By Kori ~ March 29th, 2010.
The Washington wine industry continues to grow at a rapid rate. According to the Washington Wine Commission, a new winery is bonded every ten days. As a Washington wine lover, it is always exciting to try new wines from new wineries.
Crayelle Cellars, located in Wenatchee, Washington, was founded by winemaker Craig Mitrakul and his wife Danielle in the fall. The inaugural release of their wines was in November 2009. Even though Crayelle Cellars is a new winery, Craig Mitrakul is not new to winemaking. He received his Masters Degree in Food Science with an emphasis in Enology at Cornell University where he studied under Thomas Henick-Kling, now the Director of Enology and Viticulture at Washington State University.
After graduation, Craig worked as a lab technician for Chateau Ste. Michelle where he had the opportunity to work with some of Washingtonâ€™s top winemakers. He then worked in Australia, New York, and Oregon before returning to Washington State as an assistant winemaker at Three Rivers Winery in Walla Walla. Since 2004, he has been the winemaker for Ryan Patrick Vineyards and Saint Laurent Estate Winery in the Wenatchee Valley. With nearly 15 years of experience under his belt, Craig decided it was time to try his hand at his own label, focusing on the two varietals he is most passionate about, Riesling and Syrah. Since we believe that Riesling and Syrah are Washingtonâ€™s signature varietals, we think that he has made a wise decision to showcase these two grapes that grow so well in Washington State.
Recently, we had the opportunity to taste both of Crayelleâ€™s inaugural releases in a blind samples tasting, the 2008 Dry Riesling and the 2007 Syrah. Based on tasting these wines, Crayelle Cellars and winemaker Craig Mitrakul show great promise. I look forward to trying both of these wines again once theyâ€™ve had some more time in the bottle, and I encourage you to give either of them a try if you have the chance.
2008 Crayelle Cellars Dry Riesling (Columbia Valley, Washington): Pale, greenish yellow in color and very aromatic. Aromas of petrol and pear lead to flavors of pear and lime SweeTarts. Medium-bodied with tart acidity. Well-balanced with a long finish. Residual Sugar: 0.05%
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $16; Available elsewhere, $16
2007 Crayelle Cellars Syrah (Columbia Valley, Washington): Deep, dark purple. Aromatic with black fruits, leather, and smoke coming through on both the nose and the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium to high sweet tannins, and a long, slightly bitter, finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $26; Available elsewhere, $26
Filed under: American Wine, Red Wine, Riesling, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25