I have to get this out there, and I apologize in advance. February has been a rough month for me, but this is not uncommon after battling months of grey and cold temps. December comes in, and I get excited for the first snowfall. Christmas in Spokane, after all, must have snow! January rolls in, and often I can tolerate it Although this year it appeared to be overly cold. Perhaps my tolerance for cold weather is finally wearing thin. But the February comes in, and it’s just like moving from one crappy room to another. The view doesn’t change, the skies are just as dreary; good ‘ol Eeyore comes out in full force. My husband and I escaped for a few days to rainy Seattle; the skies were just as grey, but at least it was 20* warmer and with a change in cityscape scenery. The stress of the quarter has had me burning the candle at both ends. Between the workload there and the desire for wine fatigued right out of me, I’ve been unduly quiet on the blog. For that, I apologize. Upon our return from the west side, feeling somewhat refreshed and ready to tackle the rest of the quarter, I felt it was time to celebrate! Celebrate what, you ask? Really, anything. Sometimes things get so blah that just saying life is worth celebrating can be a real mood changer. And so this is what we did!
Back over the Christmas season, my sister and her boyfriend wandered to our neck of the woods; escaping the beauty of Napa and hunkered down to weather 25* and snow in Spokane. Not wanting either of them to think Spokane was only dismal shades of grey, I did take them around to various wine rooms in town, as well as a fun trip to Coeur d’Alene. Trips to the mountains sadly never panned out. Spokane area does have some wonderful snowboarding or skiing though, if you’re setting your sites for next season! A must-see in Spokane is Arbor Crest Wine Cellars. I won’t go into much detail here, as I feel I gave some good impressions in my earlier writings on their Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah last summer. The grounds are beautiful and the view is breathtaking. I will say I have tried many of the wines, if not all, offered by Arbor Crest. The Syrah I like. The Malbec, especially their now 2010 vintage is wonderful. Personal preference, but I don’t care for their white wines. My sister’s boyfriend picked me up a bottle of their Sangiovese, and that is what I will discuss next.
Arbor Crest, though located in Spokane, brings their grapes in from various
vineyards around the state. I believe most come in from the Columbia or Yakima Valley(s). The 2010 Sangiovese comes in from the Arbor Crest’s (part-owned) Wahluke Slope AVA however, which is nestled within the Columbia Valley. Right away, with no breathing time, the Sangiovese rushes you with heavy oak. As it mellows out, the notes of strawberries and plum really shine through with hints of spice. On the palate, the oak comes in, and it met with herbs, plums, cassis, and firm tannins to round out the finish. An overall very pleasant drinking wine. I don’t often discuss second-night bottles, unless there is something especially noteworthy. For this Sangiovese, I found the second round to be even more smooth as the tannins have mellowed. Jammy flavors and notes of spice are more pronounced than I recalled them being the first night. Perhaps this Sangiovese just needed lots of breathing time. I don’t often use my decanter, next time I will be certain to do so for this Sangiovese. A very good wine, and one of my favorites by Arbor Crest. If patience is a virtue you lack (I mean no harm, I am that person), an aerator or decanter will be handy to have around. Chances are, the next time I pick it up, I may sit on it for a few months (or a year). I do feel this wine has good aging potential. 100% Sangiovese grape.
Arbor Crest 2010 Sangiovese: ★★★1/2 Very good wine
Arbor Crest has two tasting rooms located in Spokane, and their wines are widely available within the Spokane area. If interested in giving this Sangiovese a try, it retails for about $19. Ordering may also be completed through visiting the site at www.arborcrest.com (out-of-state shipping is limited).
Winemaker’s notes: Our Sangiovese from the Wahluke Slope Vineyard is a wonderful example of a Washington Sangiovese. The aromas of ripe strawberry jam and spicy notes unfold on the palate as clove and currant. This well established vineyard, situated in a warm and arid climate with a unique soil profile, yields these wonderful, jammy characters and hints of smoke and cassis. 100% Sangiovese. Alcohol 13.9%
Have you tried this wine? Please share your thoughts in the comments below! And remember, for every wine there is a palate….! Until next time, Cheers!