Giant Wine Red Blend & A Maryhill Cabernet

Tuesday, May 21, will mark the one year anniversary of The Washington Vine.  June will mark a year of my first encounter with a winery asking me to review their Tempranillo.  Little did I know, a new friendship formed that day with the amazing people of Patit Creek Cellars.  A shout-out to Big Ed for pulling through! And to Sonya and Edward who are working so hard to realize a dream of bringing their wonderful wine to Spokane.  It was this same review that was first picked up by The Washington Wine Report in Sean’s weekly round-up of blogger reviews.  While at times the blog gets quiet, this is still a creative outlet for me to escape from school work and (at least in my mind) help to promote the beauty that lies within the state of Washington and our wine industry.  To all of my readers, to Patit Creek, to Sean, and everyone else who has helped in some way to encourage me, I express my deepest gratitude.  Thank you.

With this being said, I happen to be sitting next to several books, with various other windows open on my computer pertaining to presentations I’m creating (sadly, not wine related), and articles of education law.  Jealous yet? ;)  But break time is over due, and I have a bottle of Giant Wine’s red blend and a Maryhill Cabernet Sauvignon waiting patiently for their review.

Ghost in the Machine Red Blend

Ghost in the Machine Red Blend

Giant Wine Company is the collaborative efforts of Gorman Winery and Mark Ryan Winery, both from Woodinville, WA, to bring about an everyday wine at a price more affordable than most.  Strolling through Costco yesterday, my husband noticed this red blend called “Ghost in the Machine” from the Columbia Valley AVA.  He liked the label, liked the name, assumed I would too, and picked it up for me to pour over.  The Ghost in the Machine Red Blend 2010 by the Giant Wine Company is 95% Syrah and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.  The nose is strong with smoky aromas, game, and black cherry.  On the palate is tart gooseberry and ripe cherry; a very fruit-forward front to this wine.  A smooth, oaky finish rounds out this medium-bodied wine.  This wine resembles a cool-climate syrah with the tartness in the palate.  While it has a nice flavor to it, I feel Ghost in the Machine lacks depth, and I’m left wanting more.  The winery offers this wine at $13 (, I picked it up from Costco for just under $10.

Ghost in the Machine 2010 Red Blend:  ★★☆☆☆  (OK wine)

Cabernet Sauvignon: it has been some time since I have last reviewed this varietal.  Painful it has been, too.  My last review of Maryhill was their 2010 Winemaker’s Red Blend, a double gold winner at the 2012 Seattle Wine Awards.  I was promised the Maryhill Cabernet Sauvignon would be one to compete against my favorite H3 Cabernet from Columbia Crest when I purchased this bottle a few weeks ago.  The wine presents a bouquet of sweet black cherry, cassis, and tart berry fruit.  Another fruit-forward palate of cherries and fig.  Baker’s chocolate

Maryhill Cabernet Sauvignon

Maryhill Cabernet Sauvignon

follows briefly with white pepper rounding out a bright, lingering finish.  A medium-bodied cabernet, this is not as bold as I generally experience with other cabernet sauvignon wines, it is a bit light in comparison.  A very nice wine, nonetheless.  This wine is available at several stores ranging in price from $15 to $22.  The Maryhill website no longer lists the 2009, and has moved onto the 2010 vintage. I will look for that as a follow up to this review.  This 2009 took Silver medal from the 2012 Seattle Wine Awards. While this wine does beautifully on its own, it does not stand up to the beef dish prepared. As cabernet is my favorite to pair with any red meat, I do find this to be disappointing.

Maryhill 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon:   ★★★1/2☆  (Good wine)

Winemaker’s notes were not available by website for either wine.

Have you tried either of these wines before? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!


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