Washington Wine featured at Sip of Snoqualmie



By Kori ~ March 16th, 2009.

Crowd at Sip of SnoqualmieThe inaugural Sip of Snoqualmie, benefitting Encompass, was held last Saturday at the Snoqualmie Casino in Snoqualmie, Washington (about 26 miles east of Seattle). Encompass is a non-profit organization whose mission is to nurture children, enrich families, and inspire community in the Snoqualmie Valley.

Thirty-two Washington wineries were on hand pouring their wines during this tasting extravaganza. The event was a resounding success with more tickets sold than anticipated, many purchased on the day of the event. Due to the last minute ticket sales, several of the wineries ran out of wine before the conclusion of the event. We tasted every wine that we could; although some wineries had run out of one or two of their wines by the time we reached their booth. In addition to the tasting, money was raised for Encompass through a silent auction and raffle.

Sip of Snoqualmie Silent AuctionIn the course of the evening, we discovered several wineries that were new to us. Two of those wineries, Kalamar and Pleasant Hill, are producing wines from emerging varieties in the state of Washington. We thought two of the best wines of the night were the 2006 Kalamar Sangiovese and the 2006 Pleasant Hill Petit Verdot.

I must say that by looking around the bustling casino and then joining hundreds of fellow wine lovers in the ballroom for the tasting, on this particular night, you would never have guessed that we are currently in the midst of an economic crisis.

Here’s a breakdown of the wines that we tasted at Sip of Snoqualmie. Under each Quality heading, the wine name and region will be listed along with price and QPR rating. Wines in bold type received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5).

Wines from Kalamar WineryQuality: 4 stars (out of 5)
2006 Chandler Reach Monte Regalo (red blend), Yakima Valley, $22, QPR: 5
2006 Kalamar Sangiovese, Yakima Valley, $25, QPR: 5
2006 Five Star Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $32, QPR: 5
2006 Pleasant Hill Petit Verdot, Columbia Valley, $29 (will be released in May), QPR: 3
2005 Northstar Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $60, QPR: 3

Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
2006 Sagelands Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $10, QPR: 5
2006 Desert Wind Ruah (red blend), Columbia Valley, $13, QPR: 5
2007 Claar Cellars Riesling, Columbia Valley, $13, QPR: 5
2006 Revelry Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $15, QPR: 5
2005 Saint Laurent Merlot, Wahluke Slope, $18, QPR: 5
2005 Kestrel Cabernet Sauvignon, Yakima Valley, $22, QPR: 5
2006 Mannina Cellars Cali (Bordeaux-style blend), $17, QPR: 4
2005 Chandler Reach Corella (red blend), Yakima Valley, $18, QPR: 4
2006 Pleasant Hill Lemberger/Zinfandel, Walla Walla Valley, $18, QPR: 4
2007 Saint Laurent Chardonnay, Wahluke Slope, $18, QPR: 4
2005 Snoqualmie Reserve Syrah, Columbia Valley, $20, QPR: 4
2006 Vin du Lac Cuvee le Rouge (red blend), Columbia Valley, $20, QPR: 4
2007 Kestrel Estate Old Vine Chardonnay, Yakima Valley, $20, QPR: 4
2007 Isenhower Cellars Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $29, QPR: 4
2003 Terra Blanca Estate Reserve Merlot, Red Mountain, $29, QPR: 4
2002 Kalamar Merlot, Yakima Valley, $30, QPR: 4
2004 Dussek Cabernet Sauvignon [Woodhouse Family Cellars], Rattlesnake Hills, $36, QPR: 4
2005 Northstar Merlot, Columbia Valley, $40, QPR: 3
2007 Alexandria Nicole Cellars Viognier, Horse Heaven Hills, $20, QPR: 2
2007 Hudson Shah Viognier [Woodhouse Family Cellars], Rattlesnake Hills, $37, QPR: 1

Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
2006 Red Diamond Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington State, $11, QPR: 5
2007 Snoqualmie Select Riesling, Columbia Valley, $9, QPR: 4
2007 Sagelands Riesling, Columbia Valley, $10, QPR: 4
2007 Duck Pond Cellars Pinot Grigio, Willamette Valley (OR), $10, QPR: 4
2006 Sleight of Hand Spellbinder (red blend), Columbia Valley, $19, QPR: 4
2007 Airfield Estates Bombshell Red, Yakima Valley, $20, QPR: 4
2007 Vin du Lac Les Amis Riesling Blend, Columbia Valley, $13, QPR: 3
2007 Isenhower Cellars Merlot, Columbia Valley, $19, QPR: 3
2005 Alexandria Nicole Cellars Syrah, Columbia Valley, $25, QPR: 3
2007 Chandler Reach Viognier, Yakima Valley, $18, QPR: 2
2007 Woodinville Wine Cellars Sauvignon Blanc, Red Mountain, $18, QPR: 2
2008 Maison Bleue Au Contraire Chardonnay, Yakima Valley, $22, QPR: 2
2006 Hard Row to Hoe Syrah, Columbia Valley, $28, QPR: 2
2005 Brian Carter Cellars L’Etalon (Bordeaux-style blend), Yakima Valley, $30, QPR: 2
2006 J. Bookwalter Foreshadow Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $42, QPR: 2
2005 Hightower Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $50, QPR: 2
2006 Five Star Cellars Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $32, QPR: 1
2006 Hightower Merlot, Columbia Valley, $38, QPR: 1
2005 Terra Blanca ONYX (red blend), $39, QPR: 1

Quality: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
2006 Red Diamond Merlot, Washington State, $11, QPR: NR
2006 Desert Wind “Bare Naked” Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $12, QPR: NR
NV Kelso Red Table Wine, Columbia Valley, $13, QPR: NR
2006 Ginkgo Forest Syrah, Columbia Valley, $14, QPR: NR
2006 Revelry Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $15, QPR: NR
2006 Revelry Merlot, Columbia Valley, $15, QPR: NR
2007 Canoe Ridge Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $16, QPR: NR
2007 Sleight of Hand Magician Gewurztraminer, Columbia Valley, $17, QPR: NR
2007 Airfield Estates Lightning (white blend), Yakima Valley, $18, QPR: NR
2007 Fidelitas Semillon, Columbia Valley, $18, QPR: NR
2007 Ginkgo Forest Gewurztraminer, Columbia Valley, $20, QPR: NR
2008 Maison Bleue Notre Vie Viognier, Yakima Valley, $22, QPR: NR
2006 Mannina Cellars Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $24, QPR: NR
2004 Lowden Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $25, QPR: NR
2006 Hard Row to Hoe Mis de Miner (red blend), Columbia Valley, $28, QPR: NR
2006 J. Bookwalter Foreshadow Merlot, Columbia Valley, $38, QPR: NR

Quality: 2 stars (out of 5)
2004 Duck Pond Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Wahluke Slope, $8, QPR: NR
2006 Brian Carter Cellars Oriana (white blend), Yakima Valley, $24, QPR: NR
2006 Pleasant Hill Alegria (red blend), Columbia Valley, $24, QPR: NR
2005 Lowden Hills See You There Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $25, QPR: NR


Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Gewurztraminer, Lesser Known Varietals, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, Red Wine, Riesling, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Shiraz/Syrah, Viognier, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wine Activities/Events, Zinfandel

Reader's Comments

  1. Paul Zitarelli | March 16th, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    Kori -

    You have some serious palate stamina! That has to be at least 50 tastes.

    Bummer that there weren’t more 4-star-and-up wines.

  2. Kori | March 16th, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Thanks, Paul. 64 tastes to be exact. As always at a tasting like this, I was spitting. I, too, wish that there had been more 4-star-and-up wines but was glad to see so many 3.5′s come in at 5 bangs for your buck.

  3. Sean Sullivan | March 17th, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Thanks for the writeup Kori. Sounds like a great event. Here here on the Desert Wind Ruah, Chandler Reach Monte Regalo, and Sagelands Cab. Great wines for the money. Will look forward to comparing thoughts at the Taste of Washington.

  4. Kori | March 17th, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Thanks, Sean. The event was a lot of fun. Definitely a number of good wines for the money. I look forward to seeing you at Taste Washington and comparing notes too. Cheers!

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