Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Tall Sage

“Find a Tall Sage and you have found a place that will sustain superior grape vines.” - Dr. Walter Clore, "Father of Washington Wine."

Goose Ridge Estate Winery in the Columbia Valley at Richland, Washington is located in the center of their 2,200 acre vineyard. Founded by the Monson Family in 1999, they have diversified with growth of their vineyard, as well as a new label, Tall Sage. Tall Sage is exclusively sold through Vintage Point, a small wholesale portfolio featuring small luxury wines. These wines made their first appearance around three months ago. 

Tall Sage is the Monson Family's tribute to the founder of Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards, Arvid Monson. Arvid was an entrepreneur in the Yakima Valley, as well as an orchardist, cattle rancher, and in the fall of 1997 he started the development of Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards with the guidance of Dr. Walter Clore. Arvid died last year, December 1, 2014. 

Sunrise over Goose Ridge 
Andrew Wilson is the winemaker for Goose Ridge Estate Winery, and with his 12 years winemaking experience (and we were in a few eno/vit classes together) has been a familiar face in the Walla Walla Valley. Andrew has worked for Forgeron Cellars, Long Shadow's Vintners and Artifex Wine Company; which are all located in Walla Walla. 

Tall Sage Chardonnay - 2014: With my nose deep in the glass, I immediately knew this was a Chardonnay. It presented a clean and bright aromas, with a bit of honeysuckle and pineapple. With a sip, or two, this wine brought to my palate a hint of apple, more pineapple, and also just a hint of sweetness. It wasn't a cloying sweetness, but just a kiss. The finish was bright, yet with mineral-like quality. 

That little hint of sweetness from the Chardonnay is quite perfect for the beginner wine drinker. It also makes it perfect for food, such as spicy dishes with an Asian-influence, curry dishes, as well as spicy Mexican shrimp and chicken dishes. Also, with a good chill, a perfect porch sipper. 

Tall Sage Cabernet Sauvignon - 2014: 100% Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with 10% Syrah and 3% Malbec. Distinctive. Bold. A wine meant for food - "big" food. The nose was a bit on the smoky side. On the palate big cherry and dark berry, and other dark fruits, such as plums comes through. More smoke is showing off possibly from the barrel, and even the Syrah. 

There was also just a hint of sweetness in the finish, perhaps from the Malbec. Again, this "fruity" presence makes it a wine for the beginner who wants to tackle a bold red wine. And the boldness from this wine, pleads for a big meal of big roasted meats, and even grilled slightly charred vegetables. Also, I keep thinking about a big grilled portobello mushroom burger with melted Swiss or Fontina cheese on whole wheat bun.  Ooey-gooey with lots of smoky-sweet BBQ sauce, and even a light herbal-mayonnaise spread, and a sip of Tall Sage Cabernet Sauvignon between each bite.  

The price point of Tall Sage wines are an attractive around the $10 range. At this price it makes these wines important as a reminder to drink local - drink Washington State. 

(Wines received as samples)

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