Buying Wine

Pick My Next Bottle – Washington Legends

March is Taste Washington Wine Month. Taste Washington Wine Month is an annual celebration of Washington State’s award winning industry. The culmination of Taste Washington Wine Month is Taste Washington, a massive tasting of food and wine held at the CenturyLink Field Event Center.

With that in mind the March Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on great bottles from the very best producers in Washington. As I mentioned in the first installment, the purpose of this series is to provide insight into specific wines or producers you may currently have in your cellar. The winning bottle will be opened this Sunday and a Bottle Note will be published later that week.

The Contenders

  • 1998 Leonetti Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – I could not help breaking into a smile when I tasted the medium to dark ruby-colored 1998 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve. Its extraordinarily spicy, cherry syrup-scented nose leads to a flavor profile that explodes on the palate with substantial quantities of cherry syrup, raspberry coulis, and Asian spices. Gary Figgins’ Cabernets can be as boisterous as Olivier Humbrecht’s Gewurztraminers. The purity and power of the sweet, spicy fruit flavors found in this wine are truly extraordinary. Additionally, it possesses an extremely long, candied, sweet tannin-filled finish. 96 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2002 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvigon – Unlike some minuscule production “cult” wines or luxury cuvees culled from a winery’s primary product that have earned perfect scores over the years, Quilceda Creek’s Cabernet Sauvignon is the winery’s raison d’etre and is produced in significant quantities (3,400 cases in 2002, 3,425 in 2003). For accomplishing this feat the Golitzens should be doubly proud. Dark ruby-colored and sporting a nose of violets, sweet blueberries, dark cherries, and slight undertones of asphalt, the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon blossoms on the palate to expose a wine of ethereal delicacy yet immense power. Medium to full-bodied, it expands to reveal concentrated layers of cassis, blackberries, red cherries, raspberries, violets, spices, and touches of candied plums. This rich, exquisitely balanced, sweet, and broad wine is harmonious, graceful, and awesomely long. 100 points from the Wine Advocate.
  • 2008 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard – The 2008 Armada Vineyard Syrah takes the longest to come around according to Christophe Baron. It was aged in puncheon for 22 months. Smoked meat, game, Asian spices, lavender, and blueberry are just some of the scents composing the wine’s aromatic array. In the glass it opens to reveal a pure, rich, elegant but powerful wine with a 60-second finish. It, too, will drink nicely for 10-12 years. I’m a bit cautious on my aging potential estimates because of the lack of a track record. 98 points from the Wine Advocate.

Which Washington Legend should I open?

  • 1998 Leonetti Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (53%, 30 Votes)
  • 2002 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon (35%, 20 Votes)
  • 2008 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard (12%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 57

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Thanks for voting! I’d love to see a comment below on why you picked one bottle over another. Also, let me know if you have any suggestions for the April Installment of Pick My Next Bottle.

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2 thoughts on “Pick My Next Bottle – Washington Legends

  1. Another fabulous line-up, Tom! My pick is the 1998 Leonetti Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine should be drinking beautifully right now and probably won’t get any better with additional age. In contrast, the 02 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvigon and 08 Cayuse Syrah Armada Vineyard might benefit from more time in bottle. Thus, I would go with the Leonetti. Cheers!

  2. Love all three of those wines but would be most intersted in the QC. I’ve heard polarizing opinions on QC so should be interesting to see where it’s at.

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