With the February issue of the Review of Washington Wines wrapped up and on line, we have been tasting and writing reviews of wines for the March issue. We also have appointments lined up at Bergevin Lane, Bledsoe Family Wines and Dunham Cellars. Here's what we've tasted so far.

The Wines of Todd Alexande

In 2014, Todd Alexander, who had worked at the acclaimed Bryant Family Vineyard in the Napa Valley, joined the Force Majeure team as winemaker, owned by Paul and Susan McBride. In 2018, the winery built a production facility near the Rocks of Milton-Freewater District. Todd also joined The Walls Winery, owned by Mike Murphy, as Consulting Winemaker. His wife, Carrie Alexander directs sales and marketing for both wineries. Todd also directs winemaking for PASXA, another Murphy venture, and Holocene Wines, a collaboration with Carrie Alexander. 

2019 Parabellum by Force Majeure "Coulée" Red Wine, Columbia Valley ($38) - This Rhone-style blend has immediate appeal with rich aromas of wild fruits and vigorous black and blue fruits that are mouth filling and long lasting.. 19/20 points.

2019 Force Majeure "Parvata" Red Wine, Red Mountain ($70) - This is a powerful blend of 42% Mourvèdre, 32% Syrah, 21% Grenache plus bits of Cinault and Grenache. It is a bold and mouth filling wine with layers of dark fruits and sensations of pressed berries, liqueurs and charcoal, all leading into a long, complex finish. 19.5/20 points

2020 The Walls "Martin's Gold" Chardonnay, Yakima Valley, French Creek Vineyard ($42) - Produced from the Mt. Eden clone, this offers classic Chardonnay aromas and ultra precise flavors, with rich fruits and touches of lemon custard, brioche and butternut. 19.5/20 points

2019 The Walls "Bellamy" Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley ($55) - This Cabernet (with 19% Merlot and 2% Cabernet Franc) is simultaneously bold and refined, with layers of dark fruits that firm up on the back and push on into a lengthy finish. 19+/20 points.

2019 PASXA Grenache, Walla Walla Valley, River Rock Vineyard ($80) - This is a superb rendition of Grenache from The Rocks. The aromas and flavors are exceedingly seductive, with lavish yet penetrating red fruits and an endless finish. 19.5/20 points.

Full reviews of the above wines along with others to be in the March issue of the Review of Washington Wines.

Superb 2017 Red Wines from :Nota Bene Cellars

We have been following Tim Narby and Carol Bryant';s :Nota Bene Cellars in South Seattle. Sourced from premier vineyards and carefully crafted the wines are of exceptional quality.

2017 :Nota Bene Cellars "Una Notte" Red Blend, Columbia Valley ($30) - This blend of 75% Grenache, 19% Syrah and 6% Mourvèdre offers a brick red color and engaging aromas and generous yet deep red fruits that turn chewy textured on the back, followed by a satisfying finish. 18.5/20 points.

2017 :Nota Bene Ctellars Mourvèdre, Red Mountain, Heart of the Hill Vineyard ($30) - This is a richlvorsy aromatic wine with thick, chewy flavors that are intermixed with Red Mountain scorched earth and followed by a ripe, savory finish. 18.5/20 points

2017 :Nota Bene "Arianses" Red Blend, Columbia Valley ($30) - This blend of 38% Cabernet Sauvignon, 37% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 11% Petit Verdot offers rich, smoky aromas and generous yet deep and focused flavors and a ripe moderate tannin finish. 18.5+/20 points.

2017 :Nota Bene Ciel du Cheval Red Blend, Red Mountain ($45) - This blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 28% Cabernet Franc and 24% Merlot offers intoxicating aromas and thick, dramatic flavors that penetrate on the back and extend into a lingering grainy yet smooth finish. 19/20 points.

Full reviews to be in the March issue along with other new :Nota Bene wines.

New From Caprio Cellars

Lately, we've been getting Caprio Cellars' "Sunday Supper" take out dinners. Last Sunday, we had the new 2018 Caprio Cellars Estate Red wine with our Pulled Pork Mac 'n Cheese. 

2018 Caprio Cellars Estate Red, Walla Walla Valley ($42) - Deep ruby colored, this possesses seductive aromas and supple, yet deep and focused dark fruits that are followed by a lengthy ripe tannin finish. 19/20 points. Full Review to be in the March issue.

Champagne Deal of the Month

We love Champagne (the real thing) and are always on the lookout for great buys. Here's one from Esquin Wine Merchants that's not to be missed.

N.V. Tribaut Champagne Premier Cru ($35.99 - Esquin) - Composed of 50% Pinot Noir, 30% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Meunier, this displays a brilliant copper-tinged color, streaming bubbles and lovely aromas of strawberry, pear, mandarin orange, pear blossoms, brioche and lightly spiced white incense. The flavors are well delineated, with notes of grape and pear skins and saline minerals. On the back, the wine enriches with fraise and poire liqueurs, orange peel and lees and creme fraiche, followed by a CO2 enlivened dry-edged (5 g/L dosage) Brut finish. 19/20 points.