Watermill Winery: Great Fruit and Great Wines from the Brown Family



By Kori ~ June 13th, 2012.

Watermill Winery is located in Milton-Freewater, Oregon, in the heart of the Walla Walla Valley AVA just 10 miles from downtown Walla Walla, Washington. The Brown family, a third generation apple-growing family and the owners of Blue Mountain Cider, founded Watermill in 2005. Rich Funk of Saviah Cellars initially oversaw the winemaking operations until Andrew Brown took over as winemaker in 2007.

Before launching their own winery, grapes grown by the Brown family were used for other prestigious wines from Northstar Winery, Seven Hills Winery, and Saviah Cellars. The Brown family owns some prized land in an area called “The Rocks” by the locals. They have pulled up some of their apple orchards to plant vineyards, and there is potential for even more vineyards to be planted on their land in the future.

“The Brown family is well known in the area for producing ultra-premium fruit and their wine grapes are no exception.” –Rich Funk, owner/winemaker of Saviah Cellars

Recently, we had the opportunity to taste several wines from Watermill Winery in a blind samples tasting. While we thought all four of these red wines were very good, we especially enjoyed their 2009 Cabernet Franc. It is an excellent wine and wonderful with food.

Not only do the Browns produce great fruit and great wines, but they are also some of the nicest people we’ve had the pleasure to meet. If you are in the Walla Walla Valley, be sure to stop by Watermill Winery for a truly memorable visit. And regardless of whether you are able to visit or not, try to get your hands on a bottle or two of Watermill wine and enjoy.

2009 Watermill Cabernet Franc (Columbia Valley): Deep ruby red. Nice nose with cinnamon stick, spice, and black fruit aromas. Black fruit, spice, and smoke come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity and medium to high tannins. Well-balanced with a long, smooth finish.
Quality: 4 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $28

2008 Watermill Syrah (Walla Walla Valley): Dark, inky purple. Nice nose with dark chocolate, black fruit, and creosote aromas. Jammy black fruit and black pepper come through on the palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium to high 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 $24

2009 Watermill Merlot (Walla Walla Valley): Dark red. Aromatic with black plum and earth on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium to high 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 $24

2008 Watermill Tempranillo (Columbia Valley): Dark purplish red. Aromatic with cinnamon, spice, earth, and black fruit on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium tannins, and a long, slightly bitter, 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 $28


Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Oregon Wine, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Tempranillo, Vineyards, Wines Over $25, Wines Under $25

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