Tickle Me Pink 2012 Rosé, Columbia Valley, $12 This is a second label for Page Cellars in Woodinville, and it is delicious. It opens with aromas of Red Delicious apple, rhubarb pie and ginger tea, followed by flavors of cranberry juice and something that reminded us of a Hostess cherry pie. This is a lovely, fruity wine well worth including for casual dinners or picnics. (200 cases, 13.7% alc.) Wine Press Northwest Magazine
The 2006 Page Cellars Red Mountain Syrah is, as always, big and viscous and teeth-staining stuff, redolent of stewed berry pie, smoke, leather, and violets, the aromas of which seem to claw their way out of the glass and up your nose like a blast of expensive perfume wafting off a Parisian runway model. It’s an intoxicating smell, and is rife with that elusive, maddening “dusty” quality that sets Red Mountain apart from every other growing region in this state and, without exaggeration, every other appellation in the Western Hemisphere. All that and more carries over onto the palate. This wine, every vintage, is a festival of grace notes. I got blackberries, black cherries, huckleberry, Mission figs, sugar plums, violets, bay laurel, woodsmoke, graphite, cigar box, coffee, dark chocolate, and that damnable “dustiness” which comes across as a hint of something like chewing on a piece of wheatstraw while standing on a sand dune. I’ve been trying for 12 years to find the proper descriptor for the Red Mountain character and sometimes I think I’m actually farther from doing it than when I started. Whatever that is, this wine has it, in spades.
The texture is a tad different from the glycerin slipperiness of the “Lick My Lips”, though. This is more of a fine-grained and chewy feel; what I’ve sometimes referred to as like putting a spoonful of confectioner’s sugar on your tongue and just letting it melt away. It’s a character I seek out in better wines, usually showing most strongly in big, pricey Napa Cabernets and some Spanish Toros, but seldom ever in Washington wines. This has it.
As far as the price goes, I can state categorically that you will find maybe one or two other Washington Syrahs of comparable quality at this wine’s usually-under-$30 sticker and both of those are so scarce that your chances of finding any is remote. Jim has a lot of this wine and he’d be delighted to sell you some. My rating: 92 Points
2010 Fall Release Review
Page Cellars Limited Edition Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2007 is a big but subtle red that shows that elusive “dusty” quality that’s the hallmark of all Red Mountain wines. It’s an odd, ephemeral undertone to the flavor profile of almost every Red Mountain wine I’ve ever tasted and, so far, no one has managed to quantify it; to say exactly what it is that makes these grapes so markedly different. This Cab shows it, in spades. It’s dark and brooding (one of the best examples of that overworked descriptor I’ve ever tasted) and defiantly unsweet. The flavors run to blackberry, cassis, coffee, dark chocolate, graphite, cola, and damson, with fleeting grace notes of spruce, tar, leather, and woodsmoke. It’s a stately, elegant wine that may not please those whose wine tastes run to the hedonistic excesses of Napa Cab or Barossa Shiraz but will roll the socks clean off fans of “serious” Bordeaux and Amarone. If it’s not quite as immediately fruit-sweet as the ’06, it promises a LOT more with three-to-five years cellar time. 94 Points
Page Cellars "Preface" Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain 2007, shows the lovely balance of all its predecessors, but does it in a deeper, less ebullient way, expressing a canoe-load of black fruit flavors, dried fig, caramel, coffee, something faintly like grilled meat, and a fine, fleeting note of pomegranate on the finish. It's a typically-powerful wine that lays easily on the tongue and shows sufficient acidity to be an ultra-versatile food wine. Even with something as gamey and assertive as lamb or venison, this would be a near-perfect match. The texture is silken and viscous and the finish is even longer and more balanced than the '06. This more than upholds the standard of the past Preface releases and promises even better aging potential than the past two. 94 Points
Page Cellars “Norseman” Cabernet Merlot Red Mountain 2008 offers up the classic WACabMerlot profile that – let’s face it – has been Done To Death, but somehow does it in a darker, less fruit-sweet, more “serious” style than about 95% of its peers. Bordeaux freaks will, uh, freak over this wine. It’s not austere to any sort of French degree but it definitely swims against the tide in our WA-state ocean of forced-user-friendly CabMerlot. To me, the difference is all to the good. For those who, like me, have to willfully summon up the fortitude to sample the annual glut of precocious Bordeaux blends, this will be a breath of fresh air. The flavors are classic: cassis, plums, mocha and black cherry from the Cab, olive, bay leaf, blueberry, and mild pepper from the Merlot. Underpinning all of this are terroir notes of that unique volcanic/alluvial soil that distinguishes Red Mountain. At about $25, this is a fine value in Washington faux-Bordeaux. 92 Points
Page Cellars “Red Z” Cabernet Franc Red Mountain 2008 has been changed from its original monicker, “Red Zeppelin”, because, astoundingly, Led Zeppelin’s P.R. flacks slapped a C&D notice on Jim’s little gem-like Cab Franc, fearing that people would be too stupid to distinguish between the wold’s greatest rock band and a bottle of Washington table wine. (Let me say this to that: If you find yourself sitting alone with this bottle, ear cocked to the label, waiting to hear “Four Sticks”, you have far deeper problems than anything a cease ‘n’ desist can address.) That said, this may be my personal fave of the current volume of Pages, simply in terms of its frank, friendly character and gorgeous Red Mountain fruit, coupled with that evasive little thing that makes even Loire Valley’s stony/steely, austere Cab Franc so compelling. There are mystery flavors lurking here, just as in its French cousins, and the cinnamon, raspberry, dried cranberry, clove, anise, and Bing cherry that shout out their presence just frame the question of what the devil it is that makes Cab Franc so freakin’ different. I get fleeting and flattering notes of fresh dill, sumac, teaberry, and red currant but those aren’t it, either, exactly. I’ve been trying to analyze this for 18 years, now, and am no closer than I was when I started. Suffice it to say, I’m a BIG fan of this wine, which ranks only behind Scott Greer’s Sheridan Vineyards Cab Franc with me for consistent drinking enjoyment. 92 Points
Page Cellars “Libra” Columbia Valley 2007 is a Bordeaux-Collides-With-Rhone blend in the style of which we’re starting to see a fair smattering and which I heartily endorse. The sameness and stuffiness of the Bordeaux de Washington Triune – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc – is relieved by the injection of those unruly Rhone peppers and spices. The Syrah, too, adds a satiny, inky depth to what have become predictable flavor profiles. In “Libra”, it’s tempting to think that Jim is making a “kitchen sink” blend, using up spare barrels from his back-stock but the wine is too obviously well-knit for that. It’s bursting with freshness and a coltish youthful character that makes it not only interesting to drink and analyze but fun to sip with friends. It’s medium-to-full bodied, alive with black berry fruit, graced liberally with black pepper, Kirsch, currant, leather, plum, and teaberry flavors, and has a viscous texture that goes down dangerously easy. This is, IMHO, a wine that you can certainly drink now but I’d hold it for a year or son – and I plan to do just that. 92 Points
IQ2 White Blend is Sauvignon Blanc – a dead-solid, classic Columbia Valley SB that oozes yellow tree fruit, buttermint, orange zest, lemon creme, and sweet mineral notes. At $10, you could do a hell of a lot worse in buying a white wine, and I say that knowing full well that MOST of my fave little Spanish and Italian whites fall into the same price category. Ten buck wines generally taste like ten bucks worth. This tastes like you got a Major Deal. The Sauv Blanc that I am most reminded of is the Jose Pariente Rueda, which shows the same quality and un-tarted-up manner, if not exactly the same flavor profile. This is just simply a Good Wine and a greatuse of your hard-earned $$$ 89 Points
Big City Red is a new label of Rothelle Page’s Clubhouse Cellars; a big, stylish red that’s crammed with peppery, berry-rich young fruit and tastes, again, like it should cost about twice-three times what it does. (about $10) In the new wave of Washington Bargain Wines – a movement necessitated by the recession and the best thing that ever happened, both in an aesthetic and business sense, to the Washington wine culture – this is going to quickly stand out. The label is a graphic-novel send-up of the Seattle skyline and is going to be impossible to miss on the shelf and the wine more than delivers on the post-Grunge punch of the graphics. It’s big, easy-drinking, hits every varietal trait like a hammer on an anvil, and has enough acidity to be a killer food wine, pairing with a burger, pizza, or spaghetti like they were Separated At Birth. 90 Points
As for the Preface....we love that one and every time we are in the neighborhood we pick up a bottle. I have more than a couple at home right now..... I have to say though, that although I love big, bold reds, the syrah is hands down one of the best we have tasted. Very distinct. I was surprised when after our annual wine trip to Walla Walla I returned home and we primarily purchased Syrah. I hadn't realized that I liked it so much, and yours.....fantastic. Jeff Hull, Seattle WA.