Fall Wines

By HOLLY ENDERSBY

In recognition of International Merlot Day on November 19, do yourself a favor and enjoy an Indian Wells 2015 Merlot produced by Chateau Ste. Michelle of Paterson, Wash. This merlot fills your mouth with exceptional flavors of luscious ripe blackberries with just the right amount of tartness.

We enjoyed this wine slightly chilled, allowing it to breath for a few minutes with outstanding results.

The bold, but velvety textured red wine just begs for grilled elk steak, marinated flat iron steak, or robust spicy shrimp.

At $10.99 a bottle at Costco, this is a wine you should stock up on.

Sawtooth Winery

International Tempranillo Day falls on November 9, and a superb Idaho Tempranillo comes from Sawtooth Winery near Caldwell, Idaho.

Their 2015 Classic Fly Tempranillo, aged in new, French-oak barrels, is made from all Idaho grapes and is about as luscious a wine as you will find. 

My first mouthful was redolent of Mexican chocolate, raspberries, and just a touch of black cherry. Of 10 wineries I visited in two days, this was one of three bottles I bought. At $30, it isn’t inexpensive, but in terms of value, it is worth every penny.

As a plus, Sawtooth’s tasting room is relaxing and a perfect spot to try their other fine wines, with a nice bar and cozy table seating as well.

Williamson Orchards

Ready for some fall menus and Octoberfest? Don’t just think of beer steins when you plan on celebrating the harvest; be sure to add wine as well to your party.

In fact, think cheese fondue accompanied by the German style 2016 Dry Reisling from Williamson Orchards in the Snake River AVA.

It has notes of pear, and, while it is a bit sweet, it is not cloying and has a lovely bouquet. For Octoberfest, pair this with a good German sausage and coleslaw, and you have the makings of a yummy meal. The price point of $12 makes this wine a great buy.

Fujishin Family Cellars Winery

Petit Verdot is a grape often blended with others, but Fujishin Family Cellars Winery near Caldwell, Idaho has a 2015 that is 100-percent Petit Verdot. This grape demands hot weather to finish well, and this area provides that. 

We found this unusual wine to be smooth, lush, and fruit-forward.

Our pourer shared that she loves this wine with grilled lamb seared and seasoned with rosemary.  Sounds good to me!

Cinder Winery

Finally, it’s rare to find a winery that produces bottle after bottle of wine I enjoy, but that was the case this summer when I visited Cinder Winery in Garden City, Idaho.

Winemaker Melanie Krause attended Washington State University and worked at Chateau Ste. Michelle. She learned the craft and developing her own style. Our group of tasters was taken with Cinder’s Snake River Valley Syrah, and I purchased a bottle to enjoy at home.

The intense, dark fruit flavor with a smooth, lingering finish is perfect with the wild game we regularly eat. In it’s 12th year, the tasting room has good vibes, an upstairs art gallery, and knowledgeable servers to help you explore their exceptional wines.

This is one urban winery that really hits the mark. ISI

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