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, August 10, 2007

Note Bene Cellars

There's a new AVA right smack in the middle of Seattle - South Park. Not really, but there could just as well be. Cadence, Fall Line, OS, and Note Bene are all producing excellent wines in South Park and a trip to the wineries is just a short drive from I-5 easily reached from almost anywhere in the Seattle area. These winemakers are serious guys and they source their grapes from the best vineyards in Eastern Washington.

Tim Narby, winemaker at Note Bene, is a graduate of the Boeing Wine Club and following the "tradition" of northwest winemakers, he is an experimenter, unconstrained by old world prototypical notions of what a wine should be. His 2003 Washington State Syrah is a good example - kind of a Rhone/Bordeaux hybrid. Eighty-three per cent Syrah from three different vineyards, the wine is complemented by four out of five of the classic Bordeaux blending grapes -Cab Sauv, Merot, Cab Franc, and Petit Verdot. Altogether, the grapes are sourced from nine different vineyards and at least four AVAs.

Our friend Mary, gave us a bottle. WOW! It is deep dark red with a nose of forest floor and mushrooms. Big, jammy, black fruit, tannin - definitely a food wine. All of Tim's wines this year are excellent and, in fact, we rated Note Bene one of the two most consistent wineries along with Willis Hall at Taste Washington.

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