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Wine to Restock the Cellar and a New Elephant in the Room

Happy New Year Leschi! Now that the cellar has been depleted with host gifts and general entertaining, it is a good time to restock. In the event you missed out on some of the recently high profiled wines, here is a recap of some of the wines that are still available from the always coveted Wine Spectator Top 100. A great way to fill back up that cellar is with proven winners. Here are five.

2014 Mollydooker Shiraz McLaren Vale Carnival of Love ($69.99)

#30 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2016. “Luscious cherry, blackberry and plum jam fruit flavors marry together, forming this powerful yet elegant Shiraz. Made from a selection of McLaren Vale’s premier grapes, its deep color and fragrant nose leads to quite a voluptuous palate of fruit intertwined with rich mocha, coffee and chocolate, with traces of licorice and toffee. Carnival of Love offers exceptional complexity while remaining balanced and delightful to drink.” 95-points.

2014 Orin Swift Machete Petite Sirah & Grenache California ($44.99)

#6 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2016. “A nearly opaque color sets in the glass with a hard, red complexion that is almost black. Aromas of ripe blueberries and candied plum mingle with toasted oak and charred vanilla. The entry is soft and inviting which paves the way for a lush mid-palate replete with layers of ripe boysenberry and cassis. The finish showcases ripe tannins and pronounced fruit which frames the two for nearly a minute.” 94-points.

2014 Hahn Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands SLH ($21.99)

#67 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2016. “The texture is plush, with lots of complex flavors, ranging from plum to anise to dusty, cedary oak. Satisfying from start to finish, ending with dusty, nutmeg-scented tannins. Drink now.” 90- points.

2014 M. Chapoutier Côtes du Roussillon-Villages Les Vignes de Bila-Haut ($13.99)

#51 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2016. “This red is supple and fresh, showing a mix of dark berry, plum, herbal tea and peppery flavors. Lightly grapy tannins frame the licorice- and mineral-accented finish. Drink now through 2018.” 90 points.

2014 Joseph Drouhin St.-Véran ($16.79)

#61 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2016. “Though rich, this is offset by vivid acidity, creating a nice tension to the lemon, apple and melon flavors. Long and tangy on the finish. Drink now through 2018.” 90 points.

New Walla Walla Winery

Shortly before the holiday craziness, the Leschi Wine Panel was lucky enough to meet Elephant Seven Winery. They check all the right boxes: Small production? You bet! Producing three total wines, and their current offerings are their very first releases. Scores? Yes! Garnering great scores with a first vintage is unheard of—see the write-ups below. Local? Of course! Not only are the grapes sourced from Walla Walla, but also the winemakers live right down the lake from us here in Leschi!

I’ll leave you with this quote from their website, and encourage you to learn more here: Give them a try — you won’t be disappointed.

“Our goal is to do as absolutely little as possible to the wine. We do not use chemical additives, enzymes, color enhancements or any other foreign substances. Through the struggle of keeping things simple, we create something that is genuine, honest, and beautiful.”

2014 Elephant Seven Syrah Yellow Bird Vineyard Walla Walla ($41.99)

“This Syrah from the Yellow Bird Vineyard is co-fermented with 6% Viognier. It begins with aromatics of leather, milk chocolate, blackberry preserves and hints of smoked bacon. There are flavors reminiscent of black cherry, anise, crème de cassis and milk chocolate. Plush, and exceedingly delicious, this will age gracefully into the next decade. Best 2016-2026.” –International Wine Report, 93-points.

2014 Elephant Seven Syrah River Rock Vineyard Walla Walla Rocks ($32.99)

“Sourced from the prestigious River Rock Vineyard, this deep cored wine opens with an aromatic profile of tar, smoked brisket, Umami, blackberry jelly and hints of cassis. There is a gorgeous range of flavors at play, with red currants, red cherries, Umami, seaweed and bacon fat. The palate is rich with a seamless mouthfeel and velvety texture. 114 cases made. Best 2016-2026.” –International Wine Report, 93-points.


Kenneth Benner, a Seattle area native, is a trained chef and has worked in such restaurants as Barbacoa, B.O.K.A. Kitchen Bar, and Dahlia Lounge. Ken is the wine buyer at Leschi Market. He has a passion for learning, a meticulous palate, and a tenacity for searching out the best for his customers while offering some of the most highly coveted wines in the area. His wine column is intended to inspire and explore new choices in wine, learn about wine with his readers, and share his knowledge and experiences in the wine world. Check out the latest at or request to be added to email updates or send questions, comments, or suggestions to and follow the wine department directly on twitter at

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