Today’s Fresh Sheet – new and recent releases – includes wines from Pamplin Family Winery, JB Neufeld, Nefarious Cellars, Covington Cellars, and Lobo Hills.
Nefarious Cellars has in a short time established itself as Lake Chelan's flagship winery. At Nefarious, wife and husband team of Heather and Dean Neff split winemaking responsibilities, with Heather creating the whites and Dean the reds. The couple consistently produces high quality wines using a mixture of estate fruit and fruit sourced from outside of the region (read a previous writeup on the winery here).
Lake Chelan is an extremely young wine producing region, with its first modern day vinifera plantings in 1998. Variety experimentation continues and, at present, white wines lead the way.
This is what makes the Nefarious 2009 Defiance Vineyard Syrah from the Neff's estate vineyard, which is located next to the outrageously scenic winery and tasting room, a 'stop-the-presses' type of bottle. Many red wines from this cool region have shown more promise than delivery. Nefarious 2009 Defiance Vineyard Syrah delivers and is nothing short of required reading for those interested in exploring this young growing region.
Nefarious Cellars Estate Syrah Defiance Vineyard Lake Chelan 2009 $28
(Excellent/Exceptional) Dark in color. An aromatically appealing wine with brambly boysenberry and blueberry aromas and a floral top note. The palate is perfumed, soft, and silky with plush, concentrated dark fruit flavors. Lingers on the finish. An extremely impressive estate wine from this nascent growing region. 95% Syrah with 5% viognier co-ferment. 14.6% alcohol.
Nefarious Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Riverbend Vineyard Wahluke Slope 2009 $30
(Good/Excellent) Dark in color. An aromatically brooding wine with black, jammy fruit, caramel, and a touch of dark chocolate. The palate is considerably more restrained than the aromatics might suggest with soft fruit flavors and grainy tannins.