Cellar Management

Pick My Next Bottle – Taste Washington Wine Month

The March Installment of Pick My Next Bottle focuses on great bottles from some of the 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.

March is Taste Washington Wine Month. Taste Washington Wine Month in March 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. Unfortunately, as we all know, Taste Washington was cancelled this year. That won’t deter me from opening one of these beauties this weekend.

The Contenders:

  • 2003 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon – Another wine I’ve had multiple times recently, the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon (97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot) is pure perfection in a glass and yields off-the-hook aromatics of cassis, black raspberries, tobacco leaf, pepper and licorice. Deep, layered and even elegant, with a seamless texture that conceals the sheer wealth of material present, it builds through the mid-palate, possesses huge amounts of extract and masses of polished tannin on the finish. Despite the overall size, it never loses its Cabernet Sauvignon soul and has an almost Bordeaux-like savoriness and tannic frame. Still young (yet gorgeous none the less), it can be enjoyed now or cellared for another 10-15+ years. Drink now through 2028. 100 points from The Wine Advocate.
  • 2004 Leonetti Reserve – There are only 670 cases of the 2004 Reserve, a wine composed of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, and 11% Petit Verdot (a grape which does amazingly well in the Walla Walla and Columbia Valley AVAs). It spent 22 months in a combination of new French barriques and larger French oak. The aromatics feature pain grille, floral elements (especially violets), truffle, spice box, cassis, and black currants. Supple-textured, dense, and full-flavored, the wine has enough structure for up to a decade of cellaring and should drink well through 2040. 97 points from The Wine Advocate.
  • 2012 Cayuse Grenache God Only Knows – Structured and backward, the 2012 Grenache God Only Knows Armada Vineyard offers lots of framboise, black cherries, bouquet garni and spice to go with a full-bodied, seamless, elegant feel on the palate. It picks up more and more tannin with time in the glass, and needs 3-4 years of cellaring, but should keep for 15 years or more. Drink through 2027. 96 points from The Wine Advocate.

Which Washington Wine Should I Open?

  • 2004 Leonetti Reserve (43%, 12 Votes)
  • 2012 Cayuse Grenache God Only Knows (32%, 9 Votes)
  • 2003 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon (25%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 28

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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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