2019 Côte Bonneville, Chardonnay, $55
Winery Info: Hugh and Kathy Shiels bought land in the Yakima Valley in 1991 and soon began tearing out the original orchard to plant classic grape varietals.
Recognizing the potential of the site, they founded Côte Bonneville as an estate winery in 2001 to produce classically styled wines that express the unique terroir and microclimates of what is now the highly acclaimed DuBrul Vineyard. Their daughter, Kerry, has been immersed in the vineyard and the winery since its inception and, after receiving her masters in Viticulture and Enology from U.C. Davis and training both here and abroad, she is winemaker at Côte Bonneville and is highly acclaimed for creating world class wines from their fruit.
Grapes: 100% Chardonnay, barrel fermented in French oak and aged 17 months on lees.
Vineyard: Their estate DuBrul Vineyard, one of most sought-after vineyards in Washington. It towers 1,375 feet over the Yakima Valley, with a blend of exposed basalt rock mixed with sedimentary soils and volcanic ash. Their own-rooted vines impart a purity of expression and finesse to their wines.
Flavor Profile: This aromatic Chardonnay is lovely and elegant, with its richness and texture perfectly balanced by freshness and bright acidity. With floral notes and hints of hazelnut, and a long, graceful finish.
Availability: We got all that was left of this vintage.
Drinking Window: Enjoy anytime over the next two or three years.
Food Pairing: The winery says one of their favorite pairings for this wine is marinated black cod.
2017 Cellers Can Blau, Mas de Can Blau, $45
Winery Info: Cellers Can Blau is located in the D.O. of Montsant in northeast Spain. It is part of the Gil Family Estates, which has wineries in various regions throughout the country. Montsant basically surrounds the smaller region of the Priorat, and has a variety of soil types, including the licorella slate that give wines from the Priorat their distinctive minerality. Can Blau grows a variety of grapes in different parts of the region, allowing them to maximize the expression of terroir in their blends.
Grapes: Roughly equal parts Cariñena (aka Carignan), Syrah, and Garnacha, aged 18 months in French oak.
Vineyard: The Garnacha is sourced from vineyards in Cornudella de Montsant, at around 2,000 feet in elevation with slate soils; the Cariñena vines grow in clay soil in the Darmós and Masroig area; and the Syrah is planted on limestone soils.
Flavor Profile: Wonderfully aromatic, with notes of ripe red and black fruit and a hint of smoke and vanilla. It is medium bodied, with good structure, great minerality from the licorella soil, and a touch of spice and cracked pepper. It continues to open up with air, and the flavors linger long on the finish.
Availability: This wine is still in good supply.
Drinking Window: Enjoy anytime over the next five years.
Food Pairing: Pair it with grilled lamb or pork, or perhaps with a hearty paella.