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October 2018 Cellar Club

Posted by Nick Savasta on

October 2018 Cellar Club
Washington Wines
An important winegrowing state increasingly recognized for its high-quality reds and whites, Washington ranks second in production in the U.S. after California. Washington wines continue to gain well-deserved popularity as they garner higher and higher praise from critics and consumers alike.
Washington winemakers draw inspiration mainly from Napa Valley, Bordeaux and the Rhône as well as increasingly from other regions like Spain and Italy. Most viticulture takes place on the eastern side of the state-an arid desert in the rain shadow of the Cascade mountains. Temperatures are extreme, with hot and dry summers and cold winters, during which frost can be a risk.
Washington’s wine industry was initially built on Merlot, which remains an important variety to this day, despite having been overtaken in acreage planted by Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Washington reds tend to express a real purity of concentrated fruit. The best examples have a bold richness, seamless texture, plush or powdery tannins and flavors such as licorice, herb, forest floor, espresso and dark chocolate.
In terms of white wine, Riesling is the state’s major success story, producing crisp, aromatic examples with plenty of stone fruit that range from bone dry to lusciously sweet. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc perform nicely here as well, and Viognier is beginning to pick up steam.
Cheers and thank you for being a member of The Cellar Club!
Wine Pick #1:
2016 Barnard Griffin Sauvignon Blanc
Columbia Valley, WA
It would seem that mergers & acquisitions have migrated from Wall St. to vineyard rows. It’s difficult to know the who’s and how’s of winemaking in this corporate and consolidated landscape.  Thankfully, there are still dedicated, family-owned wineries like Barnard Griffin producing wines of character. Rob Griffin and Deborah Barnard established Barnard Griffin in 1983 with a single truckload of fruit and a rented cellar and it has become one of Washington’s most enduring and award-winning wineries in the decades since. Rob’s early vision of handcrafting the highest quality WA wine continues into his fourth decade. He’s still there. He still cares. That matters.
Wine Pick #2: 
2017 Owen Roe Ex Umbris Syrah
Yakima Valley, WA
Ex Umbris, meaning out of the shadow, began as a result of the 2002 vintage that was marked by nearby wildfires.  Their residual ash and smoke left a profound mark on the grapes. Now, 10 vintages on, this Syrah has retained a bold profile, albeit richer and silkier than smoked!  The gorgeous 2017 is already showing beautifully, but will continue to develop and evolve well into the mid 2020s, making this little beauty a cellaring star.
Winemaker David O’Reilly continues to shine in his quest to craft wines of pleasure and balance from one of the wine world’s underappreciated locales.
CHEESE PAIRING OF THE MONTH:
Cablanca Goat Gouda
It is a chalky white (think houses along the Mediterranean Sea white), creamy and mild in taste. As goat cheese goes, it’s not “too goaty”. In fact to introduce yourself to goat cheese, this would be a great “entry level” cheese to get your feet wet before moving on to Hard Goat Cheeses.

It has a sweet and almost butterscotch flavor; something it shares with other aged goudas, which rank among our favorites. Holland may not be the cheese capital of the world (France and Italy are duking it out for that title) but the Dutch sure know how to deliver a great Gouda.
Also, check out our simple but delicious 
Recipe of the Month:
GRILLED GARLIC BUTTER MUSHROOMS

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