Lone Birch Red Blend Yakima Valley (2012)


Lone BirchLone Birch Red Blend Yakima Valley

Red Blend: 27% Tempranillo, 24% Sangiovese, 17% Grenache, 11% Syrah, 7% Cinsault, 5% Merlot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Barbera, 1% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot, 1% Counoise

YEAR: 2012

REGION: US: Washington State: Yakima Valley


What they say about it:

“Sourced from grapes grown on our estate vineyard, this red blend imparts a bouquet of dark cherry and spice leading to a smooth finish with soft lingering tannins.  Approachable and food-friendly, this wine pairs well with a wide range of dishes.”

What I say about it:

Having recently scored with a new wine from Washington state’s Yakima Valley, I decided to try a blend from the region and chose the Lone Birch Red Blend to taste. Buying blends can be a bit of a gamble when the blend or at least some of the varietals are not listed on the bottle. The Lone Birch is a mystery in this regard and I had no idea what I had drank until writing this review. Consisting of 2 vatietals that I am not the bigtgest fan (Tempranillo and Grenache), the Lone Birch didn’t impress me very much. 

Out fo the bottle and into the glass….The color is ruby red, but not very deep> The e is some translucency. The nose had berries, most notably strawberry as well as spice, mainly pepper, pickling spice and cinamon. Fresh cut green bell peppers, oak and slight sour (pickle juice) tone as well.

On the tongue I tasted likewise, berries and fruit with some spice. Strawberry, black berries, cherrry with oak and black pepper. It’s a medium bodied red with very soft tannins.

For pairing, like most reds, the Lone Birch Red Blend will compliment red and grilled meats and savory dishes. This red blend is also light enough to have with pork or turkey as well.

Overall it wasn’t bad, but just didn’t do it for me. Its drinkable but not memorable or a wine I think I will revisit.

Would Bukowski drink it?  Well if its open I’ll have a glass. 

Overall Rating: 2 BUKS



Airfield Estates “Runway” Syrah (2011)


Airfield SyrahAirfield Estates “Runway” Syrah


YEAR: 2011

REGION: US: Washington state: Yakima Valley


What they say about it:

“This dark, concentrated Syrah possesses flavors of dark berry, clove, and white pepper. With silky smooth tannins and a plush round mouthfeel, this well-balanced wine pairs great with lamb, beef, and aged gouda.”

What I say about it:

Tonight we enter the dark side, the dark side of wine. Airfield Estates’s Runway Syrah is a deep dark wine with lots of spice, berries and flavor. I am a novice when it comes to Syrah. Not a fan for the most part, as I tend to like slightly spicier heavier wines like Zinfandel and find Syrah a red headed stepchild of Zins. This said, based on the abuse I receive from friends when I say “I am not into Syrah”, I’ve forced myself to taste them from time to time. I recently tried a Syrah from Jones of Washington that I really enjoyed (but only had a half bottle from the night before in the fridge which was not suitable for a review) so on my stop to my market for the wine fridge, I picked up a bottle the 2011 Airfield Estates’s “Runway” Syrah to sample. 

Out of the bottle and into the glass….the color of this Syrah is striking, very deep purple, true to the rim of the glass. Dark, boding and clear. The nose is full of spice, most notably pepper and clove with a touch of woodsiness and smoke, and a touch musk. I also detected hints of crushed dark fruits, mostly cherries, as well as a slight crushed violet and geranium notes. 

Syrah is most often associated with pepper and blackberries and the Airfield Estates “Runway” Syrah delivers. Berries and pepper were definitely my first impression upon tasting. Subtler tasting notes included a touch of coffee, licorice, cassis and dark fruits, particularly plums.

The body is medium plus with a nice finish; long soft tannins, with a smooth velvety mouth feel. Really enjoyable and highly drinkable.

For pairing the Airfield Estates “Runway” Syrah would match well with grilled meats, full mature cheese like aged gouda or a smoked mozzarella, cured meats as well as similar fruits the wine resembles, dried cherries, apricots and figs for example.

Overall a nice Syrah that is very drinkable, fresh yet complex enough to enjoy on its own. 

Would Bukowski drink it? DId you mean Dark Side of the Moon? What the hell Dave, its wine, just drink it. 

Overall Rating: 3 BUKS