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Desert Wind Ruah 2005

Bordeaux Red Blends from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WS90
0% ABV
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3.9 7 Ratings
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3.9 7 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Crafted from fruit grown in the Columbia Valley of Washington, the Desert Wind Ruah is an affirmation of eastern Washington's viticultural prowess. This full bodied, Bordeaux-inspired blend is enveloped in a lush core of concentrated blackberry fruit with a hint of anise on the palate.

The wine has hints of toasted oak and almond spice, as well as a rich garnet color, which is complemented by soft, velvety tannins and a lingering finish.

Enjoy the Ruah alone or with grilled meats, tomato based entrees, and soft cheeses. Drink now through 2011.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
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Desert Wind

Desert Wind

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Desert Wind, , Washington
Desert Wind
The concept to create this brand began with the idea to create a blended red wine. The intent was to make a Bordeaux-like blend using Washington fruit, this objective in turn led to the creation of Desert Wind. Desert Wind was first the name of the vineyard site. It had come about simply enough, coined by Jo Ann Fries; it implied the climate in eastern Washington where the vineyard was planted. Desert Wind came to be synonymous with the superior wines it was capable of producing and thus was translated into the winery name. The theory behind Desert Wind is small lots of fruit, longer barrel aging techniques and something that is created to be very unique and personal.

South Africa

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine zones are divided into region, then smaller districts and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

Chenin Blanc

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Responsible for some of the world’s highest quality white wines, Chenin Blanc doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves. Unquestionably at its best in its birthplace of the Loire Valley, Chenin Blanc can do it all—from bone dry to unctuously sweet, still or sparkling. Perhaps Chenin Blanc’s greatest asset is its ever-present acidity, maintained even under warm growing conditions. Chenin Blanc is also widely planted in South Africa, where it is occasionally labeled as “Steen,” and to a lesser extent in California.

In the Glass

Chenin Blanc ranges from austere to richly sweet, with aromas of McIntosh apple, honey, beeswax, jasmine, hay, and quince. When grown in warmer regions, Chenin Blanc develops richer, tropical-fruit flavors, such as pineapple and melon, as well as ripe stone fruit. Often these wines carry some residual sugar.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Chenin Blanc has the structure, austerity, and chalky acidity to work with antipasti or unadorned seafood, such as oysters and shellfish. Off-dry styles work well with the sweet-and-sour nature of Thai and Vietnamese food.

Sommelier Secret

There are several appellations throughout the Loire Valley devoted to producing different styles of Chenin Blanc. Vouvray, Saumur, Anjou, and Savennieres are known for excellent dry and off-dry wines; Vouvray, along with Montlouis, Bonnezeaux, and Quarts de Chaume, produces glorious late-picked sweet wines whose high sugar levels are offset by Chenin Blanc’s hallmark acidity. Sparkling Crèmant de Loire, Saumur, and Vouvray provide delightfully affordable and flavorful alternatives to Champagne.

LIM145763705_2005 Item# 91029

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