2019 Fall Line Winery, Cirque Red Blend, $28
Winery info: Established by Tim Sorenson and his wife Nancy Rivenburgh in 2004 in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle.
Tim began as a “vintern” at Cadence Winery and brought with him great depth of experience, plus connections to some of the top vineyards in the state. The winery’s motto, “Balance. Grace. Depth,” truly defines his style.
Grapes: 68% Cab Franc, 17% Merlot, and 15% Cab Sauv, from Pollard (63%) and Dineen (37%) vineyards in the Yakima Valley. Aged 19 to 20 months in second and third-use French oak.
Flavor profile: This wine is very pretty and inviting. It is seamless and richly textured, with savory, nuanced flavors of cherry and herbs and a wonderful underlying minerality. The fruit from Pollard Vineyard (new this vintage) adds freshness and lovely floral aromatics.
Availability: 118 cases made. It was just released so it should be around for at least another six months.
Recommendation: Enjoy over the next five years or so, with duck breast, rack of lamb, earthy mushroom risotto, or roast veggies. You could also try it with roasted vegetables.
2018 Simpatico Cellars, Coalesce, Red Mountain Red Wine $28
Winery info: Founded by three alumni from the Northwest Wine Academy at South Seattle College, one of whom, Cassie Wistrom, interned here in the shop back in 2012. After graduating, Cassie worked at Lewis Cellars in Napa, and later with Bob Betz, one of Washington’s most respected winemakers, before she started Simpatico. Cassie and Craig Sosey are co-winemakers.
Grapes: 63% Cab Sauv, 25% Merlot, and 12% Petit Verdot, from Heart of the Hill, Scooteney Flats and Red Heaven vineyards in the Red Mountain AVA. Aged 24 months in 30% new French oak.
Flavor profile: The geology and climate of Red Mountain produce wine with excellent concentration, depth, and minerality. In the Coalesce, the classic European character of the grapes is balanced by a power that is distinctly Washington. It is plushly textured, rich, and elegant, with aromatic complexity.
Availability: 220 cases produced. This vintage should be available for at least three to five months.
Recommendation: Enjoy over the next three to four years with roast lamb with garlic and rosemary, roast beef, a nice steak, or Thanksgiving turkey.
2020 Amavi Cellars, Estate Syrah, $32
Winery info: Amavi is a sister winery to Pepper Bridge. Both wineries source fruit from the same highly coveted estate vineyards and share the same winemaker, Swiss native and European-trained Jean-François Pellet. Amavi wines tend to come from younger vines and see less time in oak, thus providing a more affordable opportunity to enjoy well crafted, impeccably sourced Washington wine.
Grapes: 91% Syrah and 9% Grenache, from 42% Les Collines, 32% Stone Valley, 16% Seven Hills, and 10% Summit View vineyards, all in the Walla Walla Valley AVA. Aged in French oak, 18% new.
Flavor profile: Dark, smooth, and elegant, with velvety texture and complex flavors of blackberry, fig, and baking spice and subtle olive notes. Well balanced, with beautiful richness and good acidity, it is a lovely expression of Washington Syrah.
Availability: 1,133 cases made. Just released, it should be in good supply through the end of the year.
Recommendation: Enjoy now (with decanting) up to around 2027. Great with grilled rack of lamb, or perhaps a rib eye steak with sautéed crimini mushrooms and fresh thyme.