The Buzz 2017

 


:Nota Bene Arianses Vineyard

Wahluke Slope, 2017

 

87 Points 

Dark red. Musky oak currently overshadows dark berries, dark chocolate, licorice and menthol on the nose. Supple but a bit herbal and tart; more pliant than the 2016 at the same stage but still a bit green for my taste, even dry. Offers decent texture but ultimately only modest depth and length. Finishes with building dusty tannins that turn drier with air. I wanted more ripeness, depth and nuance.
 Dec 2020 - Drinking Window 2020 - 2024

 


:Nota Bene Cabernet Franc 

Yakima Valley, 2017

Gold Medal at 2021 Bellingham Northwest Wine Fest         
Gold Medal at 2022 Washington Wine Awards

91 Points Wine Enthusiast - Editor's Choice

A wine made with fruit from two great vineyards—Dineen and Ciel du Cheval—that's had time to age a few years in bottle? At this price? Step right up to the heady aromas of a cherry Dum-Dums lollipops, lemons, espresso shots, chalk and dried rose petals. Flavors like blackcap raspberry, poppy-seed cake and nutmeg will bring you back for more. The wine spent 22 months in a combination of new and used French oak, but the tannins are now nicely integrated.
MICHAEL ALBERTY

 

             

 89 points

Bright red-ruby. Pungent scents of blackberry, licorice, dark chocolate, tobacco leaf and herbs, with some raw oak showing. Surprisingly round, plush and sweet on entry, then offers moderately ripe, varietally typically flavors of currant, chocolate and tobacco leaf. A bit more pliant and sweet than the Dineen Cabernet Sauvignon. Finishes with smooth, broad tannins and lingering dark berries and herbs. A bit green but this Cab Franc has the courage of its convictions. Give it at least another year in the bottle. (75% from Dineen and 25% from Ciel du Cheval)
Drinking window: 2021 - 2027

 


:Nota Bene Cabernet Sauvignon - Dineen Vineyard 

Yakima Valley, 2017

 90 Points 

Wine Enthusiast 

Blackberries and a light touch of peach form the fruit core of an aromatic set that also includes iodine and wet rocks. Even after a few years in bottle, this wine's tannins are still grippy. Blackberry-cobbler, black-tea and vanilla-gelato flavors dominate the palate, with just a tiny amount of cedar.
MICHAEL ALBERTY

 

Gold Medal at 2022 Cascadia International Wine Competion

89 points

Bright ruby-red. Cool, inky, slightly green scents of black fruits, licorice and dusty green herbs (thyme, tarragon, sage), plus a note of bitter chocolate. At once juicy and fairly dense, with dark berry, tobacco leaf and bitter chocolate flavors ultimately showing an herbal element. Finishes with a firm dusting of tannins and some lingering herbacity, but not bad. Offers a bit more texture and ripeness than the 2016 bottling, and broader and sweeter than the 2017 Ciel du Cheval blend. Softened nicely with extended aeration.

-- Stephen Tanzer - December 2020 - Drinking Window 2021-2026 

 


:Nota Bene Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red Blend

Red Mountain, 2017

 

Gold Medal at 2024 Washington Wine Awards

 

           

88+ pts

Good dark red. Sexy oak complicates aromas of cassis, blueberry, mocha, cocoa powder, licorice and herbs, plus a whiff of rather raw oak. At once supple and a bit tart on entry, then youthfully imploded and slightly herbal in the middle palate, with pepper and menthol notes accenting the dark berry fruit. Finishes a bit tart and firm, with slightly more harmonious acidity and less greenness than the 2016 version. But turns a little drier with aeration. This has an edge over the Arianses blend for intensity, but the fruit here seems only moderately ripe.
- December 2020 - Drinking Window 2021-2026 

 


MCM Wine Company Illumina Cabernet Sauvignon

Yakima Valley, 2017

 

Gold Medal at 2024 Washington Wine Awards

 

 


:Nota Bene Merlot - Ciel du Cheval Vineyard

Red Mountain, 2017

 

                 

88+ points

Bright red-ruby. Strong oak overlay to the aromas of black cherry, dark berries and spices. At once supple and lively, showing good clarity and lift to its juicy flavors of dark berries, mint and herbs. Quite dry but with no shortage of fruit. Firm acidity provides backbone for positive development in bottle. Riper and more harmonious than the 2016 version. Finishes with firm, tongue-dusting tannins and good dark berry persistence. This may be better for a year's patience.
Drinking window: 2021 - 2026

 


:Nota Bene Mourvèdre - Heart of the Hill Vineyard

Red Mountain, 2017

 

92 Points - Tasting Room Magazine


                 

88 points

The 2017 Mourvèdre Heart Of The Hill is dusty and floral with black raspberry and cocoa aromas. It washes easily across the palate, softly textured and lifted with ripe cherry-berry fruits. This finishes nuanced with medium-length, inner florals and hints of spice.
Drinking window: 2023 - 2026

 


MCM Wine Company Majestica Red Blend

Columbia Valley, 2017

 

 

 


:Nota Bene Petit Verdot - StoneTree Vineyard 

Wahluke Slope, 2017


94 Points 

Wine Enthusiast - Editor's Choice 

Getting to taste a 100% Petit Verdot is a rare treat. Getting to taste a well-made 100% Petit Verdot is pure joy. The aromas of blackberries, cassis and sage act as an intoxicating perfume. The fruit aromas mingle with notes of leather, violets, cigar box and graphite. The wine's silky tannins and bright acidity provide a perfect stage for flavors of ripe black cherries, bittersweet dark chocolate and an earthy quality that combines marjoram and porcini mushrooms.
MICHAEL ALBERTY

 

 


:Nota Bene Syrah - Ciel du Cheval Vineyard

Red Mountain, 2017

          

91 Points

White pepper and incense accentuate dried roses and black cherries as the 2017 Syrah Ciel Du Cheval Vineyard opens in the glass. It is silky and supple on the palate, with its juicy persona and crisp red and black fruits. It leaves a staining of minerality and exotic spice, finishing a bit chewy with adolescent tannins that pinch at the cheeks. While still in need of a bit of cellaring, the 2017 is a beautifully balanced Syrah that will surely over-deliver in the years to come.
May 2023 - Drinking Window 2024 - 2029

 

    90 Points

    Deep ruby-red. Deeper on the nose than the StoneTree Syrah, offering pure, dark aromas of black fruits, espresso and black pepper. Dense, supple and nicely concentrated, offering attractive spicy lift to its dark berry, black cherry and pepper flavors. Clearly riper than the StoneTree: more energetic, more intense and deeper. Finishes with serious but suave palate-saturating tannins and noteworthy rising length. Nicely balanced Syrah with the structure for positive development. (made from a Tablas Creek clone originally from Château de Beaucastel) -- Stephen Tanzer - December 2020 - 2021 - 2027

     


    MCM Wine Company Spectaculuxe Syrah

    Columbia Valley, 2017

     

    "This is darn fine Syrah with a touch of co-fermented Viognier from five exciting vineyards in Washington State at an affordable price. What more could you want?" - Winemaker Tim Narby - reviewed 1/8/2024

     


    :Nota Bene Syrah - StoneTree Vineyard

    Wahluke Slope, 2017

     

        

    90 points

    The 2017 Syrah Stonetree Vineyard is dusty and floral in the glass, with licorice-tinged blackberries and sage. It’s soft-textured and savory in style. Brisk acidity motivates its crisp black fruits, and saline minerals slowly saturate. Tart red plums and balsamic spices remain, along with a bump of sour citrus to balance, as the 2017 tapers off lightly tannic and with a pleasant bitter tinge. The Syrah from Stonetree Vineyard has evolved beautifully in bottle, yet its tannins remain a bit edgy. -- Eric Guido - August 2023 - Drinking window: 2024 - 2029



      :Nota Bene Una Notte

      Columbia Valley, 2017

      Double Gold Medal at 2021 Bellingham Northwest Winefest  

      Double Gold Medal at 2022 Washington Wine Awards

       

        

             

       88 points


      The 2017 Una Notte wafts up with an Old-World-styled bouquet, mixing earth tones and leather with dusty dried flowers and wild strawberries. This is round and soothing, with juicy acidity and crip, wild berry fruits, coming across and lifted and energetic. It leaves a mineral staining and violet inner florals while finishing with a gentle tug of fine tannins. More depth on the palate would be preferred, yet this is drinking exceptionally well. The Una Notte is a blend of 75% Grenache, 19% Syrah and 6% Mourvèdre.
      Drinking window: 2023 - 2026