Brian Carter Wine Club

Wine Club Release at Brian Carter Cellars. Gray, foggy, damp and cool. Sounded like a good day to head to Woodinville to pick up our wine club releases from Brian Carter Cellars. We were touring some wineries last summer when we happened upon Brian Carter. Greg Schneider was working the tasting room (as he was today), and was friendly, informative, and pulled out some special wines that our guests from the East Coast could taste. We were sold! And so we joined the wine club, figuring we would try some wine we hadn’t really tasted in the past. Good call.

Blends and Port. Today, we tasted the 2008 Oriana, a white that’s mainly Viognier, Rousanne and Riesling. (We found this perfect this past summer with light appetizers). We also tried the 2006 Byzance, a red Rhone-style blend of 61% Grenache, 21% Syrah and 18% Mourvedre, a spicy wine that has a nice peppery finish that I liked. My husband, meanwhile, enjoyed the 2006 Le Coursier, a Bordeaux-style blend with 39% Merlot, 34% Cab Sauv, 14% Cab Franc, 8% Malbec and 5% Petit Verdot. This is a wine that should pair nicely with steak, and at $15, you can’t go wrong. We also received the Trentenaire, available only to wine club members, that’s primarily Petit Verdot. The BCC website also says it also contains Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. “Occasionally used in small quantities, Petit Verdot is almost never used as the core grape for blending, making this a bold statement of what Washington terroir is capable of producing. Intensely dark in color, the wine opens to aromas of Boysenberry, plus hints of violets and cedar spice. On the palate look for age-worthy tannins and plenty of stamina.” We also tasted the Opulento, a port that pairs beautifully with dark chocolate, and should be something great to pull out after dinner during the holidays as we sit by the fire.

Previous interivew with Brian. I was lucky enough to be asked to interview some of the winemakers at the 2010 Seattle Wine Awards by Executive Director Christopher Chan. Brian Carter happened to be one of the winemakers I chatted with, learning more about the winemakers’ philosophies, as well as which grapes and vineyards they like to use, and what special quality they bring to their wines. Brian was delightful, and here’s a link to the interview: For more information, check out the winery’s website at

Cheers! Margo Myers

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