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Wines for the New Year!

Happy New Year Leschi! Let’s kick off the new year with our Ten Favorite Wines from this past holiday season. Ever had a wine from Morocco? Did you know they made wine in Morocco? It’s on the list! Along with our favorite white wines, Champagnes and red wines from the last little bit. These are our favorites—we hope you have enjoyed them as much as we have. Cheers!


2018 Mark Ryan Winery Lu & Oly We Sat by the Ocean Yakima ($24)

“Our 60% Viognier/40% Chardonnay blend offers ripe citrus aromas, nectarine, and passion fruit. Fresh with lively acidity, the palate has warm tropical fruit, stonefruits and white floral notes balanced with a touch of oak. We sat by the ocean is medium-bodied and elegant, with a lengthy finish.” ~Winemaker notes. New item. This new label for Mark Ryan Winery is collaboration with Seattle-based artist Kylar Martz, depicting Mark’s daughters in a whimsical, ocean landscape.

2018 La Petite Ferme Blanc Zaër Morocco ($13)

“The nose is fresh and elegant, with great aromatic purity, marked by floral notes and white fruit aromas. The deliciously sweet palate enjoys an attractive harmony of flavors. A lovely charming wine.” ~Winemaker notes


Pierre Peters “Cuvée de Réserve” Brut Blanc de Blancs Champagne NV ($55)

“Vibrant, almost buoyant acidity enlivens this graceful blanc de blancs Champagne, while the creamy mousse offers a finely woven mix of glazed apricot, lemon curd, pastry cream and dried papaya flavors. Smoke and spice accents linger on the finish. Disgorged December 2017. Drink now through 2022.” ~Wine Spectator, 92 points.

Champagne Gimonnet Cuis 1er Cru NV ($46)

Gimonnet is a grower Champagne house with more vineyard acreage in the Côte des Blancs than any other recoltant manipulate. This Cuvée Brut Cuis 1er Cru represents the archetype style of the Pierre Gimonnet & Fils. It is a lively and light Chardonnay based Champagne with all of the freshness and purity of great Côte des Blancs.

Domaine Pierre Gerbais Grains de Celles-sur-Ource Champagne NV ($35)

“The fruit of the most beautiful and complementary grounds of Celles-sur-Ource. The result of observation and selection workover 8 generations of winegrowers in the Gerbais family. A natural wine-growing process recommended by Ampelos since 1996 and certified of High Environmental Value. 50% Pinot Noir, 25% Pinot Blanc and 25% Chardonnay.” ~Winemaker notes


2016 Avennia Valery Red Columbia Valley ($47)

“Merlot from old blocks at Boushey Vineyards make up 70% of this wine, with the rest Cabernet Franc from esteemed Champoux Vineyard. Fascinating aromas of ripe red raspberry, earth, green herbs, cigar box and flower are followed by ripe, hedonistic fruit flavors that show the warmth of the vintage. Coffee notes linger on the finish. Best after 2023. Cellar Selection.” ~Patrick Sullivan, 96 points.

2014 Buty Connor Lee Vineyard Merlot/Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley ($42)

“A classic wine from this estate, the 2014 Conner Lee Vineyard is a blend of 63% Merlot and 37% Cabernet Franc. It offers an herbal edge in its ripe black cherry, red plum, chocolate and earthy bouquet. This gives way to a rich, medium to full-bodied red that has polished tannin, integrated acidity and a great finish.” ~Wine Advocate, 92 points.

2016 Black Stallion Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley ($25)

“A soft and silky red with lots of dark-berry and toasted-coffee undertones, yet not overdone. Full body, round and silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Mainly Cabernet Sauvignon with some Petit Verdot, Merlot and other red grapes. Drink now.” ~James Suckling, 92 points.

2017 Gorman Winery The Devil You Don’t Know ($24)

“Polished and refined, with expressive black cherry, orange peel and bittersweet chocolate flavors that build richness toward fine tannins. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Drink now through 2026. Smart Buy” ~Wine Spectator, 93 points.

2018 Elephant Seven Cosmic Reflection Yellow Bird Vineyard ($19)

“Classic Mourvèdre characteristics of gaminess and meatiness accented with red fruit and licorice. A dense bouquet of dried flowers, garrigue and white pepper with an iodine driven minerality. The finish is pure and lively with nice acidity and supple tannins. 50% Mourvèdre, 50% Syrah, all from Yellow Bird Vineyard. 50% Mourvèdre, 50% Syrah, all from Yellow Bird Vineyard.” ~Winemaker notes.

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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