Saturday, July 31, 2010

2006 Steppe Cellars Artisima Red Wine Blend

Steppe Cellars Wines
I'm just tasting this delicious blend from Columbia Valley.  I needed a red wine for a meatball cook off and while making the sauce, I saw that I did not have a chance yet to try the 2006 Artisima from Steppe Cellars.  The bottle was given to me by Chris and Barb Cary from, a wine Blog from Yakima,  to critique while I was attending the Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla this past June.  Five grapes, 33% Cab, 33% Merlot, 15% Malbec, 10% Petite Verdot, 5% Cab Franc, make this wine fruit forward with a nice smooth finish.  Sweet chocolate cherry nose with a touch of tobacco, dark ripe cherry, cinnamon, blackberry on the palate, smooth finish with a little white pepper.  Very nice.  Drink now.  The fruit is showing nicely and don't think it will improve with age.  It is very drinkable now.

So back to my meatball recipe, I only put in GOOD wine in my sauce.  I thought the balanced fruit in this wine would compliment my sauce.  I do want to win this.  Never use inferior wine in recipes.  Don't use what you wouldn't drink. 

So as 8 oz. goes into the pot I proceed to have the rest with dinner of roasted chicken and sauteed garlic, green onions and broccoli - it went well with the combination of herbs (flat leaf parsley and fresh sweet basil) and spices I used.  After dinner, I still had some wine in my glass and enjoyed it with a few pieces of Almond Crunch.  Now I wish I hadn't poured so much wine in the sauce!

Columbia Valley is an interesting wine regions that needs more notoriety.  The wines are exquisite from here.  The terrior is different and unique which produces some of the finest wines that can compete with the best of regions. 

The Columbia Valley AVA is Washington’s all-encompassing region with some 11 million acres of land in all. Included within its confines are six other American Viticultural Areas (AVA) including Yakima Valley, Red Mountain, Walla Walla Valley, Horse Heaven Hills, Rattlesnake Hills and Wahluke Slope.

Check out this wine site to learn more about it. It is a must visit.  You need to stay at least one week. There is plenty to do in Washington.