A surprise visit to Quixote Winery at Stags Leap District with rewards: A visual masterpiece of Architecture Design awaited revealing a superb Petit Syrah and their fresh release Rose, both only available at Black Door Wine Company.
And the story goes: When the winery finished construction in 1998 the Architect made a final visit from his native Austria. During the inaugural inspection the owner proclaimed, “….it’s beautiful and perfect”. The Architect picked up a hammer and proceeded to strategically slam it into a ceramic pillar resulting in several cracks, and a large hole where the hammer met the pillar. He then said, “No, Now it is perfect”
“We were wondering if modern man had inadvertently transformed wine, a beverage of pleasure, into an absurdly serious pursuit when we happened upon Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000). One thing led to another until Smithsonian curator Harry Rand fostered our introduction to the delightfully witty Viennese artist, architect, philosopher and environmentalist who would design our winery”.
It was the magic of the Stags Leap Palisades and the little pond above our winery that captured Friedensreich’s soul. A close friendship evolved as we worked together from 1988 to 1998 to plan and construct Quixote Winery.
Hundertwasser had a lot of rules all of which create the festive atmosphere that is Quixote:
- No straight lines
- Roofs are planted with grass and trees
- Every building is capped with a golden turret to elevate man’s sense of himself
- Color is king
2004 QUIXOTE PETITE SYRAH
REGION: Napa Valley
VINEYARD: Stags’ Leap Ranch
AGE OF VINES: 10 Years
GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION: Stags’ Leap Ranch
EXPOSURE: South by southeast
SOIL: Shallow loam over clay hardpan
SUBTERRANEAN: Ancient terraces
PRODUCTION: 950 cases
This is a rich, ripe wine with a texture as voluptuous as it is viscous. It is dense purple in color, offering complex spice and dark fruit aromatics. It is well-layered with intense blackberry and dark fruit characteristics that linger on the finish, working in concert with the kind of earthiness we’ve come to expect from our Stags’ Leap Ranch vineyard. It’s soft enough to drink now, but has the structure for aging at least another decade. $80
This is a Library release, directly from the winery cellar and purposefully selected by Black Door Wine Company.
Rose-pressed from Petite Syrah, deep rich cooper colored, full bodied, lush, medium dry, a very special Rose for sure. $28
Check out our new stock. Great selection at every price!
A little nudge-Saturdays wine tasting from 4-7pm with New Zealander Chris-tasting through the Kana lineup, ’08s,
this winery holds back their wines for extended aging to be better enjoyed. Not many do this at these price points.
We hope you can join us this Saturday.
Black Door Wine Company
Unique small production wine of the NW and the World
Please join Black Door Wine Company at Proctors 3rd thursday art walk, we’ll be pouring tastes of some new wines in this week.
From 4 to 7 pm At:
Please join us at Black Door Wine Company to taste new release vintages from Kana Winery in Yakima specializing in Rhone varietals and single vineyard wines.
Date: March 30th Tasting fee $5.00
Time 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Venue: Black Door Wine Company, 3906 N. 34th St., Tacoma, WA 98407
Kana makes good solid wines originating from several of Washington’s best AVA growers in the Yakima Valley, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain and the Ciel du Cheval Vineyard on Red Mountain. High quality and low production insures great wines, Kana makes less than 2200 cases in all. We’ll taste the new release 2008 Masterpiece a Viognier, Yakima Valley Reserve Rhone-style blend $18.00 rated 90 points Wine Enthusiast, the new release 2008 Old Vines, A Lemberger that will surprise you! Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley $18.00, the 2008 Workingman’s Red, Columbia Valley $15.00, rated 89 Points Wine Spectator-interestingly this wine has over 7 varietals, the new release 2008 Tempranillo, Columbia Valley, $18.00, 2008 Dark Star from Elephant Mountain, a Syrah, Red Willow and Stone Tree Vineyards, $22.00, the Reserve 2006 Syrah from Red Mountain $35.00, and the new release 2007, Scarlet Fire from Ciel du Cheval, Red Mountain $25.00.
Kana is a native word for the spirit or the fire within a mountain, in reference to the perceived supernatural power of volcanic activity. The Yakima and Columbia Valleys are awash with volcanic soil influences, providing terroir from the millennia of ”Kana“ escaping from nearby volcanic mountains, to lay resting as soil for our world-class vineyards.
Kana Winery wines are the result of careful selection of fruit from the very best vineyards, with an emphasis on Rhone varietals along with specially selected wines.
Winemaker Richard Holmes of Cote du Cheval is pouring his first vintage Viognier at Black Door Wine Company on Saturday, February 9, 2013 4:00pm – 6:00pm. $5.00 Tasting Fee.
Meet us at 4:00 pm for this event, meet Richard Holmes, taste, also feel free to pursue what’s new in the store this week!
Black Door Wine Company
3906 N. 34th
Tacoma, WA 98407
“ERIC DEGERMAN AND ANDY PERDUE; WINE PRESS NORTHWEST
Viognier would seem to be destined to have a difficult time. It’s hard to pronounce, made in small quantities, best known in a fairly obscure region, difficult to grow and isn’t easy to pair with food.
That sounds like a joke without a punchline. Yet there is much to love about viognier, and it’s becoming easier to find it in the Northwest. First the pronunciation: vee-own-YAY.
Viognier is a white wine grape best known in the Condrieu region of France’s Rhne Valley. As recently as the mid-1960s, the grape was nearly lost to history, as fewer than 10 acres were left. But its fortunes have changed dramatically since then, as Condrieu now has more than 700 acres, and it is planted around the globe, including the West Coast, Australia, Argentina and Chile.
In the Rhone Valley appellation of Cte-Rtie, a bit of viognier is traditionally cofermented with syrah, a style that has been picked up in the New World.
Growing viognier is a challenge because it is susceptible to disease, it grows uneven clusters, and unless it’s picked at perfect ripeness, the wine will taste either boring or flabby.
But when a winemaker gets it right, viognier is so delicious. In the Northwest, viognier will exude aromas and flavors of tropical fruits and creamsicles.
Like its sibling syrah, viognier tends to be a low-acid wine, which makes it harder to pair with food. We like it with mild Thai curries, chowders, shellfish and pasta primavera.”
We are pleased to announce a special wine tasting on February 9, 2013
from Cote du Ciel.
Winemaker – Richard Holmes
We are very proud to introduce Richard Holmes and his very first release
of Viognier of COTES DE CIEL
Venue: Black Door Wine Company
Address: 3906 N. 34Th
Tacoma, WA 98407
Date: February 9, 2013
Time: 4:00P to 6:00P
The Holmes family has been a involved in the Washington Wine Industry for over 37 years.
Richard Holmes, son of famed grape grower Jim Holmes, as a twelve year–old helped
plant the first vines on Red Mountain in 1975 and worked in the vineyards until he left
for college in 1982. In 1994, he managed the first planting of Viognier at Ciel du Cheval.
After a hiatus, Richard chose to return to the wine industry in 2012 by starting his
own winery. After careful consideration, he selected the very Viognier block he
planted in 1994. This block of vines had become the successful core of many of
Washington’s best Viogniers. Wines made from the grapes are known to have intense
aromatics, with a long finish. Rather than going it alone, he has relied on advice
from his father Jim Holmes, and consulting Winemaker Charlie Hoppes of Fidelitas Wines
to help ensure a first release of exceptional quality.
The 2012 growing season was a winemakers dream. The season started slightly cooler
than normal, but quickly warmed up, but never too warm. The grapes had a long
growing season and developed exceptional flavors. The grapes were then whole
cluster pressed to reduce phenolics and cold fermented to preserve all of the aromas
Richard Holmes will be present at Black Door Wine Company to sign and autograph
bottles purchased. These wines are in limited supply with only 500 cases. Please
have no doubt that his first vintage will be collectible. Mr. Holmes is a winemaker
to watch in the near future.
Today, Saturday, January, 19th
Winemaker’s Tasting Today at Black Door Wine Company
with Rudy Marchesi of Montinore Estaste
and Bill Riley of Maury Island Winery
These top notch vintners will pour their Pinot Noir wines
from 4:00p – 6:00p
Rustic Crudities Included
Fee: $20.00 per person
Pinot Noir (pee-noh nwahr) can inspire the classic love-hate relationship.
the most entrancing table wine we’re ever enjoyed is the Pinot Noir. Yet
the most disappointing wine we’ve ever tasted was also a Pinot Noir. The
tasting challenge is rooted in Pinot’s precise needs – the perfect climate,
just the right amount of oak treatment to add complexity, and precise tannin
management to ensure a silky and mouth pleasing mouthfeel. When Pinot
Noir strikes a balance there is nothing better. Pinot Noir is the most evocative,
provocative, and mysterious varietal grown. The best efforts at the Pinot Noir
(regardless of origin) are lush, exotic, spicy and sexy.
Please join us today to to taste from bottles of two regional winemaker’s
showing of Pinot Noir that are soft on tannins, long on acidity, and chock
full of fruit and food-related flavors.
What a great way to spend your afternoon, sipping Pinot Noir, tasting
delicious crudities, and asking questions ‘til your heart is content!
Winemaker’s Pinot Noir Tasting with Flying Rustic Plates
David Lower and Victoria Johnson warmly welcome two award winning Winemaker’s, Bill Riley of Washington’s Maury Island Winery and Rudy Marchesi of Oregon’s Montinore Estates to Black Door Wine Company
in Tacoma for our first 2013 tasting event.
January 19th from 4:00p – 6:00p.
This event is $20.00 per person. This is a great opportunity to taste stellar Pinot Noir, as these are winemakers to watch.
Event Venue: Black Door Wine Company, 3906 North 34th Street Tacoma, 98407
Please RSVP to email@example.com
We’re aptly announcing the inclusion of Flying Rustic Plates, these are rustic crudities hand prepared for the occasion.nvitation
Bill Riley of Maury Island winery, tends 5 productive acres on his property, producing 100 cases of Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, so far. Bill Riley will undoubtably increase his production, because his quality is superb. His 2009 Pinot Noir won Double Gold from Seattle Wine Awards, his Cremant (Champagne method) won Double Gold at the Seattle Wine Awards, presently not available. This is a special opportunity to taste Maury Island Winery Pinot Noir and we encourage you to join us.
Rudy Marchesi establishing Montinore Estates in Oregon via the Bronx and New Jersey. Montinore Estate’s 230 contiguous estate acres are a healthy and thriving fertile ecosystem producing wine specific to the northern Willamette Valley. Biodynamic and organic farming methods are practiced at Montinore Estates.
Let’s talk about the winemakers and their releases:
Maury Island Winery 2011 Amore Rose $20.00
Maury Island Winery 2011 Pinot Gris $21.00 a bottle
Maury Island Winery 2011 Pinot Noir $30.00 a bottle
Montinore Estate 2011 Borealis $16.00 a bottle
Montinore Estate Parsons’ Ridge Pinot Noir 2009 $ 40.00 a bottle
Montinore Estate Reserve Label Pinot Noir 2010 $30.00 a bottle
Open Sunday December 30, 12-5pm and December 31,
Prosecco tasting with Sommelier Giompolo this Saturday December 15 from 4-7pm $10 tasting fee
Please go to the wine blog for a special holiday list of wines, complete with tasting notes.
12-5pm Sundays and all Sunday’s through the Holidays
Darby Dark Side Syrah 2009 From a small local winemaker to watch, Darby in woodinville has a great tasting room, distingushing it from the other “McDonald type” interior designs for good reason, his wines are just as different. Almost opaque in the glass. An extremely aromatic wine with blackberry, blackberry bush, licorice, floral notes, and a very light gaminess. Palate packs a big punch with loads of black and red fruit.
Duckhorn has been making wine in Napa Valley since early ’70s, so of course-some things happen-then with experience awesome things happen.
Such is the case.
Duckhorn Merlot Napa Valley Vineyards 2009: With firm tannins and exceptional length, this is a lovely and age-worthy wine that shows how much Merlot can excel in a cooler growing season. The aromas are rich and inviting with layers of amaretto, sweet spice and cedar. On the palate, lush flavors of plum, blackberry and cherry dominate, with the tannins adding structure and depth. $50
Without a doubt worthy!
Rough House Red 2008: Our own backyard made in Woodinville, I’m continued to be impressed with all their wines and quality being made at Covington Cellars-The 2008 Rough House displays an intense bouquet of black cherry, cedar and clove. The palate is full of ripe plum, licorice, and spice. This big yet elegant wine will make many mouths happy. $20
and if you’re feeling Italian
La Meriggia 2010 Montepulciano d’ Abbruzzo- you can become a fan of these-such as myself-an easy drinking Italian red that’s only $13 first and then
Montepulciano D’ Abruzzo is the richest example of wines made from this grape. Plump and juicy, these wines deliver a simple, yet satisfyng, wine experience that partners well with a wide variety of spicy and grilled foods. The Garofoli family are masters of producing wines whose quality far exceeds their price. Enjoy!
Black Door Wine Company
Coming up- Prosecco with Giompolo-our Italian rep-This guy knows his Proseccos, Giompolo also holds a Sommelier degree in Italian wines from Italy! December 15, 2012
a special bottle.
To start, let’s get one thing out of the way: There’s not a “right” or a “wrong” wine to slug with your stuffing — but there are wines that just might be more likely send you to sensory elation. So, where to start?
One of the most relied-upon “rules” of wine and food pairing is “If it grows together, it goes together.” The idea is that wines and foods naturally evolved together as a whole regional cuisine. For example, you’d be more likely to find lots of fresh, crisp whites in a warmer-climate area adjacent to the sea than you’d be to find huge, dark, spicy reds (the former wines pair better with seafood than the latter). The concept isn’t as easy to apply in modern-day America, but you can still relish the uniquely American spirit of Thanksgiving by drinking American wines. And my, oh my, do we have some good ones to choose from!
If it’s a red you’re after, I’d bet most heavily on a Pinot Noir. Lighter in body and softer on the palate than something like a Cabernet or a Merlot, California Pinot Noir’s plush, easy berry fruit is just the right match for poultry and all your T-Day fixins. Pinot Noir from Oregon is also stellar — I find it has a touch more earthiness and a little less forward, juicy fruit than its sisters further south.
Evening Land Pinot Noir Summens vineyard-60 cases made: one of the very best Pinots I’ve tasted hands down! $120- possibly perfection in a bottle?
Phelps Creek vineyards Reserve Pinot Noir: Rich flavors of pipe tabacco nose laced with mineral undertones expressing the volcanic soil. $40.95
Brittan Vineyards Willamette Valley-’09 Basalt Block- one of my favorites-Robert Brittan was a winemaker for Stags Leap!-yep that one- his refined style shows off what experience at one of California’s finest winery’s will instill in a winemaker-and so the newest chapter for Robert has been making Oregon Pinot’s that are world class! $45.95
And of course a Oregon Chardonnay-Oregon style of Chard. is not the “Big Oakey” Cali stuff- more of lite oak with a pinch of pineapple, richness that will compliment that T-dinner.
Belle Pente ’07 Chardonnay-Citrus and tropical flavors, aromas coupled with an underlying minerality, firm acidity, sur lie (aging with yeast in the barrel) adds developing body and richness. $21.95
We will help you pare you big “T” dinner with your particulars in mind!
For whites, a fuller-bodied wine will stand up nicely to the rich dishes on your dining room table. A great California Chardonnay with a bit of toasty oak in it definitely fits the bill with its round mouthfeel and slight creaminess, which just begs for some buttery mashed potatoes and gravy. If you’re not a die-hard fan and usually dislike Chardonnay, un-oaked, which will allow more bright, appley and citrusy fruit to shine through while the grape’s full body will still satisfy.
Alternatively, a wonderfully aromatic, lighter-bodied white with pronounced notes of fruit and flowers can act as an excellent contrast to the many savory, substantial foods of Thanksgiving. Washington state produces some excellent Rieslings (both dry and sweet, though I’d vote for dry and save sweet for pairing with pie), and the grape’s naturally high acidity nicely cuts through the richness of the food. Highly aromatic with a touch of warm spice, the best ones are coming out of cooler-weather areas like Washington and Oregon.
In the end, Thanksgiving is about celebrating our blessings. So whatever beverage ends up on your table, raise your glass and toast to the good things!
CHAMPAGNE! is coming on the November 10th, tasting fee is $15.00
There was a time I didn’t care for Champagne. Now, a week doesn’t go by without me wishing I had more Champagne in my modest little cellar. But perhaps even more often than that, I find myself wanting a glass in my hand. Champagne, it turns out — at least when it’s good, has all of my favorite things when it comes to wine: texture, complexity, savoriness, and acidity. My particular problem, however, is that I tend to find these qualities most concentrated with, and in direct correlation to, the price of the bottle. Turns out that I have Champagne taste and a Cava budget.
In fact, I might never have come to enjoy Champagne if I hadn’t had the chance to taste a few expensive bottles. You see, most of my experiences with Champagne had been with the stuff that I and my friends could afford. For many years, the most expensive stuff I had tried was non-vintage Veuve Cliquot — their standard orange label that, as far as I was concerned, cost a pretty penny. It was OK, but didn’t wow me.
But as I grew as a wine lover, and met people with bigger budgets than I, opportunities arose to taste $100 and $200 bottles of Champagne. Needless to say, a few older vintages of Dom Perignon, a taste of Taittinger Comtes de Champagne, and a bottle of Krug Grand Cuvee later, I understood what all the fuss was about.
The difference between most $100 bottles of Champagne and the $30 stuff that I had been drinking (on a spendy day) was remarkable. Far more drastic than the difference between a good $30 bottle of Cabernet and a $100 one.
With a few exceptions that I am constantly looking to find (and hoard), really good champagne doesn’t seem to be available for less than at least $40 dollars a bottle here in the U.S. Yes, that’s a gross generalization, but it’s an unfortunate truth in my experience. Unfortunate in both a general and a specific way. It means generally that a lot of people can’t afford to taste what really good Champagne tastes like, and more specifically it means that I can’t afford to either. And that’s a damn shame, because, if I could, I’d drink a $100 bottle of Champagne every day.
The good stuff is just hard to make — incredibly time and labor intensive, not to mention requiring the expertise of a very experienced hand in the winery. Whether it comes from a tiny operation that is run by a couple of people, or one of the big houses that spares no expense to achieve an almost magical consistency in their quality, great Champagne simply takes more money to produce. And, it turns out, to drink.
All of which is why I try not to miss the annual Masters of Wine Champagne Tasting when it comes to town. For a couple of hours this week, I and about 200 others got easy access to try some of the world’s top Champagnes in the helpful company of a bunch of Masters of Wine.
While there were several bottlings missing from some of the producers, and several top producers absent, but there were plenty of fantastic champagnes on offer, each bottle a painful reminder of the gulf that lies between my preferences and my pocketbook.
Having said that, there are some perfect gems of value/price ratio to be found below, in particular the Philipponat Grand Brut as well as a few others that I intend to drink more of after this week’s reminder of just how good they are. Enjoy the tasting notes, and remember: life is short. Drink more Champagne!
We will be tasting Premier Cru- this is small grower Champagne everyone loves, the most demanded bubblies people in the know want. And if you know nothing about these Crus not to worry there will be a representative from France here to answer all your questions about all Champagne, his family has been involved with the bubbly for nearly 200 years! they began in the 17th century making Cognac.We will be opening 1 Washington State bubbly from Syncline Winery-a very limited production of 200 cases made of this Blanc de Blanc (100% Chardonnay)
Every one needs a Bucket List-I shall share a few ideas next week!
Please join us on November 3, 2012 for a a Tasting of 4 Malbecs $5.00 tasting fee
Here’s a big one from Washington State: Hestia Cellars 2009
Appellation: Horse Heaven Hills, Washington State
Varietals: 100% Malbec Vineyard: Andrews Ranch
Winemaker Comments: Andrews Ranch Malbec was hand harvested in mid October under ideal conditions. The berries were gently de-stemmed (without crushing)directly into one ton open top fermentors. Saignee was per- formed, and 20% of the juice was immediatley pulled from the must. Fermentation lasted 21 days before being lightly pressed into once used French oak barrels. The wine was racked by gravity flow every 6 months, and was bottled in August 20010, without fining or filtration.
Tasting Notes: The inky purple 2009 Malbec Andrews Ranch offers up an alluring bouquet of cedar, incense, white pepper, meat, black cherry, and blueberry compote. Opulent on the palate with layers of succulent fruit, this pleasure-bent offering can be enjoyed now and over the next 6-8 years. It is another example of how bright Malbec’s future is in eastern Washington – Jay Miller, The Wine Advocate
Aging: Aged 22 months in two year old French oak barrels.
Production: 200 cases
Weekly Deal-every week I will feature a wine, region that stands out
I taste a lot of wines during the week, lots of colorful wines hit my palate covering the rainbow in search of the next one that I can stand behind, sharing with you friends, not such a bad job!
Bordeaux are/can be an elusive lot that either doesn’t have the quality, a richness found in the big boys, with tannins that won’t dry you mouth out with the first taste, or the sharpeness that exists in lower tier Bordeaux.
Until last week when I tasted Chateaux Bellegrave 2009
With flavors of wood aging as well as sweet tannins, this is a concentrated and richly fruity wine. It has the ripe fruit of 2009, sweet berries, the tannins cushioned within the softness. And the best part is it’s
only $16 bucks, sure to deliver on the level quality Bordeaux you’d expect from $20 plus. This’s a true one, Both red and white Bordeaux wines are almost invariably blended. The permissible grape varieties in red Bordeaux are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. While wine making styles vary, a general rule of thumb is that the Left Bank is predominately Cabernet Sauvignon based with the Right Bank being more Merlot based. That said this’s a left bank Bordeaux-so more Cabernet than Merlot.
Available til we run out-hey! by the way life is short drink your Bordeaux!
Black Door Wine Company is an eclectic Tacoma wine boutique in the north end of Tacoma’s Proctor District. We’re tasters and merchants of small production wines of the Pacific Northwest, global wines, & small house French Champagne. We’re located in an intimate Tacoma wine merchant storefront.
Our Tacoma wine shop offers a fine selection of wines from acclaimed winemakers of Washington and Oregon vineyards for growing Tacoma wine enthusiasts + established Old World wines for Tacoma wine aficionados. We’re pouring and promoting top notch wines from small-batch, handmade vintages in a once ordinary building. Our concrete floors are painted black, in a room outfitted with a communal table with walls washed with a warm golden color. “Our store is adventurous with a bit of an edge. Our wine selection is artfully displayed on cut rough hewn Alaskan cedar planks. And, of course, there is the black door”, says Victoria Johnson, Partner. We host Tacoma wine tastings in Tacoma’s Proctor District having created an atmosphere that is warm, inviting and comfortable.
Tacoma wine tastings take place every day from 3-7 p.m., with a more focused tasting on Saturdays highlighting a specific varietal or wine maker, $5.00 fee. On Saturday Tacoma wine tastings is great adventure and fun with a few friends in our intimate setting. Our mission, and we do accept it – is that you leave happy with something you’ve learn to use next time you pour your favorite Tacoma wine. Small parties are welcome, as this is a great relaxed environment.
Our customers are ones who seek exceptional wines. We’re digging, tasting and turning away wines that are good, but not good enough, says Owner, David Lower. “What drives us is the freedom to take risks, to create something out of nothing. You’ve got to focus on nuance, that is what we do best with a commitment to our customers. Tacoma is bellying to burst with an eye for quality. We’re happy to be in Tacoma and given this opportunity to offer premium wine to Tacoma wine enthusiasts.
Our approach is to guide you, helping you understand the basics of wines. We support winemakers who craft exquisite wines and we’re excited about organically farmed heritage and estate vineyards that bestow characteristics of a particular terrior to produce great wine. We seek producers that make less than 2000 cases per year.