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Three wines tasted in Seattle


I spent the evenings of my recent trip to Seattle reading late 20th century wine articles.  This, of course, requires wine to maintain focus and the first bottle I opened was a random grab.  I noticed two red wines at Whole Foods imported by Barrique Imports, a name new to me, so I grabbed the less expensive 2012 Clos de Caveau, Les Bateliers, Cotes du Rhone.  It was everything I could hope for, earthy and traditional with complex fruit.  And that is out of a hotel tumbler!  It drank great on the second night.  If you like the wines that I enjoy then buy many bottles of this.  I only hope it becomes available in DC.

The next night I was torn between Pike Place Market and Capitol Hill (which I did not visit last trip) so I headed east to Bar ferd’nand.  It was my first tim seeing the reconfigured space which happened to coincide with Wines of the PNW and in particular MTHRFCKN Memaloose.  Brian McCormick, farmer and cellarmaster at Memaloose, had driven up to pour several of his wines.  I first tasted Memaloose nearly four years ago when I tried the Cabernet Franc and Barbera based wines.  I could not resist a chat nor picking up a bottle.  For those back home this is available in DC and Virginia.  Say yes to Oregon Cabernet Franc and Barbera.  Finally, the 2012 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Petalos, Bierzo is full-throttle Mencia.  Almost lust and certainly mouthfilling upon first pour, the wine balances out to become a selection for now and the cellar.  The Clos de Caveau was purchased at Whole Foods and the other two wines at Bar ferd’nand.


2012 Clos de Caveau, Les Bateliers, Cotes du Rhone – $19
Imported by Barrique Imports.  This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The attractive nose bore mixed red fruit and earthy aromas.  In the mouth the wine was almost prickly on the tongue, eventually becoming lively on the tongue tip.  It was immediately complex, earthy, and carrying both cedar and garrigue flavors.  While it is currently drinking great I suspect it will reach its peak in a year.  It was very similar on the second night just a touch firmer.  *** Now-2020.


2012 Memaloose, Estate Cabernet Franc, Columbia Gorge – $25
This wine is 100% Cabernet Franc sourced from the Idiot’s Grace vineyard.  It was fermented and aged in a mixture of oak and stainless steel.  Alcohol 13%.  Aromatic varietal notes with just the right hint of greenhouse.  With air this wine shows weighty, almost savory red and black fruit.  The greenhouse hint carries through shedding weight to become tart, tangy, and textured with grapey flavors and salivating acidity in the end.  ***  Now – 2018.


2012 Descendientes de J. Palacios, Petalos, Bierzo – $25
Imported by The Rare Wine Co.  This wine is 100% Mencia.  Alcohol 14%.  The flavors are not quite lush for there is texture, structure, and acidity.  With its dark fruit, this is Mencia unfurled that seems wanting to be drunk now but the building level of very fine, drying tannins hint at some future development.  It wraps up with graphite. What a strong mouth full of wine.  *** Now-2022.

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