Oregon and Washington dominate this weeks tastings.

This week we were lucky enough to taste some beautiful wines from the Walla Walla Valley of Washington and the Willamette Valley in Oregon. Shea Vineyards and Raptor Ridge make gorgeous Pinots that are a great representation of what Oregon Pinot should be and Reynvaan is one of the more famous producers in Washington, and for good reason. The whites that we tasted were out of this world.

We also were lucky enough to taste a current release, a pre-release, and a library release from one of our favorite producers out of Napa, Macauley. The Macauley Vineyard label was originally established in St. Helena in the early 1980s by Ann Macauley Watson. In the late summer of 2000, Ann’s son Mac was inspired to revive the family label, and, working with winemaker and childhood friend Kirk Venge, crushed his first grapes in October 2001.

2013 Macauley ‘Reserve’

Cabernet Sauvignon  |  Napa Valley  |  AVAILABLE ONLINE

Macauley Reserve CabWine Spectrum Rated 96+: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% from the To Kalon Vyd./ 50% from the Star Vyd.  Barrel fermented, this beautiful wine reveals notes of black cherry, mocha, dark chocolate with a strong tannin structure.  Concentrated with cascading layers of luscious textures.  Decant and drink now or lay down for 20 years.

Robert Parker Rated 94+: The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve has an inky blue/black color, tremendous body and richness, and really seems even stronger than the two Beckstoffer cuvées, which is hard to believe. This is intense, full-bodied, with layers of flavor and a great finish. Drink it over the next 20 years.

2013 Shea Wine Cellars ‘Homer’

Pinot Noir  |  Willamette Valley

Shea Pinot 2013-HomerWine Spectrum 95+: Our “best barrel blend”, Homer displays all the best of the vintage: floral and savory aromas with concentrated blue and black fruit on the palate. The wine has concentration, complexity, structured tannins and a very long finish. 

370 cases produced.


2012 Raptor Ridge ‘Estate’

Pinot Noir  |  Willamette Valley

2012estateWine Spectrum Rated 95: Fruit for this bottling came entirely from our east-southeast facing estate vineyard, named Tuscowallame. First planted in 2001, our estate vineyard is composed of a variety of Pinot noir clones including: 115, Wadenswil, 667, 114, 777 and Pommard. Like a strong, confident burlesque performer, this is a wine that is not coy, or shy. The nose is outgoing with ripe cherry fruit, sweet pomegranate, and plum, with soft notes of clove cigar, and musk. The curvy palate is lush with red cherry, Italian plum, and Marionberries. Note the pleasing floral qualities of lavender, and brown spices like nutmeg, pepper, and chestnut. With astounding acidity, and polished tannins this wine will drink well through 2017. Enjoy with a wild mushroom risotto.

2008 Macauley

Cabernet Sauvignon  |  Napa Valley  |  AVAILABLE ONLINE

Macauley CabernetWine Spectrum Rated 95: This is one truly enjoyable Cabernet. It offers a look into the blend of two of Napa Valley’s most revered AVA’s or Viticultural Areas. This blend consists of 57% grapes, farmed by famed grower David Abreu, of Rutherford’s Star Vineyard, and 43% from Beckstoffer’s Oakville Missouri Hopper Vineyard. Star typically possesses a lifting, ripe red fruit spectrum, and Missouri Hopper, a headier, blacker fruit array. Together they make one of my favorite Napa blends. The wine begins with a dark purple invitation. The aromas play to the tune of heady blackberry, dark chocolate-dipped cherry, faint dried herbs and a mixture of oak spice and vanilla. Its presence is rich. The palate is medium to full body with liveliness and a youthful structure. Black fruit, mature vine age and dignified terroir are the key pieces in defining this wine. Even though this is very young wine, it has the pedigree, poise and maturity of a classic Napa Valley Cabernet. It is difficult to wait patiently to see what becomes of this Cab in its twilight years. I’m banking on nothing less than breathtaking. Cellared correctly, this wine should survive to 2027 and beyond.

2013 Reynvaan ‘Queen’s Road Estate’

White Wine  |  Walla Walla Valley  |  AVAILABLE ONLINE

Reynvann Queens Road WhiteWine Spectrum Rated 94+: The Queens Road is named after a street in Hong Kong where relatives of mine were wine and spirits merchants in the 1800’s.  The wine consists of 70% Marsanne and 30% Viognier. The wine spends its time in a combination of new and used French oak and is usually aged between 11 and 13 months before being bottled. This wine sees full primary and secondary malolactic fermentation.

125 cases made.


2013 Shea Wine Cellars ‘Estate’

Pinot Noir  |  Willamette Valley

Shea Pinot Noir 2013-EstateWine Spectrum Rated 94: The fruit for the Estate is sourced from throughout Shea Vineyard. The nose and palate of our 2013 Estate express floral and dark red fruits with compliments of violet, black tea and white pepper aromas.

Drink now through 2025.


2014 Macauley ‘Dutton Ranch’

Chardonnay  |  Russian River Valley  |  AVAILABLE ONLINE

M7523Wine Spectrum Rated 94: In our 2014 vintage, I think we have sourced some of the best Chardonnay vineyards that Russian River has to offer. Formerly known as the Macauley Dutton Ranch Chardonnay, the 2014 Macauley Russian River Valley Chardonnay is  lighter- bodied than its predecessors. It is uniquely characterized by notes of wet river stone and a crisp, refreshing finish. Retaining this mineral-feel is achieved by aging our Chardonnay for 10 months in three completely different types of vessel: French oak, stainless steel and concrete. Concrete supports those cold wet stone and earthy notes while stainless steel barriques contain the raciness of the wine. The new French oak adds only a touch of wood to the bouquet- at just 6 percent. Bottled with gentle filtration, and a fine for polish, this Chardonnay blossoms with elegant citrus, honeysuckle, melon, a touch of green apple and very subtle notes of butterscotch.

2013 Shea Wine Cellars ‘West Hill’

Pinot Noir  |  Willamette Valley

Shea Pinot Noir 2013-West-HillWine Spectrum Rated 94: Sourced entirely from Shea Vineyard’s west hill, this wine is defined by floral aromatics with hints of pomegranate, blueberries and savory spice; a rich palate with smooth, well integrated tannins and a beautiful finish.

244 cases produced. 


2013 Reynvaan ‘Foothills’

Viognier  |  Walla Walla Valley  |  AVAILABLE ONLINE

Reynvaan ViognierWine Spectrum Rated 94: This Viognier come from our Foothills in the Sun Vineyard located at the base of the Blue Mountains in Walla Walla Valley. At 1600 feet in elevation it is one of the highest situated vineyards in the state.  I have 2 acres planted to Viognier with most going into co-ferments with Syrah and the remainder finishing as 100% VG white. The wine spends its time in a combination of new and used French oak and is usually aged between 11 and 13 months before being bottled. This wine sees full primary and secondary malolactic fermentation. 125 cases made.


2013 Raptor Ridge ‘Barrel Select’

Pinot Noir  |  Willamette Valley

2013barrelselectWine Spectrum Rated 94: We are thrilled to offer this new blend of 100 percent Pinot noir from our premium Estate Vineyard, and multiple vineyard partners throughout the Willamette Valley. The nose is pretty, with soft notes of red fruits like red currants, red raspberry and a meaty spice, with a hint of Oregon forest floor that cries out for chanterelles. The palate has an ample finish with notes of black tea and cherry compote. Enjoy now with chicken marsala, grilled herbed salmon, or cellar to see how this wine evolves. Feel free to decant this wine to encourage aroma development at the table.


2013 Reynvaan ‘Estate’

Grenache Blanc  |  Walla Walla Valley  |  AVAIlABLE ONLINE

Reynvann Grenache Blanc 2013Wine Spectrum Rated 93 Our Grenache Blanc began simply as a co-ferment grape that primarily goes into our Unnamed Syrah.  However, in recent years I was able to have enough extra to make very small amounts of straight GB. Our most “Burgundian” wine is highly aromatic, very mineral driven and has a fresh, clean, mouthfeel. It spends its time in a combination of new and used French oak and is usually aged between 11 and 13 months before being bottled. This wine sees full primary and secondary malolactic fermentation. 70 cases made.

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