Van Camp Merlot 2015

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Purchased from Van Camp Cellars, $25


Aaron: I always love Jim’s Merlots.  This is another solid showing with black pepper and gooseberry on the nose.  Some tobacco complements rosebuds on the flavor and while this is a bit more mineral than normal, there are definite notes of raspberry and blackberry.  90 points

Teri: It’s not a secret we love Jim’s wines (perhaps why we quickly joined the wine club of this tiny PNW gem). His 2015 Merlot is hearty but incredibly smooth. It fills your mouth with an even blend of juicy plum, sweet oak, and spice and a fruit forward nose to match. 91 points 

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Portteus Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

IMG_1024.jpgTotal Wine & More (general cab sav), $12.49

Purchased from the Portteus tasking room; Portteus Website, $20

Wine.com, $20.00


Aaron:  This is unbelievable for a $20 bottle.  Fresh tobacco leaves on the nose dance with black currant and vanilla beans.  The fruity flavor is mild with good body and appropriate tannins.  Lots of cocoa and vanilla make this luscious and easy to drink for hours.  Delicious.  92 points

Teri: This bottle has a nose of pepper and bing cherry. The flavor is smooth but hearty, good tannins, and I could taste juicy berry, cassis, and a little bit of leather. Great quality for a 20 dollar bottle. 91 points 

Van Camp Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

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Van Camp Website, $35


Aaron:  Another great Van Camp bottle.  Dark blackberries with olives and smoke on the nose.  A juicy, full flavor makes me know I’m drinking one of Jim’s wines.  The finish is full of smooth vanilla which is a perfect complement to the prominent but not overpowering oak.  91 points

Teri: Juicy nose of raspberry and cinnamon. Flavors of baking spices, red apple, and chocolate covered cherries. Medium tannins and a smooth but full finish. This wine is hearty but not overly heavy and would pair well with rich creamy sauces and meat dishes. One of the best so far from Van Camp (our favorite local small winery).  90 points 

Van Camp Cabernet Franc 2015

Purchase from Van Camp Winery, $24.99



IMG_0867 2.jpgAaron:  Van Camp is solid.  I really love these wines and this one is a perfect medium bodied, middle of the road, everyday wine.  There were plenty of oak and vines with lots of greenery but enough huckleberry to remind you this is still made from fruit, not trees.  There was a lightly juiced flavor and extremely mild tannins.  I normally say “watery” is a bad thing but in this caseit was appropriately mild.  Overall, easy drinking and easy to pair with a wide variety of foods.  90 points.

Teri: Rasberry and chocolate covered strawberries on the nose. A blend of vegetable and fruit flavors: bell pepper and blueberries with medium tannins and finish. Let the bottle breath for about an hour to open up. 88 points