, licorice and earth on the finish. This wine displayed a decided elegance where the fruit showed nicely and the tannins provided an unobtrusive backbone and the finish sailed without drying notes. This was the first bottle where I felt that all the components had integrated fully and you tasted the complete wine rather than being able to note its cab, syrah and cab franc notes individually. I think it should have a year or so at this level, but this feels like peak and I plan to drink my last bottle in July 2016.
A bit disjointed, rough and light at first, but after about half an hour, it settled down and by an hour in, it had smoothed out nicely. Medium bodied and very soft and open at this stage. It's 74% cabernet, but I would have guessed a predominantly merlot based blend, but for the herbs, leather and spices on the finish. This is a very nice wine for everyday drinking, but it's not tremendously complex. It's soft, open and in balance now and I don't see additional time in the cellar as bringing any major benefit. Still, a good value for drinking over the next year or two.
Still very rough around the edges but it nevertheless brings a nice contrasting combo of savory herbs vs. rich, dark fruit. Not sure it will completely balance out but it should get a little better in the next few years. Great BBQ wine.
All that I had expected and more. Pretty, well-integrated and deftly balanced. To reiterate, although California has trouble blending these two assertive varieties; usually resulting in chunky, angular, almost clumsy wines, Washington seems capable of pulling it off with the greatest of ease and finesse. This one sang, with notable restraint and a level of intrigue that kept my interest. (89+)
Wonderful aroma upon opening. The wine looks purple colored. The legs are medium. There is no sediment in the bottle. It smells like strawberry and blackberry. The body is medium/full. The wine has linear texture. The wine finishes long.
Bummer that I still can't accurately evaluate this wine, as I really think it's promising. The first bottle was corked (side note: I emailed Garagiste and, with no questions asked, they promptly - like within 24hrs - credited my cc. KUDOS!) This one was intriguing from the get go but after less than a glass, I returned it to the cooler for what was supposed to be another day...then forgot about it until today; day 3. Tell-tale WA aromatics - more European than Cali - with brick dust and liquid smoke, in very subtle doses. WA wines are a refreshing change from our Cali offerings, which tend to be overtly & sweetly fruited...the very reason why Cab-Syrah blends fail so miserably here, IMHO. On the contrary, this blend is balanced and well integrated. Unique without being confusing or losing its identity. I'll certainly have more to offer after my final (and better planned) bottle.
Not enjoying this second bottle as much as the first. The heat and ripeness speaks more to California than Columbia Valley and I find it just too aggressive. Attractive bouquet but I can feel every degree of the 14.8%. 4+10+14+7 = 85
Just fantastic. Didn't decant, but it was open for an hour or two. Rich, rounded, nice but mild tannin, fruity but not jammy. A little oak, but not too much. An excellent QPR at $20. Went perfectly with pork tenderloin in white wine pan sauce. Wouldn't be good with anything bigger, which would overpower the wine. Would disappear quickly by itself, too. Looking forward to remaining bottles, which needn't be rushed here.
As before, this really opened up and changed for the better with a 2 hour decant. Lots of dark fruit and balanced tannins. Maybe a bit heavy on the oak, but I still enjoyed it, especially for the price. 90-91
Dark purple color. Medium-plus body. Strong tannins followed by medium acidity. Dark fruit with minor notes of chocolate. Oaky but not overly so. Nice balance all around and complex enough to keep me looking forward to the next sip. Even though it's a blend, feels to me like a big West Coast cabernet. And, since I don't usually drink that type of wine, this is a great change of pace.
Blackfruit and mineral on the nose. Dark blackfruit predominates and the mineral component really shines through. The syrah softens and lightens up the cabernet while the cab franc adds structure, especially on the finish. Not as powerful or structured as I had expected, but very round and refined, especially after an hour. Very enjoyable for drinking over the next five years and excellent QPR.
Decanted. Dark plum color with translucent edges and a medium plus texture. Jammy aromas of blackberry, spicy plum, cherry liqueur and creamy vanilla with a hint of evolving earthiness and some oak which eventually blows off. Flavor profile shows blackberry jam and plum jelly, toasty vanilla, juicy cherry, dark coffee, and loamy dirt. Dusty tannins, but balanced with a very pleasant long finish.
Enjoyable, jammy-style red blend of Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, and Syrah. P&P'd with a quick dinner of BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, slaw, fries, and salad. Took about 30-45 minutes to really open up, so decant. Nose of tart blackberries, wood, and baking spices. Full-bodied palate follows with gobs of jammy blueberries, more blackberries, black currant, chocolate, mocha, leather, and subtle notes of green pepper (from the Cab Franc). I found the finish slightly thin and dusty, so I'd hold another year or so and drink through 2020. However, reasonably balanced and nice QPR.
A nose of dark fruits and spices, dark black in color. A full bodied exotic blend, with blueberry, plum, Asian spice and dark chocolate. Found it a bit disjointed, I like it’s sister offering Casima better, cool label. www.winelx.com
This was a huge surprise for me. I was expecting an average cab blend and instead got a refined beauty. Full bodied, full of cassis, rose petal, and black cherry. Integrated tannins suggest it can go further. But it's absolutely delicious now. For $20 this is a steal! Drink now-2018. On top of this, it's well balanced. It resembles more of a classic Napa cab than anything else. I know it's from WA state, but it tastes like it's from Napa. Don't quite understand the syrah component. But it adds a hint of fleshy grape at the end. Would love to see a blend with just the Cab Sauvignon and Cab Franc.
C: Quite dark. N: Big dark fruit, oak, vanilla, black cherry. P: Loads of dark fruit, oak, plum and black cherry. Full body. F: Medium with balanced tannins and acidity. This got an hour decant and really needed it. This would do well with some time or a decant.
Smell: Blackberry jam and lots of it. Oak. Bit of alcohol even after a day open.
Taste: I love it when a red wine from the USA at a $20 price point dares to be restrained and balanced. Moderately high acidity on the attack. Lots of extracted black fruit, blackberry, blackcurrant and black cherry as well, a little raspberry jam. Mouth coating and a nice moderately long finish with floral notes and even some graphite showing through. Tannins are dusty but not drying, lightly bitter. Exceptional value in a U.S. red.
Wow deep bold flavor a bit of pepper on the first hit. Beautiful full mouth feel with great structure and body. The nose was juicy dark fruits and chocolate. Smooth finish with a decent complexity. Great value at $20.
ZanZibar Cellars 2008 Barrel Tasting Event (Clark-Lewis Restaurant, Portland, OR): Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Syrah from Aldercreek Vineyard. Ziad said that 2009 was the last year for Aldercreek fruit for him and most other smaller wineries, as the owner passed away, and the new owner(s) don't want to deal with a bunch of small contracts. The bulk of their fruit will be sold to Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Crest (or was it Columbia Winery?). This wine smelled amazing. Very candied, with a delicious plum fruit balancing out the berries. Structure was intense and very layered, progressing across my palate and finishing with a lovely sweet blueberry.