Friday, March 10, 2006

~March Cherry Pick~

It's a grapey month! March is "Washington Wine Month", as declared by the Washington Wine Commission. During the month, the state's wine industry will be the focal point with various events at several restaurants and wine shops through the state.

The valley's March weather has been true to the legacy of "In like a lion and out like a lamb." So, I thought this month I would choose two very different wines - a bold one like the beast and a delicate wine like a lamb.

The "lion" is the 2003 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon from Three Rivers Winery. 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc has gone into this vintage. Champoux is one of the oldest vineyards in the Columbia Valley with the first vines planted in 1972. This is an intense wine, showcasing the true varietal character of Cabernet. Deep cherry flavors and lots of tannins, which makes this wine perfect for aging. A medium to rare grilled peppercorn steak or add a topping of broiled bleu cheese makes a great pairing and I would finish it with a rich chocolate mousse or torte. Make it simple with a meat lovers style of pizza with lots of sausage and a Hershey chocolate bar for dessert. This Cabernet has been noticed with a Silver Medal-2005 Tri-Cities Wine Festival and a Bronze Medal at the 2006 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

The "lamb" is the 2004 Riesling from Forgeron Cellars. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know - I work there. But seriously, this is a wine that is very typical of the early world class Rieslings of Washington state. It really has a great nose - with citrus and honeysuckle aromas. Definitely a bite of the orchard with apple and peach flavors. A residual sugar of 2.93, this wine is not only a great afternoon sipping wine with a cheese and fresh fruit plate, but cleanses the palette and blends perfectly with spicy phad Thai and other Asian dishes. Pair it with exotic foods like tandoori chicken or Italian polenta with lots of butter and cheese. Go for something simple like chicken pot pie or popcorn. I heard, "though the grapevine" that there isn't much of this delightful Riesling left. You want it? At the terrific price of $16.00 a bottle, get_it_now!

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