Wine Tasting Dinner: Washington White Blends



By Kori ~ July 21st, 2010.

On Friday evening, we hosted our 85th wine tasting dinner. It was a gorgeous, sunny day in Seattle, perfect to enjoy some crisp, cool white wines for summer. This month’s dinner featured white blends from Washington State. All were made with two or more white wine varieties and are labeled as white wine, white blend, or have a proprietary name.

All six wines paired perfectly with Mom’s dinner of curried butternut squash soup, spinach and mango salad, roasted chicken breast with red potatoes and garlic, seasoned zucchini, summer squash and grape tomatoes, topped off by cheesecake with raspberry sauce, garnished with fresh raspberries. Not only did all six wines receive a Quality rating of 3.5 stars (out of 5) or higher, but two of the wines also received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5).

The consensus favorite of the evening was the 2009 Corvidae Crowe White Blend. Corvidae Wine Company, located in Sunnyside, Washington, is a relatively new label in the Owen Roe Winery portfolio. In Latin, Corvidae is the name for the family of birds that includes the crow, raven, jay, and magpie, birds that can often be found in Eastern Washington vineyards. This wine had done extremely well during a blind samples tasting earlier this year, but it was absolutely fantastic with dinner. It is a wonderful summer sipper, with or without food. Even though the suggested retail is $12, I have seen it in local grocery stores for under $9.

The other wine in this tasting that deserves extra attention because of its high quality and excellent value is the 2008 Columbia Crest Vineyard 10 White Wine. I continue to be amazed at the quality Columbia Crest is able to achieve at such a high production level. This wine is a great go-to white wine for parties and large groups because it is excellent, appeals to both Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc lovers, and can often be found in local grocery stores for under $6.

It is interesting to note that among those attending this tasting dinner, there seemed to be a slight preference for the wines with a higher percentage of Sauvignon Blanc. With that said, the Semillon-based blends are very good as well. In fact, you can’t go wrong with any of these wines to enjoy on your deck on a warm summer evening or to compliment the lighter fare often served during these warm months.

From 1st to last in the group consensus rankings:

2009 Corvidae Crowe White Blend (Columbia Valley, Washington): 48% Sauvignon Blanc, 19% Chenin Blanc, 18% Riesling, 13% Pinot Gris, 2% Muscat. Pale, greenish yellow. Very aromatic with beautiful floral and tropical fruit aromas. More floral notes, apples, pears, lemon, and lime come through on the palate. Dry and light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity. Well-balanced with a long finish. A wonderful summer sipper, with or without food.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $12; Available elsewhere, $10 to $12

2008 Fidelitas Optu White Wine (Columbia Valley, Washington): 56% Sauvignon Blanc, 44% Semillon. Pale, greenish straw yellow. Aromas of petrol, apple, and a hint of mint lead to flavors of apple, pear, and citrus fruits. Dry and light-bodied with lively acidity and a long finish. Well-balanced with good complexity.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $23.99; Available elsewhere, $18 to $31

2008 Columbia Crest Two Vines Vineyard 10 White Wine (Washington State): 40% Chardonnay, 34% Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Semillon, 15% Other various aromatic varieties. Pale, greenish straw yellow. Citrus aromas, especially grapefruit, as well as a touch of minerality come through on the nose; lots of apple, lime, lemon peel, grapefruit, and white peach on the palate. Dry and light to medium-bodied with lively acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $5.99; Widely available

2008 Bergevin Lane Calico White (Columbia Valley, Washington): 44% Viognier, 37% Roussanne, 19% Chardonnay. Pale, greenish straw yellow. Minerality and pear on the nose; more pear and apple on the palate. Dry and light-bodied with lively acidity and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $15.49; Available elsewhere, $16 to $19

2008 Buty Semillon, Sauvignon and Muscadelle (Columbia Valley, Washington): 69% Semillon, 26% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Muscadelle. Pale yellow in color. Aromatic with floral notes, pineapple, lemon, vanilla, and a hint of oak. Hay, cream, and tropical fruits come through on the palate. Dry, light-bodied and smooth with a medium finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Fred Meyer (Seattle, Washington), $22.99; Available elsewhere, $20 to $24

2008 L’Ecole Nº 41 Estate Luminesce (Seven Hills Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley, Washington): 70% Semillon, 30% Sauvignon Blanc. Pale, greenish straw yellow in color and very aromatic. Pear, apple, and coconut come through on the nose; pears, apples, peach, and mint on the palate. Dry, medium-bodied, and crisp with a long, somewhat tart, finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $20; Available elsewhere, $15 to $21


Filed under: American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners, Wines Under $10, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

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