A previously reviewed Columbia Valley winery, Novelty Hill leverages winemaker Mike Januik's expertise in crafting this label, (independent of Januik's own winery, which shares a tasting room space with Novelty Hill in Woodinville, WA). The Woodinville area is a compact hub of Washington wine makers, ~30 minutes outside of Seattle (depending on traffic...), that is home to over 130 distinct winery tasting rooms that showcase the potential of the wines sourced from the Pacific Northwest AVAs. The area owes it's existence to the prodigious Chateau Ste. Michelle's decision to lay roots in Woodinville. This bottle was picked up at a Total Wine and paired with a red sauce linguine. Delish! ~$20 | #noveltyhill #columbiavalley #cabernetsauvignon
On the eyes: Deep, opaque, mocha garnet, med stain, med+ tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Violets, plum, black cherry, hint of menthol and oak, med alcohol.
On the tongue: med+ tannins, med+ acid, med+ alcohol, full round body. Jammy black plums and cherries, tobacco, slightly herbaceous, ending with a long cigar box finish. Decant! — 3 years ago
Good #columbiavalley Syrah. Aromatic and dark with blackberries, coffee, chocolate, and some peppery spice with a hint of salinity. Dark fruit and black pepper carry through to the palate but is a little less defined than prior vintage and finish is a little hot. Still one of my go -to favorites from my favorite local winery. — 3 years ago
Left work a bit early and decided to pick up a bottle while the wife is out with friends. Lost River is a boutique winery operating out of the the Methow Valley, WA, that sources Columbia Valley grapes. This wine is a Bordeaux style white (60/40 Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc) sourced from four vineyards. Semillon-Sauvignon blends combine the grassier honey sweetness of Semillon with tropical floral dryness of Sauvignon Blanc. The blend typically pairs well with food. Per the winemaker, this wine was partial malolactic fermented (this is what makes Chardonnay tastes buttery), aged 6 months sur lie (without fining) in a mix of stainless steel and French oak. Probably best to drink this one within a couple years of bottling - though when done right Semillion-Sauvignons can age better than your average SvB. ~$15 | #lostriverwinery #columbiavalley #semillonsauvignon
On the eyes: Med+ concentration, golden yellow, bright, med stain, med+ tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Clean, orange blossom, honey, lychee and pear, med alcohol.
On the tongue: Med- tannin, med alcohol, med+ acid, flat on the tongue. Honey, pear, citron, some floral notes and wisps of oak and earth. Finishes a little acidic and the fruit is ethereal - forgotten. Decent table wine. — a year ago
While at Total Wine, I picked up the previous Novelty Hill bottle and this Januik Merlot, (the Cabernets are a bit out of my price range at the moment). As mentioned previously, these wineries share a tasting space in Woodinville, WA. Mike Januik, the winemaker and owner of the Januik label, has been labeled one of the "Masters of Merlot" and, as the name implies, specializes mainly in Bordeaux grapes sourced from mature vineyards around the Columbia Valley. 2013 was a warmer year towards harvest than the previous two vintages, yielding in changes to the flavor profile of many of the grapes in the Columbia Valley due to the longer hang time on the vine. This wine is composed of 96% Merlot, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon (likely to add a tad more tannic structure), harvested from Weinbau, Klipsun, and Ciel du Cheval vineyards and seems like it could benefit with another year or two under its belt. ~$22 | #januik #merlot #columbiavalley
On the eyes: Med opacity, bright, magenta-garnet, med stain, med+ tears. No gas, evidence of floc.
On the nose: Cherry, black plum, orange peel, dried hay, herbaceous, with a hint of chocolate, med+ alcohol.
On the tongue: Med+ tannin, med acid, med+ alcohol, med+ body. Cherry, black plum skin, and blueberry yielding to hints of menthol, chocolate, and cedar with a pleasant long oaky finish. — 3 years ago
Novelty Hill and Januik share wineries out of Woodinville, WA. Both wineries are managed by Mike Januik and specialize in premium varietal clones. The Columbia Valley AVA is the largest AVA in Washington State. Even though Washington is much further north than California, the peak ripening in most grapes occurs slightly later than CA. This one is a kitchen sink wine, that is predominately Merlot (59%) but also contains Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Verdot, Sangiovese, and Mourvèdre. Someone must have thought this one was past its prime, but I feel like the drinkability continues - picked up at Total Wine. ~$17 | #noveltyhill #columbiavalley #totalwine
On the eyes: Deep rusty red, bright and clear, med+ stain, med+ tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Funky stewed blueberry, black cherry, raspberry, with a hint of hay, and earthy mustiness. Med+ alcohol.
On the tongue: Med+ acid, med tannin, med+ alcohol, med+ body. Stewed black cherry and raspberry, raisin, white pepper, hint of spice, licorice, and woodsy finish. Tart on the way down, nice long finish. — 3 years ago
Big black currant and licorice intertwine with smoky blackberry and charcoal aromas. Pine nettle and blackberry reduction with eucalyptus, anise and cinnamon, smoldering cedar, gum Arabic and grape leaves. A little tightly wound initially, but sprung open into an array of dark fruits in a charred black basket. #columbiavalley #washingtoncab #singlevineyard #ConnerLee #ava #washingtonstate — 2 years ago
So, the move to Seattle is in the books and it's time to start figuring out these new AVAs. Because I had to buy just about everything over again at the local Target, I figured, why not a cheap bottle of local table red? Maryhill winery sits right on the Washington side of the border with Oregon, on the south end of the Columbia Valley. Over 46k cases were produced of the red blend, (Cab Sauv, Merlot, Syrah, and Cab Franc - no % listed), which is why it's a ten dollar bottle but don't be fooled, the winery itself sources and grows many varietals and has laid claim to many accolades. The Columbia Valley AVA stretches between the 46th parallel and 47th parallel which puts it in line with the well known French wine growing regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy. The AVA is ripe for exploration and viticulture with 11,000,000 designated acres of which over 40,000 acres are planted in vineyards. ~$12 | #maryhill #columbiavalley #redblend
On the eyes: Hazy, deep, ruby red, med stain, med tears, no gas/floc.
On the nose: Cedar planks smeared with red fruit jam (rhubarb-strawberry?) yielding to a bit of funkiness, med alcohol.
On the tongue: Med- tannins, med+ acid, med alcohol, med body. Red jam and cedar again, decent mineralty, but a bit overpowered by the acid. Decent table wine. — 3 years ago