Wine Tasting Dinner: 2008 Washington Bordeaux-Style Red Blends [Wow! Alert]



By Kori ~ March 28th, 2012.

Washington State produces many excellent wines from many different grape varieties. There is much debate as to which red wine Washington does best. Some say Syrah, others Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon, and others red Bordeaux-style blends.

This month’s wine tasting dinner featured Bordeaux-style red blends from Washington State, all from the 2008 vintage. It was another fabulous evening of great wines, the company of wonderful friends, and LaGayle’s (Mom’s) excellent food. All six wines paired extremely well with our dinner of tomato basil soup, mile high salad (mixed greens, pecans, dried cranberries, blue cheese, and toasted walnuts with a green onion/Tabasco vinaigrette dressing), prime rib with beef demi-glace, braised kale, garlic mashed sweet potatoes, and German chocolate dessert.

The wines in this tasting, all of which sell for over $30, are premium quality Bordeaux-style blends. The consensus favorite was the 2008 Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse. Once again, we were “wow-ed” by this wine. This was the second time I gave it a Quality rating of 5 stars (out of 5). In fact, it was our Wine Peeps’ Best Washington Wine of 2011. The first time we tasted it at the winery, so I was glad that the rating I gave it then was validated in this blind tasting. If you have not yet tried any Rasa Vineyards wines, you definitely need to seek them out.

Rounding out the top four wines and receiving Quality ratings of 4.5 stars were the 2008 Long Shadows Pirouette, the 2008 Quilceda Creek Palengat Red Wine, and the 2008 Soos Creek Champoux Vineyard Red Wine. As you will see from the quality ratings below, we felt that all six wines were excellent. In my opinion, you cannot go wrong with any of these.

From 1st to last in the group consensus rankings:

2008 Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse (DuBrul Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Washington): 69% Cabernet Sauvignon and 31% Merlot. Deep, dark purplish red. Outstanding nose with gorgeous aromas of black cherry, black currant, leather, vanilla, and white pepper. More black cherry, black currant, vanilla, and white pepper as well as cocoa notes come through on the palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity and silky, smooth tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a finish that goes on forever. An absolutely amazing wine. Wow!
Quality: 5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $95; Available elsewhere, $95 to $100

2008 Long Shadows Pirouette (Columbia Valley, Washington): 63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, 9% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot. Dark purple. Nice nose with red and black fruit and clove aromas. More red and black fruit as well as smoked meat and a touch of black pepper come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $50; Available elsewhere, $53 to $57

2008 Quilceda Creek Palengat Red Wine (Palengat Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington): 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Cabernet Franc, 7% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot. Dark purplish red. Aromatic with blackberry, black plum, cassis, and cherry cola on the nose. More black fruit as well as pencil lead and spice come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high, smooth tannins. Well-balanced with a very long finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $85; Available elsewhere, $85 to $156

2008 Soos Creek Champoux Vineyard Red Wine (Champoux Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington): 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Merlot. Dark purplish red. Nice nose with chocolate, licorice, and black fruit aromas and flavors. Full-bodied with lively acidity and extremely smooth tannins. Well-balanced with a long, lingering finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $33; Available elsewhere, $30 to $36

2008 Andrew Will Sorella (Champoux Vineyard, Horse Heaven Hills, Washington): 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Merlot, and 14% Cabernet Franc. Deep, dark red. Aromatic with black cherry, toast, and pencil lead aromas. More black fruit, oak, and a hint of leather come through on the palate. Full-bodied with lively acidity and high tannins. Well-balanced with a long, slightly bitter finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 1 bang for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $68; Available elsewhere, $60 to $90

2008 Saviah Cellars Une Vallée Red Wine (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): 56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 38% Merlot, and 6% Cabernet Franc. Deep, dark red in color. Nice nose with blackberry jam, baking spice, and licorice aromas. Fruit-forward with blackberry, plum, and spice on the palate. Full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $32; Available elsewhere, $27 to $40


Filed under: American Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Five-Star Quality Wines, Food & Wine, Red Wine, Washington State Wine, Wine Tasting Dinners, Wines Over $25

Reader's Comments

  1. binNotes | March 28th, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    OMG…drooling…drooling…more drooling…thanks for sharing.cheers!

  2. Kori | March 30th, 2012 at 11:19 am

    binNotes,
    My pleasure! It truly was a wonderful tasting dinner. Cheers!

  3. David Larsen | May 2nd, 2012 at 6:22 am

    Kori, Thanks for the nice review of our 08 Champoux vineyard wine!

  4. Kori | May 2nd, 2012 at 10:47 am

    David,
    You are most welcome. Keep up the good work! Cheers!

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