Thursday, November 27, 2008

06 Martin-Scott Raven Ridge Red

mmmmmm hmmmmmm that's a good bottle of wine. We just finished eating dinner and the turkey is in the fridge, Brad popped a DVD in from Netflix (Meet Joe Black, we are still debating who put it on the queue, no one wants to take the blame!) and I'm enjoying my second glass of this wine.

Last weekend we were driving around aimlessly and I wanted to see if this vineyard up the road from us was still for sale. For a measly $800,000 you too can live in the Wenatchee Valley with 5 acres of vines. Well, another 3 miles up the road is Martin-Scott Winery and I highly recommend it.

First off, let me talk about the wine. Here is another example of my award winning photography skills:

and the crowd goes wild!

This is a Cabernet Sauviginon-Syrah blend (61/39), 15.1% alcohol by volume, and cost $22. We tried this in the tasting room and were torn between this one, the Chardonnay, and the vintage Merlot which were all fab. But I digress as usual.

Color! Oy vey the color. This is again my idea of the perfect color for a Cabernet with great clarity, but it has the lovely amethyst undertones of all the Syrah's that I've experienced. It really reminds me of a pomegranate, currants, cranberries, and all the other delightful fruits that I could keep stuffed in my jowls all day long like a chipmunk.

The bouquet is very tight and benefits from a good airing out and lots of glass swirling. If you let the wine sit, the only thing that comes through for me is alcohol. Once I swirl it in my nose picks up a very nice fruit or berry of some sort but my nose can't put a name to it. I really need to start smelling stuff. I know how to expand my palate but I need to learn how to expand my...nose..palate... Obviously I need to expand my wine vocabulary as well!

As soon as the wine hits your lips get ready for a ride. This wine has great acid and tannin that pairs so well with food. For dinner tonight we had turkey, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce. All the savory, salty, umami flavors in the dinner simply popped with this wine. First and foremost this wine is creamy. Like, take a second look in the glass and check that its still translucent. I always hear people talk about a creamy wine and this is creamy! It also has a great dark fruit and plummy finish. The Two Vines Columbia Crest cab that I posted about also had a fantastic plum finish that I went bonkers over and this wine steps up to the plate as well.

Chris, the guy at the winery who was just awesome, showed me a new technique for tasting new flavors. You get a good mouthful, but not too full, and swish it around in your mouth until it warms up. Then you stop breathing, swallow, and let the flavors kick your butt. Tasting it this way makes me think of eating chocolate covered strawberries with a great cup of black coffee. It really brings out TONS of new flavors and adds a great deep dimension to the wine. I'm really into the lingering aftertaste of wine and this just takes the cake.

Martin-Scott Winery is a really great winery that feels very nice and cozy. When we went in, a girl from the family was decorating the Christmas tree and a grandson was running around saying hello to everyone like toddlers often do. Outside there was a porch with a really nice fire pit and a picturesque view of the foothills over the Columbia river. One thing that I really enjoyed about this winery compared to a few others that I've visited in the surrounding areas, is it doesn't feel pretentious. One of my big complaints about people's passions in the pacific north west compared to the south is that people tend to be quite pretentious and snobby about them. You cant just like the outdoors, you have to practially own REI and wipe your ass with pine needles. With wine, you have to have grapes you refuse to drink and know all the words to "Sideways" and give someone the stinkeye if they drink wine from a box. This winery felt like you walked into a family's home and they just happened to have a nicely stocked bar. And it felt like that because you literally did walk into the family's house that has the tasting room in the bottom floor.

They offered both white and red wines and ended with a cup of hot spiced wine. We had:

2007 Muscat Canelli

2007 Gewurztraminer

2007 Riesling

2006 Chardonnay

2005 Merlot Reserve

2006 Petite Syrah

2005 Syrah

The Chardonnay could have been the Pino Grigio. I can't remember for the life of me which one it was, but I do remember the nose was straight up Parmesan cheese, it was amazing! And this is not a bad thing. It made me want to grab some brie or goat cheese and roll around with the bottle. We already had some Riesling from Tunnel Hill at home and were looking for a nice red for Thanksgiving so we didn't get that this time.

The Gewurztraminer was very sweet and I think it would be a great dessert wine but I hate dessert wines. They are too sweet and remind me of kool-aid, I guess I like my wines a bit on the dry side and this would be great on a warm evening over a bowl of fruit. Technically it isn't a dessert wine but I still think it would do a smash up job of finishing up a long day.

I will always have a soft spot for Rieslings because, well, I just always will and this one was a great example of a Riesling. A bit on the sweet side for me, but I would have no problem polishing off a bottle any day of the week. It also had a fantastic bite to it that I search high and low for, a very slight bubble that dances on your tongue like its trying to shift to a sparkling wine. I really can't explain it better than that. When Brad and I were in Germany we were looking for some wine in Heidelberg. We got lost and ended up in this small wine boutique and bought a bottle of Riesling for 3EUR and it was simply shazam. This wine is the closest thing on American soil that I have found to that.

The last wine that I want to talk about is the Merlot Reserve they had decanted out for tasting. It was really smooth and oaky and I really enjoyed it. This was like Napoleon Dynamite for me. We watched Napoleon Dynamite shortly after it came out on DVD and while we watched it we thought it was good but not really anything to shout from the rooftops about. The next day we started quoting punchlines and a month later we were still telling each other to eat ham. This is like that, a positive delayed reaction. Maybe its because we were talking alot and the air in our mouth helped the flavors along, but I really want to go back and get a bottle of this. I think it would age fantastically but it was a wee bit on the spendy side for me. Maybe I can ask for a few bottles for Chanukah this year since Brad is still looking for ideas.

Well friends, dinner has finally settled enough that I want to grab a piece of pie. I made pecan pie and pumpkin pie both from scratch and they are rockin' even if I do say so myself. Tomorrow its all about leftovers, black friday deals, and going for my second trip to the gym.

Hope you and yours have tons to be thankful for and I recommend this wine and the Martin Scott Winery highly. Winery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from Noon to 5 PM, or by appointment. Please call a day ahead to set up an appointment. They are located on SE 10th Street in East Wenatchee, WA. (509) 699-8771.

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