Special Occasion Wines Worth The Price


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Women winemakers may have been a drop in the bucket a few years ago, but standouts like Anna Schafer of àMaurice Cellars (Walla Walla, WA) are rising to the wave’s crest producing vintage after vintage of smart, beautiful, elegantly finessed wines. If it sounds like Schafer’s wines are distinctly feminine, well, they are in the best sense of the word – refined, round, and supple. Special occasions call for wines that pair well with food yet can be enjoyed independently. My pick for a special occasion splurge is the àMaurice Cellars 2011 The Artist “Anderson” Blend ($40). According to Schafer, 2011 lent itself to feminine wines across the board, at least in the Walla Walla AVA. The painting on the label is titled “Fire on the Love Plane” – for a splurge, I would expect nothing less.Tasting Note: This Bordeaux-style cabernet sauvignon dominant blend (50% cab sauv, 31% cab franc, 19% merlot) explodes with aromas of currants, plum, a touch of milk chocolate and a whiff of resin. Great acidity supports a broad palate experience with a racy, slightly acerbic cherry finish. “Anderson” begs for a juicy cut of lamb, a wedge of nutty cheese, or – if every night is a special occasion – a medium-rare bacon burger.
Julie Arnan, Savory Characters NW

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