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Avalon Wine Club February Selections


Oregon Reserve Pinot Noir Club

Ayoub Estate Dundee Hills Pinot noir 2011Ayoub Estate Dundee Hills 2011
$55 retail $46.75 member price
The flagship of Ayoub Pinots floors us again. I believe this will be the finest of Mo’s 2011s and the longest-lived. It smells amazing, complex and perfumed, displaying gorgeous red fruits, cedar-spice, and an evocative fresh-rain-on-earth quality.

Raspberry, pie cherry and strawberry layers are wrapped with a ribbon of orange and clove. It’s very silky upfront, with underlying mineral accents melding perfectly with the sweetness of the Ayoub Estate’s fruit. This has depth of character to spare! Buy it, age it, love it.

Westrey Oracle 2010
$30 retail $25.50 member price
A new dimension of complexity and awesomeness for Westrey’s Oracle Vineyard Pinot noir.
Surprisingly open and forward, this is pure silky, sappy, vinous delight. Christmas spice and crushed red fruits latched onto my olfactory and wouldn’t let go. It starts very red, billowing sweet and bright raspberry and cherry, developing a dark, palate-staining layer. Presence, persistence, intensity.

Northwest Big Reds Club

Mark Ryan Dead Horse Red 2010Mark Ryan Dead Horse 2010
$52 retail $44.20 member price
Mark Ryan Winery’s Dead Horse Red is their most beloved and critically acclaimed wine. 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec, 2% Petit Verdot. Made from Klipsun, Ciel du Cheval, Obelisco, and Red Willow Vineyard.

The flagship of the Mark Ryan line-up and always my favorite, owing to the Cabernet backbone and Petit Verdot. Deep black fruits laced with red cherries, espresso, graphite, and a touch of spiced vanilla. I highly recommend it. – Marcus

Mark Ryan’s Dead Horse has intense aromas of blackberry, violet, and raspberry combine with layers of tealeaf, tobacco, bramble, mint, cracked black pepper and clove. The palate is rich and supple with elements of cocoa and vanilla bean. The texture is refined with elegant tannins. – Mark McNeilly

Rasa PB Cabernet Franc 2010
$29 retail $23.80 member price
Wine Spectator 92 points Vibrant, focused and light-footed, with ripe black fruit at the core and haunting notes of rose petal and tar on the lingering finish. Drink now through 2018. – H.S.
75 cases made. Red currant, vanilla, spice, and cedar on the nose. The dark red berry and currant flavors are accented by dark chocolate and a hint of truffle. A big, satisfying Washington State Cabernet Franc. – Avalon

Aged in French oak for 22 months, this wine displays nuanced aromatics of black currant, cedar, sandalwood, vanilla, violet, lavender, spice, and truffle. On the palate, the black currant and blueberry fruit notes are gently counterbalanced with vanilla, spice, espresso, dark chocolate, truffle, and tobacco notes. The minute long plus finish echoes a floral characteristic that is the hallmark of great Cab Franc. The grapes come from the Wahluke Slope. – Billo Naravane

Insider’s Pinot Noir Club

Beaux Freres Les Cousins Pinot noir 2011Beaux Freres Les Cousins 2011
$28 retail $23.80 member price
Yes! Here’s a daily drinker from prestige winery Beaux Freres, one that rarely comes along. The barrels for this wine were selected by Mike and Grant from the Beaux Freres cellar to demonstrate a brighter, more approachable wine, one of style and grace. Mike has created an elegant and refreshing young Pinot. Barrels from the cellar include Estate fruit from their premiere wine, Upper Terrace.
Fans of Beaux Freres? Here’s what to drink while you wait for your Estate and Upper Terrace to age. This wine is perfect to drink right now – like all Beaux Freres wines it benefits from air and with a quick splash decanting it really opens up allowing the fresh fruit to shine.

Fragrant and spicy aromas lead into a fresh handful of red berries, mixing with earth and sweet blackberries on the sneaky-long finish. Drinking well with decanting, Les Cousins will age for 2-4 years.

Ransom Selection 2010
$22 retail $18.70 member price
I’ve been staring at this bottle for a month, waiting for a free moment to open it. Damn I’m glad I did! I’m shocked at how much Pinot this is for the price. When first opened, black cherry and licorice invite you in to a fantastic party of fruit and spice. Filled with energetic intensity, delving into savory violets, crushed red and black raspberries, this is a pure joy to drink.

Adding Johan Vineyard to the roster of four sites that informed this cuvee’s previous edition, the Ransom 2010 Pinot Noir Selection – tasted in a close approximation to its final assemblage – delivers downright refreshingly as well as invigoratingly tangy red currant and fraises des bois, tinged with coriander seed, nutmeg, and rose hip.

Buoyant to the point of delicacy, this finishes with mouthwatering persistence and is sure on release to represent an outstanding value that can be enjoyed over at least the next half dozen years. – Wine Advocate

Northwest New Discoveries Club

Corvidae Fable Petite Sirah 2009Corvidae Fable Petite Sirah 2009
$17 retail $14.45 member price
Made by Owen Roe, Corvidae’s Fable Petite Sirah is an amazing value! Inky, smoky blackberry, crushed violets, cracked white pepper, with hints of plum jam. This is a wild wine, big and black, one of the rare Petite Sirahs made in the Pacific Northwest. Ready to drink, it’s a great wine to drink with a t-bone.

Owen Roe’s “Corvidae” label is named for the family of birds that includes crows and ravens. Crows have a long history in folklore and mythology. David was inspired to name the label Corvidae by the many crows that circle the sky over his winery in Yakima.”

Corvidae’s “Fable” is named for the Aesop fable called “The Fox and the Crow.” In the story, a fox comes upon a crow sitting in a tree with a piece of cheese in its beak. The fox compliments the crow, asking the crow to let it hear its beautiful voice. Flattered by the fox, the crow opens its mouth to sing, the cheese falls to the ground, and the fox runs away. The moral of the tale: “Beware of Flatterers.”

Walter Scott WV Chardonnay 2011
$23 retail $19.55 member price
A blend of the Bieze and Vojtilla Vineyards, made with a lighter touch resulting in a leaner, brighter style of Chardonnay.

We’ve been focused on Oregon wines for ages now, so we know when a star is born, when a winery has their breakout moment. That time is now for Walter Scott. When you combine one of Oregon’s most respected wine salesmen with one of our best Sommeliers, you have the makings of a breakout winery. Ken Pahlow and Erica Landon are those two people, and now that they’ve settled into their own winery, their time is now.


Author: Jean Yates


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