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Wednesday, Apr. 04, 2012

Pacific Northwest Wine of the Week for April 4, 2012

This week: Cloudlift Cellars. Fujishin Family Cellars. Taste Washington. Metropolitan Grill. Upcoming wine events. Big John Caudill.

April 4, 2012
Vol. 13, No. 15

Cloudlift Cellars 2010 Updraft

Appellation: Columbia Valley

The pursuit of blending white Bordeaux varieties Sauvignon Blanc (64%) and Semillon is something not many new winemakers reach for, but Tom Stangeland grasps the concept impressively. Fruit from the venerable Bacchus and Dionysus sites near the banks of Columbia River spent seven months in barrel, and that accounts for opening aromas of vanilla, milk toast and corn silk, followed up with mango and trail mix with dried apricot, pineapple and nuts. The fascinating palate carries impressive citrus and incorporates honeydew melon, filberts, minerality and more milk toast. Rated "Outstanding" by Wine Press Northwest magazine. (80 cases, 13.9% alc.)

Price: $17

Food matches: Enjoy with grilled halibut, seared scallops or baked chicken.

Cloudlift Cellars, 312 S. Lucile St., Seattle, WA 98108, 206-622-2004.

Recent Wines of the Week

-- Columbia Crest 2010 Two Vines Gewurztraminer, Washington

-- Elk Cove Vineyards 2010 Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley

Best Buys

-- Latah Creek Wine Cellars 2009 Sangiovese, Washington, $11 -- Columbia Winery 2010 Cellarmaster's Riesling, Columbia Valley, $12

More about Cloudlift

Cloudlift Cellars is a boutique winery in Seattle whose owner, Tom Stangeland, focuses on blends rather than varietal wines. He makes about 400 cases of highly sought-after wine. Stangeland is an accomplished woodworker who decided to indulge his passion for wine by launching Cloudlift with the 2007 vintage.

We profiled Stangeland and Cloudlift two months ago in Fresh Press. Learn more.

This week's Fresh Press

This week's issue in Fresh Press, we spotlight the wines of Fujishin Family Cellars in Idaho's Snake River Valley.

In addition, we review wines from Bitner Vineyards, Burrowing Owl Estate Winery, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Corvus Cellars, Kiona Vineyards Winery, Koenig Vineyards, Lost West Winery, Maryhill Winery, Northwest Cellars, Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards, Ridge Crest, Silvan Ridge Winery, Tamarack Cellars and Thurston Wolfe.

Get the freshest reviews of recently released Northwest wines with Fresh Press.

Fresh Press publishes every Monday and is an easy-to-download PDF that is perfect for viewing digitally and is formatted to be easily printed.

Download this week's edition of Fresh Press.

Taste Washington

The annual Taste Washington celebration was Saturday and Sunday in Seattle, and thousands attended. This year saw a change in the format, with the grand tasting being spread out over both days. Consensus among those I spoke with was that the two-day format was well liked.

Check out our photo gallery from Taste Washington.

Metropolitan Grill wins wine award

The Washington Wine Commission honored Seattle's Metropolitan Grill with its top award for the 2012 Washington Wine Restaurant Awards.

Read more.

Upcoming wine events

Each week, we highlight an upcoming wine event in the Pacific Northwest.

The Columbia Gorge Winegrowers Association will hold its Portland Grand Tasting next Monday. The three-hour event will feature wines from 28 wineries and will include food and a commemorative glass. Cost is $25.

To see more events (or submit yours at no cost), go to our calendar. We currently have 111 upcoming events on our calendar.

Big John Caudill

In this week's Northwest Winecast video, we interview Big John Caudill, a longtime chef and wine representative. We talk about Upland Estates in the Yakima Valley, as well as his take on professional wrestling and wine.

You can watch the Northwest Winecast two ways (both free):

On our Web site:


On YouTube:


Find Northwest wine events

Looking for a wine-related event? Click here for our Northwest wine events calendar.

Wine Press Northwest e-edition

We have loaded up the past 15 issues of Wine Press Northwest in a freely available e-edition format, with a goal of eventually posting a complete archive of the magazine, going back to 1998.

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