What a year 2012 has been! I know for us personally, it has been a beautiful and blessed year: we purchased a house and finally bid adieu to the life of apartment management. While I won’t ever snub my nose at that job (it did after all, provide me the chance to stay home with the kiddos, finish school, and save for a house), I will never willingly go back to it; four years of that is more than enough. And when my Chevy Blazer decided it no longer wanted to make the long trek to school daily and be a reliable method of transportation, I cried, then rejoiced when the Lord provided us the means to get a newer, far more reliable, vehicle. My kids are growing up healthy, I have started graduate school, and at my husbands encouragement, I began this blog, sharing with all of you my experiences of Washington state wine. Some of my favorites from this year: Mercer Estates Riesling, H3 Cabernet Sauvignon by Columbia Crest, along with the Amitage red blend. I can’t ever forget my first Sauvignon Blancs from Matthews Estates and Sulei Cellars. Nor will I forget the kindness of Edward from Patit Creek Cellars, encouraging me to join Twitter to help promote The Washington Vine. Of course, I have found in addition to Edward’s kindness, Patit Creek does produce some pretty phenomenal wines. The Roux will go down as one of the greatest I’ve tried in 2012, right up there with a Mourvedre by Cline Cellars and a Sangiovese from Icicle Ridge Winery. For the purpose of this blog I never did review either of those two. But if you are looking for another celebratory red wine, Icicle Ridge is located in the beautiful town of Leavenworth, and you can pick up the Sangiovese for “only” $55. I won’t think to leave you out either, Sonya! I look forward to your move to Spokane in the spring!
This year found me San Francisco, where I was able to re-discover California wine. I fell in love with Cline Cellars wine, enjoyed breathtaking views from Artesa Winery, and found new love for my home here in Spokane. Artesa makes a beautiful Pinot Noir; Washington makes the best Cabernet I’ve had. The trip to San Francisco inspired me to explore my own area. It was only then I’d realized Spokane claims early 20 wineries around town. I think I have reviewed on this blog only five: Lone Canary, Caterina, Arbor Crest, BridgePress, and Cougar Crest. I would also be found in Reno, NV (right after leaving San Fran), but for less enjoyable reasons. My husband and I learned the importance of improvising when this trip (for school/business) landed smack on our wedding anniversary. We had the funds for him to join me, and we made Reno fun with museums, antique shops, and a romantic dinner at the casino/resort we were staying at. Neither of us gamble. At all.
In the midst of all of this, buying a house meant moving to a new location closer to my husband’s work. I cried with my son when, at all of age five, realized he’d be leaving his best friends behind forever, only to start anew with all the uncertainties a new first-grader would encounter. I do feel my emotions strongly. I’m a red-head, I’m certain it comes with the territory. I wept when the East Coast was ravaged by Sandy. I cried for days for the families in Connecticut. I realize my thoughts and prayers will not always be of comfort to any affected, and they certainly won’t be an immediate fix. My chosen profession of School Psychology forced me to accept once again these tragedies are why I have chosen this career, and not necessarily for the testing of children. Yes, I want to help every child in school succeed. But when a tragedy strikes again, children need to be sure their voices will be heard, and that help will be provided.
But you don’t read my blog to hear my musings on life. You want to know about the wine! BRING ON THE WINE!! This week I reviewed a Syrah from Dussek Cellars, just one label from the grander WoodHouse Wine Estates. WoodHouse is home to Darighe, Dussek, Hudson Shah, Kennedy Shah, and Maghee wines, and hail from the Rattlesnake Hills of Washington state. I hope you check out their website (www.thewoodhousewineestates.com) and read about the wines. It seems clear to me they are a tight-knit, family-run winery. The Hudson and Kennedy Shah labels are so named for their two children. My dad brought me two of their labels to try after meeting a representative from WoodHouse at a local Costco store. Tonight, on this “Night of all Nights,” a beautiful New Years Eve, I bring you Dussek Cellars 2009 Syrah.
The Dussek Syrah is strikingly dark for a Syrah: a beautiful, dark purple. The nose is too light; though with concentration I detect wood and incense. However, don’t let the nose fool you, as the palate brings in much more. Oak, blackberry and fig meet you up front. The palate overall lingers for quite a while with mild tannins, and a soft finish of oak and spice. Overall, this Syrah is a decent wine. Even after breathing for quite some time, allowing the wine to open up, I never did detect any real bouquet. This Syrah would be fine to store for a bit, allow it some more time to come into itself. You can find this wine in stores or online at the WoodHouse Estate website for around $20.
Dussek Cellars 2009 Syrah by WoodHouse Estates: ★★★1/2 (decent/good wine)
Winemaker notes: Alluring aromas of mocha and incense framed by a long palate of blackberry, black cherry and fig. The finish is notable for the finely cut mineral and spice notes, and the acidity brings balance and harmony, which shows impressive depth for the vintage. 13.8% Alcohol
So now with 2012 behind us… let’s charge forward and see what 2013 has in store for us! I would like to ask you, the reader, for your thoughts on wines to try this year? Is there a varietal you’ve been wanting to try or want more information on? A particular winery? I’d love to hear from you! I wish you and your family all the best in this new year! May 2013 be a blessing and fill your homes with laugh and laughter! Cheers!
Have you tried this wine before? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!