2010 William Church Bishops Blend
Bottle Notes, Random Musings

Syrah & Cabernet Sauvignon at Woodinville’s William Church Winery

William Church Winery was founded by Rod and Leslie Balsley in 2005. The winery is named after Rod’s father William and the middle name of Leslie’s father, Church. Matt Loso, then of Matthews Estate was their first winemaker. Rod Balsley assumed winemaking responsibilities in 2008. Rod and Leslie are both actively involved in all aspects of the winery. Rod manages…

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2001 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir
Bottle Notes, Pinot Noir

2001 Williams Selyem Pinot Noir Ferrington Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Williams Selyem Winery began when Ed Selyem and Burt Williams started making wine as a hobby in 1979 in Forestville, California. Their first commercial release was in 1981. In less than two decades, Burt and Ed created a cult-status winery of international acclaim. Setting a new standard for Pinot Noir winemaking, they put Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley at the…

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Random Musings

Wines and Charities

For three years now my wife, Lisa, and I have helped to procure wines for the Komen Grace Notes Auction held each March in Seattle. Due in large part to the success of last year’s event, the Puget Sound Affiliate was able to award $2.85 million in grants to local non-profit organizations providing breast cancer screening, treatment options, and support…

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2011 Bedrock Syrah
Bottle Notes, Syrah

2011 Bedrock North Coast Syrah – Bottle Notes

Bedrock Wine Co. was founded by Morgan Twain-Peterson in 2007 and focuses on small production wines from several of California’ s most treasured and historic vineyards. I’ve lost track of the number of wines Morgan makes, but Syrah and Zinfandel seem to be the specialties. The 2011 North Coast Syrah is a blend of declassified Alder Springs and Hudson T…

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2005 Carlisle Russian River Valley Zin
Bottle Notes, Random Musings, Zinfandel

Has the Recipe at Carlisle Changed?

Robert Dwyer of Wellesley Wine Blog recently tweeted a less-than-favorable impression of 2010 Carlisle Sonoma County Syrah. I respect Robert’s palate and think my tastes are somewhat aligned with his, so I was surprised that he did not enjoy a staple from one of my favorite producers. I began to wonder: Has the “recipe” at Carlisle changed? I’ve had the…

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Quilceda Creek
Random Musings

Give Quilceda Creek Its Due

The release of the 2010 Quilceda Creek Cabernet Sauvignon to mailing list members began last week. As in years past, there seems to be a movement on the various wine boards to knock Quilceda Creek off of it’s pedestal. A common opinion is that Quilceda Creek is not worthy of the “inflated” scores it received from Jay Miller of the…

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1996 Lynch Bages
Bordeaux, Bottle Notes

1996 Chateau Lynch Bages – Bottle Notes

The 1996 Lynch Bages was the leading vote getter in January’s Pick My Next Bottle survey. The winery is located in Pauillac, and is designated a 5th growth as determined by the classification of 1855. At release time, the wine received a rating of 93 points from the Wine Advocate. I purchased this bottle on release and the cork was in…

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2005 Betz La Cote Rousse
Bottle Notes, Syrah

2005 Betz Family Syrah La Côte Rousse – Bottle Notes

Betz Family Winery was founded in 1997 by Bob & Cathy Betz. Critical acclaim from local and national wine publications has put Betz Family Winery at the forefront of Washington wines alongside Cayuse, Leonetti and Quilceda Creek. Although the winery was recently sold to Steve and Bridget Griessel (with Bob Betz remaining on as the winemaker), I expect quality will…

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2008 Rivers Marie Chardonnay
Bottle Notes, Chardonnay

2008 Rivers-Marie Chardonnay B. Thieriot Vineyard – Bottle Notes

Thomas Rivers Brown and his wife Genevieve Marie Walsh have quickly made Rivers-Marie one of California’s most sought after Pinot Noir labels. The winery was founded in 2002 and the first release was the Rivers-Marie Summa Vineyard Pinot Noir. Rivers-Marie also does several single vineyard Cabernets and a Chardonnay. In addition to making his own wine, Thomas serves as a…

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