Taste Washington!



By Kori ~ April 9th, 2008.

20080409_tastewa1.jpgThis past weekend was the Washington Wine Commission’s 11th annual Taste Washington event. Over 200 wineries participated, making this their biggest year ever. This is a special event where winemakers and other wine industry professionals come together with their consumers for a huge party. In addition, approximately 75 Seattle-area restaurants were represented, each serving small bites. There were also cooking demonstrations, sommelier taste-offs, talks by prominent wine authors, and much more. It was a wine and food lover’s paradise!

20080409_tastewa4.jpgIt is the rare occasion that you get so many great wines in the same place at the same time. And many of the wineries have their winemakers on hand to pour samples themselves and talk about their wines.

At such a big event where 200+ wineries are pouring an average of three wines each, it is impossible to taste them all. We decided to focus our tasting on one varietal, Syrah (with a few exceptions). Since Syrah/Shiraz is one of our favorite varietals and we believe that Washington is doing great things with the varietal, we are always on the lookout for new ones to explore from our home state. We wanted to take this opportunity to taste as many Washington Syrahs as possible, especially those that we have heard great things about but had not had an opportunity to taste yet.

We definitely made a few discoveries and look forward to picking up some bottles and adding them to our blind-tasting lineup to see how they stack up against some of our proven favorites. Look for posts on these tastings in the coming weeks and months.

20080409_tastewa3.jpgIn order to keep these notes from being unwieldy as we tasted 35 different wines, I have broken down the list into Quality rating categories. Under each Quality heading, the wine name will be listed along with appellation/region, price and QPR rating. Wines in bold type received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5).

Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
2005 Sequel Syrah, Columbia Valley, $55, QPR: 5

Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
2005 Gilbert Cellars Syrah, Wahluke Slope, $26, QPR: 5
2006 Syncline Syrah, Columbia Valley, $22, QPR: 5
2005 Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $39, QPR: 3
2004 Columbia Crest Walter Clore Private Reserve, Columbia Valley, $44, QPR: 3
2005 DeLille Cellars “Doyenne” Grand Ciel Vineyard Syrah, Red Mountain, $85, QPR: 1
2003 K Vintners “The Hustler” Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $100, QPR: 1

Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
2005 Three Rivers Syrah, Columbia Valley, $24, QPR: 4
2005 Seven Hills Klipsun Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain, $30, QPR: 4
2005 Gilbert Cellars Malbec, Wahluke Slope, $26, QPR: 3
2005 The Bunnell Family Cellar “a pic”, Wahluke Slope, $28, QPR: 3
2005 Darby Destiny Ridge Syrah, Horse Heaven Hills, $30, QPR: 3
2005 Seia Clifton Hill Vineyard Syrah, Wahluke Slope, $30, QPR: 3
2006 Walter Dacon C’est Syrah Belle, Columbia Valley, $30, QPR: 3
2004 Zefina Serience Red, Horse Heaven Hills, $30, QPR: 3
2004 Dunham Cellars Syrah, Columbia Valley, $45, QPR: 2
2006 Icicle Ridge Winery Vintner’s Reserve Merlot, Washington State, $50, QPR: 2
2006 K Vintners Pheasant Run Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $45, QPR: 2
2004 McCrea Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Syrah, Red Mountain, $50, QPR: 1

Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
2005 Chateau Ste. Michelle Boreal, Columbia Valley $30, QPR: 2
2004 Bergevin Lane “Oui Deux” Syrah, Wahluke Slope, $30, QPR: 2
2003 Goose Ridge Vineyards Vireo, Columbia Valley, $30, QPR: 2
2005 Gramercy Cellars “Lagniappe” Syrah, Columbia Valley, $32, QPR: 2
2005 Januik Lewis Vineyard Syrah, Columbia Valley, $30, QPR: 2
2005 Seia Alder Creek Vineyard Syrah, Horse Heaven Hills, $30, QPR: 2
2004 Tamarack Cellars Syrah, Columbia Valley, $28, QPR: 2
2006 Betz Family Winery La Serenne Syrah, Columbia Valley, $50, QPR: 1
2005 Gramercy Cellars Walla Walla Valley Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $40, QPR: 1
2005 Heaven’s Cave The Dweller Syrah, Horse Heaven Hills, $35, QPR: 1
2005 McCrea Amerique Syrah, Yakima Valley, $50, QPR: 1

Quality: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
2006 Ash Hollow Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $28, QPR: NR
2006 Cadaretta Syrah, Columbia Valley, QPR: NR
2006 Charles Smith Wines “Boom Boom!” Syrah, Washington State, $15, QPR: NR
2005 Saviah Walla Walla Valley Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $32, QPR: NR
2006 Walter Dacon C’est Syrah Beaux, Columbia Valley, $38, QPR: NR


Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, Wine Activities/Events, Wines NOT To Buy (1 & 2 Star), Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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