Vintage Walla Walla 2009



By Kori ~ June 10th, 2009.

Vintage Walla WallaLast weekend, we traveled to Walla Walla, Washington, to attend Vintage Walla Walla, an annual event considered to be one of the nation’s premier regional wine tasting events. It is a two-day event featuring seminars, tours, and winemaker dinners in addition to the two marquee tastings, the Vintage Pour and the Grand Pavilion Tasting.

On Friday evening, Dad (John) attended the Vintage Pour at The Marcus Whitman Hotel where 34 wineries dipped into their libraries to pour a total of 53 wines from the 2002 vintage and older. This tasting truly showcased the aging potential of Washington State wines. Dad was completely blown away by the oldest wine in the tasting, the 1994 L’Ecole Cabernet Sauvignon.

Colby and I attended the Grand Pavilion Tasting on the lawn at Whitman College on Saturday afternoon. We focused on wineries that were new to us. In all, we tasted 45 wines from 21 wineries. Our most exciting discoveries were Kontos Cellars, Couvillion Winery, and Walla Walla Vintners.

Winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla of Forgeron and KoriInterspersed throughout the Vintage Walla Walla festivities, we took the opportunity to visit some wineries that I had not previously visited: Bergevin Lane, Forgeron, Sleight of Hand, Tamarack, K Vintners, àMaurice, and Stephenson. Luckily, Forgeron winemaker Marie-Eve Gilla happened to be in when we stopped by so we were able to tour the winery with her. Visiting with Marie was a highlight of the weekend for me, and my daughter Sydney absolutely loved Marie’s dog, Salsa. We also had the pleasure to interview Dave Stephenson of Stephenson Cellars and will share that video in a future post. Stephenson makes stellar Syrah; his 2006 Syrah topped our list for the weekend in terms of Quality (4.5/5) and QPR (5/5).

John, owner/winemaker Dave Stephenson of Stephenson Cellars, and KoriWe made a point to stop at a couple of our favorite wineries, Saviah and Watermill, as well. Saviah owner/winemaker Rich Funk took us through a vertical tasting of his Saviah Red Mountain Syrah from the 2003 through the 2007 vintage. Look for a future post on that tasting.

And on our way out of town, we stopped at the new Waterbrook tasting room whose Grand Opening coincided with Vintage Walla Walla weekend. Waterbrook is the flagship brand for the new Walla Walla Wine Works, owned by Precept Wine Brands, whose new facility is on the same property just across a little pond.

Here’s a breakdown of the wines that we tasted during the Vintage Walla Walla weekend. Under each Quality heading, the wine name and region will be listed along with price and QPR rating. Since the older wines tasted at the Vintage Pour are not available for purchase, their price and QPR is listed as NA. Wines in bold type received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5).

K VintnersQuality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
2006 Stephenson Cellars Syrah, Washington State, $32, QPR: 5
2007 K Vintners Syrah Pheasant, Wahluke Slope, $35, QPR: 5

1994 L’Ecole Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA

Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
2008 Sleight of Hand “The Curtain Call” Late Harvest Riesling, Walla Walla Valley, $15 [375ml], QPR: 5
2008 Watermill Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Walla Walla Valley, $18 [375ml], QPR: 5
2006 Forgeron Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $25, QPR: 5
2006 Bergevin Lane Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $26, QPR: 5
2006 Kontos Cellars Merlot, Columbia Valley, $28, QPR: 5
2007 Walla Walla Vintners Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $28, QPR: 5
2005 Stephenson Cellars Merlot, Washington State, $28, QPR: 5
2006 Stephenson Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington State, $32, QPR: 5
2003 Forgeron Cabernet Sauvignon Pepper Bridge Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley, $46, QPR: 5

2008 K Vintners Syrah Rosé, Walla Walla Valley, $20, QPR: 4
2006 Couvillion ‘Equilibre’ Red Wine Bordeaux Blend, Columbia Valley, $25, QPR: 4
2006 Saviah Cellars Cabernet Franc, Walla Walla Valley, $28, QPR: 4
2007 Saviah Cellars Malbec, Walla Walla Valley, $30, QPR: 4
2006 Forgeron Barbera, Columbia Valley, $30, QPR: 4
2007 Bergevin Lane Pinot Noir, Walla Walla Valley, $38, QPR: 4
2006 Feather [Long Shadows] Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $60, QPR: 4
2008 Bergevin Lane Viognier, Columbia Valley, $25, QPR: 3
2006 àMaurice Malbec, Columbia Valley, $35, QPR: 3
2006 Stephenson Cellars Patina Vineyard Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $45, QPR: 3
2007 Tamarack Cellars DuBrul Vineyard Reserve, Yakima Valley, $50, QPR: 2
2006 Bergevin Lane Intuition Reserve Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $55, QPR: 2
2005 Pirouette [Long Shadows], Columbia Valley, $55, QPR: 2
2002 Beresan Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2000 Canoe Ridge Vineyard Merlot, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Cougar Crest Estate Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2001 Dunham Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon VII, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Five Star Cellars Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2001 Forgeron Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2001 K Vintners “Morrison Lane” Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2000 K Vintners “End of the Road” Syrah, Red Mountain, $NA, QPR: NA
2000 L’Ecole Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2001 Leonetti Cellar Reserve, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Lowden Hills Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Pepper Bridge Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Russell Creek Winemakers Select Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
1998 Seven Hills Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Spring Valley Vineyard Frederick, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 SYZYGY Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2001 Tamarack Cellars DuBrul Vineyard Reserve, Yakima Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Tamarack Cellars Syrah, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA

Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
2007 Waterbrook Sangiovese Rosé, Columbia Valley, $12, QPR: 4
2007 Saviah Cellars “The Jack” Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $18, QPR: 4
NV Stephenson Cellars Red Wine, Washington State, $20, QPR: 4
2007 Tamarack Cellars Firehouse Red, Columbia Valley, $20, QPR: 4
2007 K Vintners Syrah Milbrandt, Wahluke Slope, $25, QPR: 4
2003 Forgeron Merlot, Columbia Valley, $27, QPR: 4
2006 SYZYGY Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $36, QPR: 4
2006 Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $42, QPR: 4
2009 Watermill Rosé Wine, Walla Walla Valley, $14, QPR: 3
2008 Bergevin Lane Calico White, Columbia Valley, $16, QPR: 3
2006 Tertulia Cellars Sobra Red, Columbia Valley, $24, QPR: 3
2007 Walla Walla Vintners Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $28, QPR: 3
2006 Fort Walla Walla Cellars Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $28, QPR: 3
2007 Tamarack Cellars Cabernet Franc, Wahluke Slope, $28, QPR: 3
2005 Forgeron Zinfandel, Columbia Valley, $30, QPR: 3
2005 Bergevin Lane Oui Deux Syrah, Wahluke Slope, $32, QPR: 3
2006 SYZYGY Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $34, QPR: 3
2008 Buty Rosé of the Stones (Malbec), Walla Walla Valley, $19, QPR: 2
2007 Stephenson Cellars Viognier, Washington State, $20, QPR: 2
2008 K Vintners Viognier, Columbia Valley, $20, QPR: 2
2008 Dowsett Family Winery Gewurztraminer, Columbia Gorge, $20, QPR: 2
2007 Kontos Cellars Gossamer White, Columbia Valley, $22, QPR: 2
2006 Kontos Cellars Alatus Red Blend, Columbia Valley, $32, QPR: 2
2006 àMaurice Red Blend “Tsutakawa”, Columbia Valley, $35, QPR: 2
2007 Abeja Chardonnay, Washington State, $36, QPR: 2
2007 Sleight of Hand “Levitation” Syrah, Columbia Valley, $40, QPR: 2
2006 Saggi [Long Shadows], Columbia Valley, $45, QPR: 2
2008 Forgeron Roussanne, Columbia Valley, $23, QPR: 1
2007 K Vintners “The Boy” Grenache, Walla Walla Valley, $45, QPR: 1
2006 Browne Family Vineyards Red Bordeaux-style Blend, Columbia Valley, $50, QPR: 1
2002 Amavi Cellars Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Beresan Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Buty Merlot & Cabernet Franc, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Cayuse En Chamberlin Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Five Star Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Five Star Cellars Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 James Leigh Cellars Syrah, Spofford Station, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Chester Kidder [Long Shadows], Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Morrison Lane Reserve Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
1999 Northstar Merlot, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
1999 Patrick M. Paul Vineyards Cabernet Franc, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2000 Reininger Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Russell Creek Winemakers Select Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 SYZYGY Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
1999 Walla Walla Vintners Cuvee, Washington State, $NA, QPR: NA
1996 Woodward Canyon “Artist Series” Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA

Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
2006 Bergevin Lane Calico Red, Columbia Valley, $16, QPR: 4
NV Forgeron Walldeaux Smithie Red, Columbia Valley, $16, QPR: 4
2006 Sleight of Hand “The Spellbinder” Red, Columbia Valley, $19, QPR: 4
2006 Adamant Cellars Red Blend (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot), Columbia Valley, $23, QPR: 4
2006 Couvillion Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $27, QPR: 4
2007 Waterbrook Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, $12, QPR: 3
2007 Watermill Viognier, Columbia Valley, $14, QPR: 3
2007 Watermill Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, $14, QPR: 3
2007 Tamarack Cellars Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $18, QPR: 3
2007 Waterbrook Reserve Syrah, Columbia Valley, $22, QPR: 3
2007 Tamarack Cellars Sangiovese, Columbia Valley, $25, QPR: 3
2006 Couvillion Merlot, Columbia Valley, $25, QPR: 3
2005 Tamarack Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $32, QPR: 3
2006 Tertulia Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $34, QPR: 3
2006 The Beast [Buty] Phinny Hill Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Horse Heaven Hills, $35, QPR: 3
2007 Waterbrook Melange Blanc, Columbia Valley, $15, QPR: 2
2008 Ardenvoir [Chateau Rollat] Rosé, Columbia Valley, $16, QPR: 2
2008 Sleight of Hand “The Magician’s Assistant” Cabernet Franc Rosé, Walla Walla Valley, $17, QPR: 2
2008 Couvillion Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, $18, QPR: 2
2006 Tamarack Cellars Merlot, Columbia Valley, $28, QPR: 2
2005 428 Boulevard Red Wine, Columbia Valley, $28, QPR: 2
2007 Dowsett Family Winery Devotion (Syrah/Mourvedre/Grenache), Columbia Valley, $28, QPR: 2
2005 Tamarack Cellars Syrah, Columbia Valley, $28, QPR: 2
2003 Forgeron Syrah, Columbia Valley, $30, QPR: 2
2007 Abeja Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $32, QPR: 2
2006 Flying Trout Sangiovese, Columbia Valley, $33, QPR: 2
2007 Tertulia Cellars Viognier, Columbia Valley, $19, QPR: 1
2008 Flying Trout Torrontes, Argentina, $19, QPR: 1
2008 Adamant Cellars Bliss (Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon), Columbia Valley, $20, QPR: 1
2007 Buty Semillon, Sauvignon & Muscadelle, Columbia Valley, $25, QPR: 1
2006 àMaurice Syrah, Columbia Valley, $34, QPR: 1
2007 Adamant Cellars Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $35, QPR: 1
2001 Forgeron Merlot, Columbia Valley, $37, QPR: 1
2006 K Vintners “Guido” Sangiovese, Walla Walla Valley, $40, QPR: 1
NV Ensemble Cellars Red, Washington State, $48, QPR: 1
2002 Basel Cellars Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Cayuse Bionic Frog Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2001 Forgeron Zinfandel, Alder Ridge Vineyard, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2001 James Leigh Cellars Syrah, Spofford Station, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Lowden Hills Merlot, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Morrison Lane Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Nicholas Cole Cellars “Camille”, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Patit Creek Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2000 Reininger Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2001 Seven Hills Winery Pentad, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2000 Waterbrook Syrah, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Zerba Cellars Merlot, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Zerba Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NA
2002 Zerba Cellars Syrah, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NA

Quality: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
2006 Renegade Wine Thieves [Sleight of Hand] Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $15, QPR: NR
2008 Gifford Hirlinger Pinot Gris, Walla Walla Valley, $16, QPR: NR
2007 Sleight of Hand “The Magician” Gewurztraminer, Columbia Valley, $17, QPR: NR
2008 Couvillion Riesling, Columbia Valley, $18, QPR: NR
2006 Waterbrook Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $22, QPR: NR
2008 Cadaretta SBS White, Columbia Valley, $23, QPR: NR
2006 àMaurice Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, $28, QPR: NR
2006 Fort Walla Walla Cellars Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, $32, QPR: NR
2006 Cadaretta Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, $39, QPR: NR
2002 Russell Creek Winery Merlot, Columbia Valley, $50, QPR: NR
2002 Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Bottling One, Columbia Valley, $NA, QPR: NR
2002 Whitman Cellars Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $NA, QPR: NR

Quality: 2 stars (out of 5)
2007 Gifford Hirlinger Malbec, Walla Walla Valley, $26, QPR: NR
2002 Russell Creek Winery Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $50, QPR: NR


Filed under: American Wine, Argentine Wine, Barbera, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Dessert Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Gewurztraminer, Grenache, Malbec, Merlot, Mourvedre, Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Red Wine, Riesling, Rose Wine, Roussanne, Sangiovese, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Shiraz/Syrah, Torrontes, Viognier, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wine Activities/Events, Wine Travel, Wines NOT To Buy (1 & 2 Star), Wines Over $25, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25, Zinfandel

Reader's Comments

  1. mrzitro | June 10th, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Wow…what an event. I saw the video that @catie tweeted about. I was intrigued with the Gifford Hirlinger Malbec which was in the video. Then I saw your review of it here. Why did you not like it?

  2. Kori | June 11th, 2009 at 9:20 am

    mrzitro,
    It was quite an event. Lots of wines. The Gifford Hirlinger Malbec just didn’t measure up to other Malbecs I tasted over the weekend (Saviah and aMaurice) or other Washington Malbecs I’ve tasted recently.

  3. Eric | March 11th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    Googling the 2006 Syzygy red wine we’re having tonight. Winepeeps came up. What a tasting note this is from your 09 ww trip!

  4. Kori | March 12th, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Eric,
    Glad to hear we came up in your Google search. What did you think of the wine? Cheers!

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