Good Day, my fellow Winos (wear the badge proudly now, c’mon!). I’m not sure why it seems to me so long ago that I wrote my last blog, but it seems as though it’s been weeks! Must be the long, long nights of watching the Olympics. I actually am starting on this one now as I await the finals 200m IM swim between Lochte and Phelps. The suspense is too strong; it’s been a very emotional round for the US gymnasts and swim team.
Thankfully, as a nice break for the husband and I, we granted ourselves a date night! A local Spokane winery, Arbor Crest, boasts easily the most beautiful grounds in Eastern Washington. Fruit trees line the entrance as you drive up, a courtyard with fountains and a vineyard to the right greet you as you walk in. The entire winery is located on a bluff overlooking Spokane and Spokane Valley; it is quite the breathtaking view! Just as well as for their wine, Arbor Crest is well-known for the events they host throughout the summer. A series of concerts, ranging from blues to jazz to country, with a few special concerts by the lovely Spokane Symphony known as “Soireé on the Edge.” Our favorite is the Symphony, which is what brought us to Arbor Crest last night.
First up is from Arbor Crest is a 2010 vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon. We were given a small sample of the 2010 Malbec and the 2010 Cabernet. The latter wasn’t as heavy or peppery as the Malbec, and it was yet another warm evening. The Cabernet Sauvignon won out. On the nose are soft cherries, hints of plum. The flavors of plum follow through to the sip and are accompanied by blackberries and currant; dark chocolate and firm tannins are found in a long finish. I personally found the tannins soften the longer it sat; my husband did not seem to agree as he found the finish to be chocolatey sweet. If you do notice this, let it breathe a little longer and the finish will smooth out. The overall body of this wine is quite light for a Cabernet, and for a sultry summer night, light was welcome.
Intermission often calls for more wine. And so more wine did we get. Our second choice of the night was the 2010 Syrah. The sun had fallen behind the mountains, and the night began to cool down. With a nose of blackberries and spice, the slightly heavier body of this Syrah was a nice choice. On the palate the blackberries are met with blueberries for a touch of sweetness, nutty spice (the bottle says nutmeg?), licorice and earth follow into the finish with medium tannins. I detect subtle hints of cloves throughout the wine, just enough to really round out this medium bodied wine.
And the Gold goes to….! Oh, I wish I could post it, but since NBC isn’t showing it yet….Congrats, boys!
The Soirée on the Edge was a great start to Washington Wine Month (which is August, in case you didn’t know). And because it is Arbor Crest, wines tend to run a bit over the $20 price point I prefer to stay under. But it is date night, and there is a Symphony. Splurges need to happen. On discretionary occasions.
My final ratings:
Arbor Crest 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon ($24): ★★★ good The wine lacked the depth and flavor that I like in a Cabernet, but it is still a good wine
Arbor Crest 2010 Syrah ($26): ★★★★ great A well-balanced wine with lots of flavor
Either of these wines can be picked up at the Arbor Crest Winery, or by going online to http://www.arborcrest.com. They don’t do online orders, however the .pdf form can be called or faxed in, and that information is readily available on their site. I have not come across either of the wines in stores all that often.
So if you find yourself in Spokane, or already live here and want something fabulous to do, I highly recommend you check out Arbor Crest Winery and any one of the many events they host!
Until next time… celebrate Washington Wine Month!
Have you tried this wine before? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!