2013 Chardonnay – The color on this wine was yellow with a slight hint of green towards the rim. The nose was very fresh with some minerality, some white flowers, and some steel. It was described to me as falling somewhere between a Chablis style and a richer more traditional style Chardonnay from burgundy. I would tend to agree with this characterization. Although we do get some minerality and freshness from this wine, we also get a good amount of richness that I would normally associate with a more traditional burgundy. I did not, however, get a lot of fruit on the nose. On the palate, I got a bit of tropical fruits, a lot of minerality (more than I expected based on the nose), very good acidity (food friendly), and some ripe and juicy apples as well as a tiny bit of brioche. Overall, this is a wine that I would not hesitate to purchase. Highly recommended for the price.
2013 Pinot Noir – My first impression of this was that it was a very pale red color. On the nose, I felt like this was very similar to a village level red Burgundy wine. I got notes of strawberry, a bit of raspberry, a bit of red cherry, and a tiny bit of hay (like barnyard). Much like the Chardonnay, I characterized this wine is being very fresh. On the palate, I had very similar notes as for the nose. In addition, I got some spice along with a slight black pepper note. This wine had really good balance with great acidity. The tannins were not overbearing and felt like they were in perfect harmony with the rest of the wine. Overall, I would say that this is probably one of my favorite Pinot Noir wines this year.
2013 Cabernet Sauvignon – During this tasting, I tasted two Cabernet Sauvignons: a 2013 and a 2011. These wines are not like anything I have had in WA State. They are quite light and restrained, definitely not what one would expect from WA State Cabernet Sauvignon. That being said, these Cabs were of exceptional quality. I only want to ensure that people’s expectations are in line with what is on offering at this winery. As a 2013 Cabernet, this wine was only in their care for about 15 months total, which means it did not see a lot of barrel time like other WA State Cabs. This reflects the kind of wine that you will see in your glass, a different kind of Cabernet where the focus is more on the grape than on infusing as much “oak” as possible. In the glass, the color for the 2013 was purple. On the nose, there was definitely some dark fruit (plums, dark cherries, and red currants) and some good minerality (I am not sure how to characterize the minerality here – I would not call it graphite). On the palate, the dark fruits are still there but it is a bit subdued. You can tell that this is a low alcohol wine. Again there is good minerality (more so than most WA State wines), and some good spiciness. This wine also had gentle tannins with a long finish. Overall, this was also a very enjoyable wine and is probably the type of Cabernet that I would like to have on a summer day rather than something really heavy.
2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – The 2011 was quite similar to the 2013 in terms of description. One difference was that the 2011 was lighter in color than the 2013. The nose had some candied fruit and was more aromatic than the 2013. On the palate, the wine was also more flavorful and more acidic. Otherwise, both of the wines were similar. The major differences were mainly because of the age and vintage of the wine.
2013 Cabernet Franc – For some reason, I did not write very many notes on this wine. The color was red with a bit of purple. On the nose, there was definitely some green pepper. It reminded me of a Chinon from the Loire (which is, I believe, what the winemaker is going for here). If I had been tasting this blind, I have no doubt that I would have mistaken it for an old world Chinon. On the palate, there were some earthy notes, the green pepper, and some red fruits (I noted that these red fruits could also be construed as dark fruits… so it was borderline or a mixture of the two). Finally, this wine had great acidity with balanced tannins. It felt like a very warm Chinon (i.e. the wine had a warmth to it --- not referring to weather here).
Overall, all of Savage Grace’s wines were very impressive. These were definitely bottles that I would see myself buying in the future. I would recommend these wines to anyone looking for an old world-style wine that reflects the individuality that Washington State terroir can provide.