Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Hi Ho Silver! - The Rhone Rangers were in Town

Last week, the Rhone Rangers arrived in town with a flourish of Ranger Hats and red bandanas. Jayne Cathcart organized a well planned tasting of Rhone Ranger wine at the Seattle Opera House, of all places. The tasting proceeds will benefit Farestart.

What is a Rhone Ranger you might ask? The Rhone Rangers are American winemakers from 170 wineries dedicated to making wine from varietals grown in the Rhone Valley of France. They make wonderful wines from varietals such as Syrah, Mourvedre, Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne. Unfortunately, this time, some of the wines were disappointing. Fortunately, there were some really wonderful wines.

"Silo" and the regular Syrah from Rulo were delicious. McCrea continues to make wonderful wines - check out the Sirocco. The Terre Rouge whites were good -clean and fresh, but this year's "Noir", a "Chateauneuf" blend, was disappointing. Their 2001 Sentinal Ridge, on the other hand, was a well made Syrah, as was the 2001 Black Bear Block Syrah from Zaca Mesa. Check out the Zaca Mesa Viognier. The 2003 Zefina Serience White, a blend of 50% Viognier and 50% Roussanne, was refreshingly free of oakiness having been barrel fermented in two to three year old barrels for seven months.

Syncline 2004 Revision was a good value at $20. All the whites at Tablas Creek were good and their 2003 Mourvedre was fabulous. Dusted Vineyards 2003 Syrah will stain your teeth after filling your mouth. Their Viognier is good in a slightly fruitier style. Owen Roe "Sinister Hand" is a tasty blend of 36% Grenache, 32% Syrah, 22% Mourvedre, and 10% Counoise from Elderling Vineyard. The 2003 Dubrul Syrah is definitely a splurge at fifty some odd dollars as is the Rockblock 2002 Seven Hills Vineyard Syrah. Curtis Winery made some good whites and there were others too numerous to mention. That's the roundup, folks, tune in next year.

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