2003 Hogue Genesis Cabernet Sauvignon

Price: $11.99 @ K&L Wines

What They Said:

Per K&L Wines “94 points The Wine News: Lush, seamlessly integrated flavors of ripe, sweet blackberry, blueberry and minerals; totally in control in the face of so much rich fruit…” 90 points and 1 Puff from the Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, “Ripe, rich, a bit spicy for its sins and full of black cherry and cassis fruitiness, this full-bodied wine takes a fairly direct line on the palate and garners its high points for its depth and flesh more than for complexity. Still, there is an awful lot of flavor and honest drinkability to be found here, and when its oh-so-inviting price tag is put into the calculus, this one adds up to a big winner for current consumption. (12/2006)”

What I Think:

This one came highly recommended to me from a friend at work. Given that my experience with Washington wines has been mostly pleasant I was keen to give it a try. On opening in a word Wow! Let us linger and enjoy that for a moment before getting into the specifics…

Pre-meal I gave this one a go and found mint and tannins on the nose. The front to mid palate showed dark cassis like fruit with the end showing well integrated tannins. It left me looking forward to adding some steak to the mix. What a pair. The steak brought our a bit of pepper and spice but the fruit remained lush. It went a bit dry towards the middle but then rounded out for a long pleasant finish. The experience lasted long after the wine was out of your mouth which is my tell tale sign for a good wine. I’m getting more at this price, heaven forbid this Hogue offering ever shows up at TJ’s (they have others). I’ll buy them out on day one.

Rating: Wow!

2005 Hogue Columbia Valley Washington State Chardonnay

Price: $5.99 @ Trader Joe’s

What They Said:

Per the winery “During the grape growing season, Eastern Washington boasts warm summer days followed by cool nights, ensuring that grapes ripen fully while retaining ample natural acidity. Our 2003 Chardonnay shows that classic balance. Aromas are of pear, citrus vanilla, cream, and hazelnut. The wine has complex Chardonnay character. Bright pear and cream flavors abound on the palate with a roundness acquired from the barrel fermented portion (31%). The finish is crisp. This would be a great accompaniment to broiled wild King salmon or fettuccini with a white clam sauce.”

What I Think:

Given my hate hate relationship with Chardonnay I am quick to look for those outside of the California area. This effort is slightly outside the norm. The nose doesn’t set it apart nor does the initial splash on the palate. But as the oak fades a racy citrus comes through that takes it down a different course. While not spectactular I could see a bottle of this sneaking in to my cart sometime in future. As a side note I am a huge fan of Hogue, especially some of their reds. Don’t hesitate to give any of their bottles a try as I have never be disappointed.

Rating: 12th Bottle