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Compelling wines from Savage Grace


It seems to me that over the last several years the wine store scene has changed in Seattle.  There seems to have been a loss of enthusiasm in some of the stores.  This changed may have been signaled by the Whole Foods on 65th at Roosevelt Square opening up their walk-in wine cellar by removing the glass walls.   The inventory at Pete’s on East Lake seems to maintain more of the same stock with less peppering of unique wines.  Wine World and Spirits has a massive inventory of both but what good is all of the stock if no one has tasted the wine?  There are still interesting stores in Seattle and one of them is Pike & Western Wine Shop.  I personally think the selection here is even more diverse as of late.  Michael Teer is clearly excited and has done an excellent job of editing through everything that could be sold.

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I managed to see Michael during my recent trip to Seattle.  Michael has an unabashed love for Italian wine which means his Northwest selections tend to be rather interesting.  Of the few wines I purchased, Michael recommended the pair from Savage Grace Wines featured in today’s post.  I was quite taken by one of the wines such that I decided to move this post up in my ever-increasing queue.  Savage Grace Wines was only founded by Michael Savage in 2011.  His stated goal is to produce “lower-alcohol, balanced, and expressive wines”.   I do not select my wines based on alcohol level but I certainly appreciate lower-alcohol wines particularly when I feel like a bit of a drink.  Once  the 2013 Savage Grace Wines, Malbec, Dineen Vineyard, Rattlesnake Hills opened up, the only compelling choice was to see the bottle to the end.  Thus I appreciated the 12.8% alcohol.  This balanced wine was round, savory, had good acidity and tasted like nothing else.  A must try!  Just be sure to double-decant it for a few hours or wait until the temperatures drop below freezing.  The 2013 Savage Grace Wines, Cabernet Franc, Copeland Vineyard, Rattlesnake Hills was  clearly a Cabernet Franc wine.  It was a good wine but it remained a bit tight and not as exciting.  Perhaps I am unfair but then I hope you are reading this post because of my opinion. These wines were purchased as Pike & Western Wine Shop.

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2013 Savage Grace Wines, Malbec, Dineen Vineyard, Rattlesnake Hills – $25
This wine is 100% Malbec sourced from vines located around 1,000 feet in elevation.  The fruit was 70% whole cluster fermented then aged for a short period in neutral French oak.  Alcohol 12.8%.  The nose was aromatic with nice ripe, floral black fruit.  The mouth followed the nose becoming increasingly round and savory.  It had a little citrus then a mouth filling middle.  It reacted well to a few hours of air with the dark red fruit becoming a bit racy and round but balanced by the acidity on the tongue.  It reminded me of a Washington state wine and in an absolutely horrible comparison, had a uniqueness of flavor such as Boushey Syrah can provide.  ***(*) Now-2018.

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2013 Savage Grace Wines, Cabernet Franc, Copeland Vineyard, Rattlesnake Hills – $25
This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc sourced from vines located around 1,300 feet in elevation.  The fruit was destemmed, whole-berry fermented, then aged for seven months in neutral French oak barrels.  Alcohol 13.2%.  The nose revealed berries overlaying greenhouse aromas.  In the mouth were focused, round and tart fruit.  The flavors became savory with a sweet strawberry start.  There was acidity and a drier essence of flavors in the finish.  It remained compact over two days.  ** Now-2015.

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