Northwest Totem Cellars: Standing Tall



By Kori ~ October 10th, 2011.

Northwest Totem Cellars, founded by Mike and Kate Sharadin, is located on private property in Redmond, Washington, just outside of Woodinville. Kate Sharadin grew up in the Vancouver, BC, area so it is not surprising that the Sharadins settled in the Pacific Northwest. In 1996, they moved to the Woodinville area after careers had taken them to Texas and California. Mike was an elite swim coach for over 30 years, including coaching in the 1984 Olympics.

After moving to Woodinville, the Sharadins met Cheryl Jones when Mike succeeded her as the local PTA president. They became fast friends and soon discovered a common interest in wine. Cheryl had worked in the wine industry for over 30 years for a number of Woodinville wineries. Ultimately, Cheryl helped Mike get his start in the wine industry with a job as cellarmaster for Cavatappi Winery in Kirkland. After getting his feet wet in the industry, Mike decided to try his hand at winemaking. The Sharadins teamed up with four other people to make some wine. They learned a lot in the process and decided to take their hobby to a commercial level when they founded Northwest Totem Cellars in 2005. Mike serves as the winemaker, and their friend Cheryl Jones is the consulting enologist.

Northwest Totem Cellars sources fruit from Chandler Reach Vineyards, Elerding Vineyards, and Sagemoor Vineyards. All of their red wines are closed with environmentally friendly glass stoppers rather than cork. Their annual production is around 2,100 cases.

Recently, we had the opportunity to taste some of the current releases from Northwest Totem Cellars in a blind samples tasting. Our favorite was the 2008 Grenache. It exhibits vibrant fruit and will pair extremely well with food. We also really enjoyed the 2007 Longhouse Syrah and the 2007 Low Man Red, a Bordeaux-style blend.

If you find yourself in the Woodinville area, I highly encourage you to visit Northwest Totem Cellars. The Sharadins welcome guests into their beautiful Northwest-style home for tastings. They are open one weekend per month or by appointment.

2008 Northwest Totem Cellars Grenache (Yakima Valley, Washington): 97% Grenache and 3% Mourvedre. Medium-deep ruby red. Aromatic with molasses, mint, and red fruits on the nose. Raspberry, blueberry, mint, and molasses come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $35

2007 Northwest Totem Cellars Longhouse Syrah (Yakima Valley, Washington): 90% Syrah, 4% Viognier, and 6% Petit Verdot. Dark, dense purple in color. Aromatic with black fruit, oak, and floral notes on the nose. Black fruit, floral notes, and spice come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $20

2007 Northwest Totem Cellars Low Man Red (Columbia Valley, Washington): 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot. Deep ruby red. Nice nose with raspberry, blackberry, and spice aromas. Red fruit, spice, and licorice come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium tannins, and a long 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 $35

2007 Northwest Totem Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon (Yakima Valley, Washington): Dark red in color. Nice nose with jammy red and black fruit and vanilla aromas. More black fruit and vanilla come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium tannins, and a medium to long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $35

2008 Northwest Totem Cellars Qo-ne (Columbia Valley, Washington): 60% Cabernet Franc, 29% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Syrah, and 2% Petit Verdot. Dark red. Aromatic with smoke, spice, black fruit, and earth on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium tannins, and a medium to long finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 1 bang for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $35


Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25

Reader's Comments

  1. TheGourmetCoffeeGuy | October 10th, 2011 at 10:55 pm

    Enjoyed reading your post. Like your suggestions very much, especially 2007 Northwest Totem Cellars, sounds like it would go well with poultry.

  2. Kori | October 11th, 2011 at 11:11 am

    CoffeeGuy,
    As always, thanks for your comment. Hope you have a chance to try some wines from Northwest Totem Cellars. Cheers!

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