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

Friday, April 07, 2006

There's Baers In Them Woods

After leaving DeLille, Passport weekend, we really wanted to be sure to get to Baer Winery, so we headed out highway 522 toward Duvall and after we left civilization, we turned off onto Paradise Lake Road and after a few turns we pulled into a mobbed dirt parking lot in front of a modest shed and followed the sound of country music to the wine.

It was worth the trip. Baer offered two wines - 2003 Ursa and 2003 Arctos. The Ursa is their "signature" wine and comes 90% from Stillwater Creek vineyard (thanks, Alborgs) and 10% from Boushey Vineyards (thank you, Dick Boushay) and is 50% Merlot, 44% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 1% Malbec. In other words it is a right bank Bordeaux-style blend. Baer describes it as feminine, but I found it hard and linear, needing age. Perhaps I got a sample from the bottom of the bottle (about $29).

The Arctos (which was sold out at the winery, but will be available at retail outlets in the coming weeks) has beautiful fruit and would definitely get a rating of "90." My wine note just says "Wow." Arctos is 72% Cabernet Sauvignon 10$% Merlot, 8% Cabernet France, 7% Petite Verdot, and 3% Malbec. The grapes are 100% from Stillwater Creek Vineyard and, like the Ursa, the wine is aged entirely in new French oak barrels for 21 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered. A classic left bank Bordeaux style blend, dominated by Cabernet Sauvignon, this wine proves that I am not biased in favor of fruit-forward Merlot dominated wines (about $34).

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