Friday, February 4, 2011

Columbia Valley 2004 Horizontal Red Wine Tasting

Perfect example of a horizontal tasting - three varied but complementary wines from the same region and same vintage - each mapping and highlighted perfectly with artisan cheeses and a dinner course. Listed in tasting order from lightest and simplest to heavier, more complex.Tasted at home w/ L, Mark & Shirley.

Northstar Merlot Columbia Valley 2004 - - RM 91 points: Deep dark purple color - medium-full bodied - may be the most expressive Northstar I have had with full burst of black berry, plum and red currant flavors giving way to sweet oak, spice and subtle vanilla with nicely integrated firm but silky smooth tannins. Lots of fine sediment coats the empty bottle. Consistent notes with earlier tastings.

Mapped well w/ soft cows milk cheese and the twiced baked potato.

Spring Valley Vineyard Uriah Walla Walla Columbia Valley Red Wine blend 2004 - - RM 89 points: Slightly brownish color, perfect cork, medium bodied - initial front of black pepper disappeared after twenty minutes - subtle black cherry and red berry fruits were diminished from last tasting a year ago giving way to hint of anise, slight mocha and leather with a moderate tannin finish.
Blend of 60% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Petit Verdot.

Mapped well with the Madam Chevre cheese course, and bacon infused green beans.

 Spring Valley Vineyard Walla Walla Columbia Valley Frederick red Bordeaux blend 2004 -  RM 92 points - Better than earlier vintages (2002-03) I have tasted of this wine - full bodied, dark inky color - big, firm, complex, brooding dark berry - blackberry & black raspberry fruit flavors, tones of cassis, spice, lead pencil - firm but smooth polished tannins on a full lingering finish. Blend of 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, and 5% Petit Verdot.

Perfect complement to hearty blue cheese, toasted herb bread and the steak course.