Branham Jazz 2014, Napa Valley
Jazz! The Branham 2013 quartet continues to bring down the house! Presenting the group from
the Napa Valley: zinfandel (40%), petite sirah (20%), syrah (20%), and cabernet
sauvignon (20%). Sitting in for a short solo is the accomplished “Branham Rockpile
fruit.” Encore after encore, this proprietary blend never fails to satisfy the eye and
palate. Refined melodies of black-plum, dark berries and coffee notes are enhanced
by a purposeful symmetry of balanced tannins and acidity. Pair with music!
Tablas Creek Patelin de Tablas Rouge 2016$34.00
Patelin is French for village or community and the Patelin wines from Tablas Creek use fruit from neighboring vineyards as well as their own. The Tablas Creek Vineyard Patelin de Tablas is a blend of four red Rhône varietals: Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre and Counoise. The wine incorporates fruit from several of the top Rhône vineyards in Paso Robles, each vineyard selected for its quality. Like many red wines from the Rhône Valley, it is based on the dark fruit, mineral and spice of Syrah, with the brightness and fresh acidity of Grenache, the structure and meatiness of Mourvèdre and a small addition of Counoise for complexity. The 2016 Patelin de Tablas has a dark, Syrah-driven nose that is creamy, meaty, minerally, and a little bit wild. A little blue fruit lurks underneath and comes out with air. The mouth shows both Grenache and Syrah's influence, with black plum, boysenberry, chalky minerality and nice powdered sugar tannins that come out on the finish. Decant if you're drinking now, or age for up to a decade for secondary and tertiary flavors of meat and earth. Very Highly Recommended – Dan Berger's Wintage Experiences.
Sineann Merlot 2014, Champoux Vineyard, Columbia Valley, WA$44.00
Champoux — what else do you need to know? From the top-notch vineyard site comes this intense Merlot that is dark and powerful, complex and voluptuous. Dark, rich – to the point of voluptuous – powerful. This is what Merlot can be. Huge black cherry nose with graham, toast, and a hint of smoke. Sweet black cherry/plum flavors, accented by touches of plum liqueur, Chambord, toast, smoke, and pepper. Tannins are present, with a very slight grip. The finish, surprisingly for such a huge wine, has good acidity to balance the gobs of fruit. Sineann’s style is dark, aromatic with chocolate overtones and complex, silky tannins. A big, plush juicy wine. Paul Gregutt, Seattle Times, says: “…wraps its super-ripe cherry/berry fruit in rich layers of coffee, toffee and smoke.”
Own Roe Sinister Hand 2015$29.00
Long ago, during the 17th century, the O’Neills and O’Reillys were two revolutionary Irish families. They formed a rowing competition to reserve rights to some highly regarded land. The two rowing teams agreed that the first to touch the land, after rowing across the lake, would become ruler of the land. O’Neill’s boat was falling behind so a member of the crew grabbed his own sword, cut off his hand and threw it ashore, winning the title to rule the land. This land still remains in the family. This generous fusion in the Owen Roe Sinister Hand 2015 of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and Cinsault is easily approachable while displaying undeniable complexity. The Grenache portion of the blend contributes cranberry and raspberry candied fruit notes, while the Syrah delivers darker fruits and savoury characteristics. Mourvedre enhances the structure and richness of the body and provides delicate aromas of violets. The partially carbonic macerated Cinsault brings liveliness and tropical fruit flavors to the blend. Try pairing with a smoked salmon dish with cranberry sauce and grilled portabello.