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, March 21, 2006

Brian Carter Wine Tasting

On a beautiful sunny Seattle afternoon, I had an opportunity to taste the new wines of Brian Carter Cellars. The 2004 Oriana, a blend of 45% Rousanne, 36% Riesling, and 19% Viognier, was fresh and crisp with hints of citrus. This wine was so much better than most French Rhone Valley whites, more like a dry Alsatian white. Definitely a food wine, it will go great with fish and seafood, but fruit and cheese, too (about $25 a bottle).

The 2002 Tuttorosso Super-Tuscan Style blend of 51% Sangiovese, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Syrah had a bouquet of tobacco and leather, followed by good fruit with the Sangiovese tanginess of a Chianti, the tannin of the Cabernet and the rich color of the Syrah. Brian says this is his favorite (about $32).

The 2002 Byzance, a South Rhone-Style blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, had subtle fruit in the nose with a slightly vegetative element, medium body and good fruit, and a hint of tanginess in the finish
(about $ 32).

The 2002 L'Etalon Boreaux-Style blend of 51% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec, and 4% Petit Verdot is nicely balanced with lots of mouth-filling black fruit flavors and a hint of tannin in the finish. With it's blend of all the classic varietals, this wine is very reminiscent of a left bank Medoc, perhaps from St.Julien. This was my favorite of the pack (about $32).

The 2000 Solesce Bordeaux-Style blend of 44% Merlot, 32% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Malbec had enough good fruit to last through the several years required to tone down the tannins. Definitely a wine to age, Brian estimates it will improve over the next decade (about$60).

If I were sitting down to a fine meal, I would want to have the Oriana with oysters and the L'Etalon with rack of lamb. Congratulations Brian on a great start. Oh, by the way, Brian will be working some more of his magic with Abracadabra, a red blend to be priced at about $16. Look for it in about six months.


  • At 1:28 AM, Blogger Alex said…

    really helpful i enjoyed tasting his wines at his new woodenville office. My personal favorite was the sollece but each wine was its on beauty.

  • At 1:31 AM, Blogger Alex said…

    His wines were wondeful, leaving nothing to the imagination his artistry was incredible as he walked my tour through each blend. I favored the sollece, but each member enjoyed a different variety. i highly recommend his tasting room in woodenville right by San Michelle

  • At 9:10 AM, Blogger SeattleWineBlog said…

    Thanks for your comment, Alex. Brian has been making beautiful wines for years at Apex winery and he still does. There are some great values to be had there. Gene


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