Baer Ursa 2008
Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
#6 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011
With aromas of ripe black cherry and red berries, vanilla, wood smoke, roasted herbs and sweet oak, the concentrated flavors of this supple blend offer a lengthy finish. The 2008 blend amps up the Merlot, but remains distinctively "Ursa" with hints of violet, and spicy black pepper derived from Cabernet Franc.
A well-rounded crowd pleaser, Ursa continues to deliver a lush, but complex fruit-forward blend that pairs well with food or sips well on its own.
53% Merlot, 29% Cabernet Franc, 13% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4% Malbec, 1% Petit Verdot
Wine Spectator - "This has great presence, offering a dense cloud of blackberry, cherry and spice flavors that hover, almost weightless, over a sleek frame of fine tannins, with just enough acidity to keep it fresh. The finish sails on beautifully. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Best from 2012 through 2020. 1,095 cases made."
Wine Enthusiast - "Merlot and Cab Franc are the stars of this five-grape Bordeaux-style blend. It begins sweetly, with a pretty mix of ripe berries, spicy toast and dark chocolate. The flavors spread across the palate, adding hints of black pepper and sandalwood. Lush, deep, and slightly exotic, this is a real palate-pleaser.
International Wine Cellar - "Good full, deep red. Cassis, bitter chocolate, sexy oak and an inky quality on the primary nose, with complicating notes of tomato leaf and tobacco. Lush, sweet and concentrated. This spicy, rather suave big boy finishes supple, broad and long, with substantial dusty tannins."
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Winemaker Lance Baer founded Baer Winery in 2000 with a single passion—to bring something unique to Woodinville. After years of working with some of the most prestigious wineries in the area, Lance wanted to take his winemaking skills in his own, creative, direction. Lance succeeded in handcrafting blends distinctly his own, and in April 2003 the winery’s signature blend, Ursa, was released. Ursa, a feminine expression of red wine, predominantly Merlot and Cabernet Franc, was soon followed by Arctos, a bolder Cabernet Sauvignon-based blend. View all Baer Wines
About Columbia ValleyView a map of Columbia Valley wineries
Columbia Valley is the largest of Washington State's wine growing regions, with almost 11 million acres. It encompasses a number of smaller regions, including Yakima Valley, Walla Walla Valley, Red Mountain and more. The vast area consists of a range of climates, allowing viticulturists to plant a diverse selection of grape varieties. Most wineries plant rows sparsely, which helps the vines survive the harsh winters.
Notable FactsMerlot is the most popular and most planted grape of the area, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Syrah and Riesling are also popular and continue to grow in acreage.
About WashingtonRelated Links:Now the number two producer in the United States, Washington State has also grown in quality.
So how does a state known for rain and coffee produce high quality wines? They plant their grapes on the east side of the Cascade mountains, away from that ever-present rain cloud that sits along the coast. Perhaps wine grapes do well since the sandy loam soils east of the Cascade range give way to an almost desert-like land, saved from drought only by the helpful rivers that run through the area – and the good irrigation systems.
Thinking that the state would do best with typical northern growing grapes like Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, turns out the apple state is well-suited for reds, namely Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and, more recently, Syrah. Of course, whites have not been forgotten - Washington State Rieslings range from bone-dry to sweet, are well-structured and high quality, and Chardonnay dominates most of the other white plantings, making a range of wines. But the reds of the region, Merlot in particular, have made Washington State a quality force to be reckoned with.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.