Washington Wine Club – May 2009

2005 Côte Bonneville, Carriage House
We have been trying to get enough of this wine to put it into the club since last spring, and we finally succeeded! Most of the single vineyard DuBrul wines we have featured in this club have been from Owen Roe, but this wine was made for the vineyard owners, Hugh and Kathy Shiels, under their Côte Bonneville label. The vineyard towers 1375 feet over the Yakima Valley, and has a unique blend of exposed basalt rock mixed with sedimentary soils and volcanic ash. Unlike warmer areas, DuBrul Vineyard wines seem to retain marvelous acidity while producing intense, powerful wines, even in a drought year like 2005. Bear thought this wine was ready to drink upon its release last year, although it is clearly capable of aging five to ten years. It’s a very elegant wine, with a core of cherry fruit, lots of spice, and a very long finish. The Shiels family recommends pairing it with Greek mousaka or tournedos au poivre (black pepper filets of beef tenderloin). It’s $49, and we do have more available.

2006 Stevens, 424 Yakima Valley Red Wine
West Seattle Cellars is never quite the same after a visit by Woodinville winemaker Tim Stevens. New, somewhat enigmatic art appears on the walls above the Washington blends, and wonderful new wines appear in our Washington club. This is the fourth vintage of Tim’s elegant Bordeaux blend, sourced now from four top Yakima Valley vineyards, Dineen, DuBrul, Sheridan, and the newcomer Meek. This year the blend is 44% Cabernet Franc, 43% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 13% Merlot. Unlike past years, we recommend holding this wine for a little time, maybe one to three years, to allow the Cabernet Franc tannins to soften. Tim found the 2006 growing season to be very challenging, and the low yields of the Cab Franc produced smaller berry sizes and firmer tannins. The wine is bolder and juicier than ever before, and the finish is particularly long. Even better, Tim was able to make a bit more, 433 cases, and so we can definitely get more. It is $33 this year and, as usual, a great match for any kind of roasted meat.