Gems in My Glass . . . September 2019

3:08 pm Northwest, Tasting Notes

Townshend Cellar, located just north of Spokane, Washington was founded in 1998 by Don Townshend.  Sons Michael and Brendon lead the operations there now, following in Don’s footsteps.  Grapes for all their wines are sourced from vineyards planted within the expansive Columbia Valley AVA.  Their wines are fruit driven, easy to drink, and good values across the board, too.

NV Brut Sparkling:  This easy to quaff sparkling wine (made in the traditional method) opens with a leesy, fruity aroma.  Crafted of 60% Pinot Noir and 40% Chardonnay, it showcases creamy Rainier cherries, citrus blossom, fresh pie crust, lemon-splashed Honeycrisp apples, and a tiny stream of bubbles.  Lively and well balanced through the tingling finish.  SRP:  $14

2018 Chardonnay:  The pleasing aroma clearly speaks Chardonnay with its orchard fruits.  That theme continues through the palate, with flavors of creamy Comice pears and crunchy green apples joining lemon-lime notes, a trace of toast, and hints of honeysuckle.  Supple and well balanced through the lifted finish.  SRP:  $12

2017 Pinot Gris:  This refreshing and beautifully textured Pinot Gris opens with a tantalizing aroma.  Flavors of juicy fresh peaches, poached pears, minerally notes, and Meyer lemon ice unfold brightly on the palate.  Smooth and focused with lively acidity, it will have you reaching for more when the last vibrant drops glide to the long, heavenly finish.   SRP:  $12

2018 Sauvignon Blanc:  Citrus notes on the nose lead to Granny Smith apple, fresh squeezed grapefruit, and oyster shell salinity unfolding onto the palate.  Hints of hay and melon join in on the back palate, and a good level of acidity prevails.   Lean and straightforward with a punch of lemon zest on the finish.  SRP:  $12

NV Red Table Wine:  Here is a very appealing red wine crafted of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah.  Bursting with sun-ripened fruit on the nose and entry, the generous fruit continues to deliver satisfying flavors throughout.  Layers of purple plums, Bing cherries and boysenberries accented by vanilla bean and toasted oak notes flow to a round, juicy finish.  SRP:  $12

NV Vortex Red:  Forest berry notes rise from the glass with this expressive and well-balanced blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot and Cab Franc.  Deeply fruited, it broadcasts aromas and flavors of plump blueberries, olallieberries, raspberries, and spiced plum jam, with a touch of crushed herbs adding dimension.  Gentle tannins and a velvety smooth texture lead to a finish that lingers.  SRP:  $16

NV T3 Red:  Also a blend of Cab Sauv, Merlot and Cab Franc, T3  leads off with black-fruited scents and a rich entry.  Succulent on the palate with plums, black currants, and blackberries, hints of pencil shavings, and savory spice.   Thirty months of barrel aging adds complementary toasty notes.  Balanced and smooth with cranberry and baking chocolate on the persistent finish.  SRP:  $20

2009 Cabernet Franc:  Supporting my outlook that Cab Franc shines in the Great Northwest, here is a nice example.  Dark, dense and delicious, it engages at first whiff with violets and berries.  Cassis, brambleberries, black raspberries, graphite, a twist of mixed peppercorns and hints of earthiness entwine, wrapped in approachable tannins.  The balance is fine-tuned, and flavors remain vivid through the long finish.  SRP:  $22

2009 Ice Riesling:  Aromas of orange blossom honey arouse the senses.  On the palate this gem is rich yet precisely balanced with a fine level of acidity.  Flavors of peach sherbet, roasted almonds, caramel, lemon custard, and butterscotch taffy create a delectable explosion of flavors on the palate.  The finish is zesty and extended, with a pop of candied orange peel; a delicious nightcap!  SRP:  $30

Greg in the tasting room provides a warm welcome.  He is professional, competent, knowledgeable and pleasant, with a positive attitude.  Visit Townshend Cellar’s tasting room Friday to Sunday, 12 noon to 5 pm.


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