Skagit Food Co-op blog:

CV, the wine guy

CV, the Wine Guy, talks Sonas from Yakima Valley

Today’s post comes to you from one of the Co-op’s wine reps, Tracy. She and CV are here to bring you news of two new wines to the Co-op: The Owen Sullivan Sonas series.

The Sonas series from Owen Sullivan Winery features two specialized wines: a 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon and 2012 Merlot. There are two unique things about the Sonas series: first, it’s the first vintage with a brand new winemaker, Scott Greer. And second, both wines feature fruit entirely from Washington’s Yakima Valley. Now, that might not seem unique or strange, but it kind of is. If you look through Washington state wine sections, you will be hard pressed to find a label that says, “Yakima Valley”, even though the region cultivates 17,000 acres of wine grapes, the most of any viticultural appellation in the entire Pacific Northwest. Yakima Valley vines supply half of Washington’s wine production, including 80 local wineries. However, a bottle has to have at least 75% Yakima Valley grapes in the bottle in order to be labeled as such. The majority of Washington wines feature (or predominately feature) fruit from the Columbia Valley (which is larger in area, and surrounds the Yakima Valley).

The fruit in these two wines was harvested in 2012; the wines were first released in November 2014. Only 223 cases and 239 cases of the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were bottled, respectively. They are both spectacular values, at $19.99 a bottle.

The Cabernet Sauvignon (79% Cabernet Sauvignon; 21% Merlot) was awarded a 90-point grade from Wine Enthusiast. The flavor profile is well-structured, with elegant notes of plum, blueberries, and black fruit. This is one of those rare finds: it really can sit on your counter for 3-4 days after you’ve opened it, and still taste as good as the moment you pulled the cork. The fruit from this wine comes from Dineen, Elephant, and Sheridan vineyards in the Yakima Valley.

The Merlot (80% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon) has not yet been rated, but I’ve (Tracy) had it, and it’s fabulous. The Merlot is softer than the Cabernet (as it should be), but still gripping. You might notice an aroma of smoked, cured meat, and a bright cherry flavor at the start. It transitions into darker fruits, black current and blackberry, and finishes with structured tannins and smoke. The fruit from this wine comes from Dineen, Elephant, and Sheridan vineyards in the Yakima Valley.

Both wines in the Sonas series are very well made. We are excited about this new wine maker, and look forward to see what he’ll bring next. There are three cases of each left in the warehouse, and the Co-op was fortunate enough to get one of them. Hurry in to snag yours; they are going to go quick!

By: CV, The Wine Guy

CV, The Wine GuyCV is our resident wine guy and our newest cheese specialist. And he’s here to give you generous, succinct, friendly advice on wines (and cheese). CV is quick to say that he’s not a wine “expert” — he’s not the person to go to for fancy terminology — but he does know wine, and approaches it with robust energy and a desire to match wine with people, food, and experiences.