Brancott Estate Flight Song: A New Lighter Wine Range



By Kori ~ April 30th, 2014

Brancott Estate, located in Blenheim, New Zealand, was founded in 1934. Originally known as Montana Wines, Brancott Estate got its current name from Brancott Vineyard, which is its original Marlborough vineyard and home. In 1973, Brancott Vineyard was the site of the first Sauvignon Blanc plantings in Marlborough. Chief winemaker Patrick Materman joined Brancott Estate in 1990. Brancott is a founding member of New Zealand’s original sustainable winegrowing initiative established in 1995. We had the pleasure to visit the winery when we were in New Zealand in 2005.

This spring, Brancott Estate introduced a new lighter wine range called Flight Song, which includes a Sauvignon Blanc and a Pinot Grigio. These wines are produced using grapes harvested earlier in the season when their sugar levels are naturally lower. This leads to a wine that is 20 percent lighter in calories than a typical wine of the same variety.

“There are a number of ways to reduce the calories in wine but not all of these processes are natural and many of them affect the flavor of the wine. With Brancott Estate Flight Song, we use a natural winemaking approach to create a wine that is 20 percent lighter in calories. By doing this, we retain all of the distinctive Marlborough flavors that people expect from Brancott Estate,” says Patrick Materman, Brancott Estate Chief Winemaker

Recently, we had the opportunity to taste the 2013 Flight Song Sauvignon Blanc and the 2013 Flight Song Pinot Grigio in a blind samples tasting. Both wines are good and are perfect sippers for the warm weather ahead. The Flight Song range is now available nationwide in the United States.

2013 Brancott Estate Flight Song Sauvignon Blanc (Marlborough, New Zealand): Pale straw yellow. Aromatic with grapefruit, lime, and orange blossoms on both the nose and palate. Dry and light-bodied with very crisp acidity and a long, refreshing finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 3 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $14.99; Available elsewhere, $11 to $16

2013 Brancott Estate Flight Song Pinot Grigio (Marlborough, New Zealand): Very pale straw yellow. Nice nose with honeysuckle and citrus aromas. Lemon, lime, and floral notes come through on the palate. Dry and light-bodied with lively acidity and a medium finish.
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 2 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $14.99; Available elsewhere, $11 to $16



Filed under: New Zealand Wine, Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, White Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25
 

A Wine for Tonight: 2013 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Riesling



By Kori ~ April 23rd, 2014

Would you like a quick suggestion for a good wine to drink tonight (or this weekend) that won’t break your budget and is widely available? If so, you might want to check out the 2013 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Riesling from the Central Coast of California.

Our selection criteria include:

  • A very good Quality rating of >=3.5 stars (out of 5)
  • A price tag of <=$20
  • Must be widely available

Robert Mondavi was a winemaking legend and Napa Valley pioneer. Mondavi played an integral role in putting United States wine on the map worldwide. He founded his namesake winery in 1966, which was the first major winery in the Napa Valley of California after Prohibition. His goal was to produce wines that would stand up against the best wines in the world. Robert Mondavi Private Selection was founded in 1994 by Robert Mondavi to showcase California’s best Central Coast vineyards. Today, winemaker Rick Boyer produces eleven different wines under the Private Selection label including this Riesling.

“Our 2013 Riesling was produced exclusively from grapes grown in Monterey County in California’s Central Coast American Viticultural Area, a region renowned for its cool climate. An especially aromatic rendition of the noble Riesling varietal, it exudes warm, ripe peach, jasmine, fresh citrone, and Florabunda rose perfumes. Strong acidity keeps the wine crisp and refreshing. A slight sweetness makes it the perfect accompaniment to spicy Thai, Spanish, or Indian cuisine.” –Rick Boyer, Winemaker

2013 Robert Mondavi Private Selection Riesling (Central Coast, California): 100% Riesling. Pale, greenish straw yellow in color. Aromatic with peach and floral notes on the nose. More peach, dried apricot, and floral notes come through on the palate. Off-dry and light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long, refreshing finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $11; Available elsewhere, $7 to 9



Filed under: A Wine for Tonight, American Wine, California Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Riesling, White Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25
 
 

A Wine for Tonight: 2011 Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Vines Zinfandel



By Kori ~ April 16th, 2014

Would you like a quick suggestion for a good wine to drink tonight (or this weekend) that won’t break your budget and is widely available? If so, you might want to check out the 2011 Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Vines Zinfandel from Sonoma County in California.

Our selection criteria include:

  • A very good Quality rating of >=3.5 stars (out of 5)
  • A price tag of <=$20
  • Must be widely available

Dry Creek Vineyard, founded in 1972 by David Stare, is located in the heart of Dry Creek Valley just outside of Healdsburg, California. Producers of a number of very good wines, Dry Creek Vineyard is a self-proclaimed “Zinfandel Specialist” and offers eight different bottlings. This particular wine was first released in 1997 as Heritage Clone Zinfandel. Using old vine budwood grafted into a new vineyard, the Heritage bottling is a young vine Zin with distinctive old vine characteristics. Today, Dry Creek Vineyard is run by David’s daughter Kim Stare Wallace and her husband Don.

“The 2011 Heritage Vines Zinfandel presents a wonderful profile of blueberry, red currants, and silky structure that speak to the cool 2011 vintage. The moderate alcohol nature of this Zin provides smooth tannin and structure, making the palate very well balanced.” –Tim Bell, Winemaker

2011 Dry Creek Vineyard Heritage Vines Zinfandel (Sonoma County, California): 84% Zinfandel and 16% Petite Sirah. Deep, purplish red in color. Aromatic with blackberry, black cherry, plum, and spice on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, medium tannins, and a long finish.
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to Buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $19; Available elsewhere, $13 to $19



Filed under: A Wine for Tonight, California Wine, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Red Wine, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25, Zinfandel
 

Challenging Wine Pairing: Peeps Marshmallow Confections



By LaGayle ~ April 9th, 2014

As we enter the Easter season, the colorful little Peeps marshmallow confections are always popular. And, it has been fun for us at Wine Peeps to use the little treats as our “unofficial” mascot.

Since we are always trying to come up with fun ideas for our challenging wine pairings, we decided that it was time to do a pairing with Peeps. Obviously, these confections are not the ideal dessert, but we had a great time selecting the wines and trying the pairings.

A general food and wine pairing guideline is “sweet with sweet”. In most cases, you want the wine to be at least as sweet as the food. When you sip a sweet wine with a sweet dessert, the sweetness level actually goes down and all of the flavors come together.

We decided to go with two wines that had some sweetness but were different so we selected one sparkling wine, the NV Michelle Extra Dry Sparkling Wine, and one still wine, the 2012 Ste. Chapelle Special Harvest Riesling. The unanimous choice as the best pairing with the Peeps was the Extra Dry Sparkling Wine. It exhibited a subtle sweetness and crisp acidity that complemented the sweetness of the Peeps and provided great balance in the pairing. The Riesling was a bit too sweet and syrupy and lacked the acidity needed to balance out the sweetness so the combination was overwhelming.

What would you have paired with the Peeps?  And, as always, we welcome your suggestions for future challenging wine pairings.

Bon Appétit!

NV Michelle Extra Dry Sparkling Wine (Columbia Valley, Washington): 63% Chardonnay, 19% Pinot Noir, and 18% Pinot Gris. Small, fast bead of bubbles. Pale to medium yellow in color. Aromatic with white peach, pear, nuts, and floral notes on both the nose and palate. Off-dry and light to medium-bodied with crisp acidity and a long finish. Residual Sugar: 2.18%
Quality: 3.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $14; Available elsewhere, $9 to $17

2012 Ste. Chapelle Special Harvest Riesling (Snake River Valley, Idaho): Medium golden yellow. Nice nose with candied apple, honey, and apricot aromas and flavors. Sweet and light to medium-bodied with lively acidity and a long finish. Residual Sugar: 7.5%
Quality: 3 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Received as sample, suggested retail $12; Available elsewhere, $11 to $13



Filed under: American Wine, Challenging Wine Pairing, Five-Bangs For Your Buck Wines, Food & Wine, Idaho Wine, Riesling, Sparkling Wine, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wines Under $15, Wines Under $20, Wines Under $25
 

Taste Washington 2014: Highlights from Seattle’s Wine & Food Weekend



By Kori ~ April 2nd, 2014

Taste Washington, held in Seattle annually, is the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event. This past weekend brought Washington wine lovers from around the country to Seattle to drink, eat, and be merry. The event spanned two days with Seminars offered each morning followed by the Grand Tasting each afternoon. Hosted by Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau in partnership with the Washington State Wine Commission, Taste Washington is the highlight of Taste Washington Wine Month.

The Grand Tasting is the “main event” each day. This year, Taste Washington featured 226 wineries pouring their wines and 68 Northwest restaurants serving small bites. With more than 780 wineries now open in the state of Washington, this event offers attendees the opportunity to try a large number of them in one place at one time. Considering the time and gas money you save not having to crisscross the state visiting tasting rooms and making appointments, the price of admission to Taste Washington is money well spent. Now, don’t get me wrong, once you attend an event like this and discover some favorite new wines and wineries, you will definitely want to make plans to travel to the wineries to visit and taste again. There is nothing like spending a long weekend in Washington wine country.

One of the best aspects of Taste Washington is that often you will find either the winemaker and/or winery owner pouring that winery’s wines. In addition to visiting with a number of people whose wines we have enjoyed in the past, we always find it a great opportunity to try some wines from wineries whose wines we have not previously tasted.

With over 800 wines featured at a large tasting like this, we can only taste through a limited number of them. Therefore, we don’t try to revisit wines that we have recently reviewed (i.e. Avennia, etc.). Keeping that in mind, my favorite wines from the Grand Tasting, from wineries whose wines we’ve enjoyed in the past, were the 2008 Boudreaux Cellars Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2011 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2010 Fall Line Winery Red Willow Red Wine, and the 2011 Rotie Cellars Northern Blend.

At Taste Washington last year, our most exciting discovery was Kevin White Winery. We deemed it as a winery to watch. Kevin White recently released his 2012 vintage wines, and this was our first opportunity to taste them. They did not disappoint. In fact, his 2012’s are even better than his 2011’s. The 2012 La Fraternité Red Wine and the 2012 En Hommage Red Wine are both outstanding. And, I expect them to only improve with some age. With price tags under $30, both wines deliver serious bang for your buck.

For the best new-to-us winery, my nod goes to Bartholomew Winery. While not a brand new winery, we had not tasted their wines previously. They were pouring three wines at the Grand Tasting, the 2013 Aligote, the 2013 Rosé of Carmenere, and the 2010 Reciprocity Red Blend. All three were very good and are worth checking out. Bart and Chona Fawbush founded Bartholomew Winery in 2007. Their tasting room located in Seattle’s historic Old Rainier Brewery building is open to the public for tastings on the weekends.

Did you attend Taste Washington this year? What were some of your favorite wines?

Even though Taste Washington Wine Month has concluded, here’s to enjoying excellent Washington wine all year long. Cheers!



Filed under: American Wine, Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Wine, Rose Wine, Washington State Wine, White Wine, Wine Activities/Events
 

Make the Most of Taste Washington 2014



By Kori ~ March 26th, 2014

March is Taste Washington Wine Month, the annual celebration of Washington State’s award-winning wine industry featuring promotions by restaurants, retailers, hotels, and wineries throughout the region including activities such as free tastings, discounts on Washington wine, and winemaker dinners pairing the state’s top winemakers and chefs. If you live in Washington and haven’t yet taken advantage of the special promotions going on this month, you have just a few days left to do so.

Once again, the highlight of the month is sure to be Taste Washington, the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event, taking place this weekend on Saturday, March 29th and Sunday, March 30th at CenturyLink Field Event Center in Seattle. Hosted by Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau in partnership with the Washington State Wine Commission, Taste Washington is the ultimate carnival for wine and food lovers. Of the 780+ wineries in the state, 226 of them will be on hand pouring their wines. The popular Taste the Vineyards section is back and will feature growers pouring wines made from their grapes. In addition, 68 Northwest restaurants will be serving small bites.

Whether you attend the Grand Tasting on one or both days, which lasts three hours each day for General Admission and four hours each day for VIP ticketholders, it is impossible to visit every booth and taste every wine being poured and every bite being served. It is a huge event and can be overwhelming if you are not prepared. You will be wise to plan a strategy ahead of time.

First, I suggest that you visit the Taste Washington website to download the event program so you can plan your route in advance. Make a list of the wineries that you’d like to visit, and then prioritize that list. Start with the ten you don’t want to miss, then mark the next ten you’d like to visit if you have time and so on. It really gets crowded during the general admission hours, so you might not get to as many wineries as you’d like. But if you visit only ten winery booths and try all three wines they are serving, that’s thirty wines right off the bat. Then depending on time, crowds, etc., you can try more if you’d like.

Once you have determined which wineries you’d like to try and you are actually at the event, there are several things to keep in mind to make sure you make the most of the event while tasting responsibly. These tips are important to remember for wine tasting newbies and veterans alike.

  • Spit! This is extremely important. We always spit when we attend large tasting events like this or are visiting wineries. Otherwise, you end up drinking too much which won’t feel good the next morning and you won’t be able to really tell which wines you like and don’t like after the first few you taste.
  • Drink water. Alcoholic drinks dehydrate your body so it is important to drink a lot of water to help your body rehydrate.
  • Eat. Be sure to eat a good meal before the event begins so that you are starting with a full stomach. Then, once inside, stop at the restaurant booths to keep your stomach full. Try to eat something at least between every fifteen to twenty wines you taste.
  • Don’t be shy. Tell the wineries what you want to know, what you like, and what you want to try. If they have a better idea of your interests and level of wine knowledge, they can help point you in the right direction and make your Taste Washington experience even better. With that said, though, please be respectful of all of the wineries and other vendors who are there to serve you.
  • Make safe transportation arrangements. After you’ve enjoyed this fabulous event, we want to make sure you get home safely.
  • And last, but certainly not least, have fun!

If a smaller, more intimate gathering is more your speed or you want to further your knowledge of wine and Washington wine in particular, the seminars that will be offered each day prior to the tasting might be of interest to you. This year’s seminars will also be held at CenturyLink Field Event Center. Eight seminars will be offered on a variety of topics and afford attendees the opportunity to taste, discuss, meet, and learn from some of the biggest names in the Washington wine industry as well as a few notable guests from outside of Washington State.

As always, we are looking forward to Taste Washington and hope that those of you who live in the greater Seattle area will plan to attend as well. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Taste Washington website.

Cheers!



Filed under: American Wine, Washington State Wine, Wine Activities/Events
 

Wine Tasting Dinner: 2007 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon Revisited



By Kori ~ March 19th, 2014

Washington State Cabernet Sauvignons are among the best in the world, and they are much better values (higher QPR) than most Cabs in other wine regions of the world. And, the 2007 vintage was one of the best vintages in the history of Washington State. We featured 2007 Washington Cabernet Sauvignon in one of our wine tasting dinners several years ago when those wines were recently released. Now that wines from the 2007 vintage have some bottle age on them, we decided to revisit some of those Washington Cabs in our wine tasting dinner last Friday. 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, mixed green salad, prime rib with beef glacé, braised kale, rosemary roasted red potatoes, and German chocolate dessert with whipped topping garnished with dark chocolate.

The consensus favorite was the 2007 Corliss Estates Cabernet Sauvignon. Michael and Lauri Corliss bought the building in downtown Walla Walla in 1999 that is now home to Corliss Estates and started the winery in 2000. Their first wines were released in 2008 from the 2003 vintage. Great attention to detail goes into the production of their wines. Corliss believes in extended barrel and bottle aging.

Even though Corliss finished in the top spot, Quilceda Creek, Leonetti, and Fielding Hills were hot on its heels. All four of those wines were outstanding. In fact, my personal favorites were Quilceda Creek and Fielding Hills. And, five out of the six wines in the tasting received a QPR rating of 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5). Even though these wines are not inexpensive, they are well worth the money. I would encourage you to try any of these wines, especially with a meal, to decide for yourself how Washington State Cabernet Sauvignon compares to other world-renowned Cabs.

From 1st to last in the group consensus rankings:

2007 Corliss Estates Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Merlot. Deep, dark garnet red in color. Nice nose with leather and black fruit aromas. Gorgeous blackberry, black cherry, leather, and spice come through on the palate. Full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high, smooth 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, $75; Available elsewhere, $55 to $75

2007 Quilceda Creek Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Merlot. Deep, dark red. Very aromatic with black cherry, leather, and floral notes on the nose. Black cherry, blackberry, leather, spice, game, and a hint of earth come through on the palate. Full-bodied and lively with high, dry tannins. Well-balanced with good complexity and a very long finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of five)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $125; Available elsewhere, $190 to $400

2007 Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon (Walla Walla Valley, Washington): 76% Cabernet Sauvignon, 17% Merlot, 4% Carmenere, and 3%Malbec. Deep, dark red in color. Aromatic with red and black fruit, spice, and a touch of earth on both the nose and palate. Medium to full-bodied with lively acidity, and smooth tannins. Well-balanced with a long finish.
Quality: 4.5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Full Pull Wines (Seattle, Washington), $90; Available elsewhere, $85 to $110

2007 Fielding Hills Cabernet Sauvignon (Riverbend Vineyard, Wahluke Slope, Washington): 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Syrah, 3% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. Deep, dark purplish red. Gorgeous nose with black fruit, licorice, and spice rack aromas. Blackcurrant, black cherry, licorice, smoked meat and a hint of tobacco come through on the palate. Full-bodied with crisp acidity and medium to high 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, $38

2007 Columbia Crest Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, Washington): 96% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.8% Merlot, and 0.2% Cabernet Franc. Deep, dark red. Aromatic with herbs, spice, and black fruit aromas. Fruit-forward with black plum, blackberry, and herbs 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: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $40; Available elsewhere, $36 to $55

2007 Woodward Canyon Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon (Washington State): 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, dark garnet red. Nose is a bit tight at first and then earth, black fruit, and grape Jolly Rancher 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: 4 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $70; Available elsewhere, $70 to $85



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

Avennia Winery Continues to Impress [Wow! Alert]



By Kori ~ March 12th, 2014

Managing partner Marty Taucher and winemaker/partner Chris Peterson founded Avennia Winery in 2010. Located in Woodinville, Washington, Avennia made an impressive debut with their first releases in the fall of 2012. The winery name was inspired by the Roman name for the city of Avignon and is a nod to Old World winemaking. Winemaker Chris Peterson, not to be confused with the new University of Washington football coach Chris Petersen, spent eight years crafting award-winning wines at DeLille Cellars. He is passionate about Old World winemaking techniques and strives to make wines with structure and elegance.

Avennia sources grapes from some of the top vineyards in Washington State, including Boushey Vineyards, Red Willow Vineyard, Bacchus Vineyard and Dionysus Vineyard (part of Sagemoor Vineyards), and Klipsun Vineyard. The majority of the fruit they source, with the exception of the Sauvignon Blanc, comes from 20+-year-old vines. With their current vintage, Avennia produces 1,700 cases per year. Their goal is to ultimately get to a production level of 4,500 cases per year.

In the fall, we had their 2011 Arnaut Syrah, 2011 Justine Red Wine, and 2012 Oliane Sauvignon Blanc in a blind samples tasting. In February, they rounded out their 2011 vintage with the release of their two Red Wine Bordeaux-style Blends, the 2011 Gravura and the 2011 Sestina.

Recently, we had the pleasure to visit with Chris and taste through all five of their current releases as well as a few barrel samples. We were able to revisit the three wines that were released in the fall. All three are very good, but we continue to be especially impressed with the Arnaut Syrah. This 100% Syrah from Boushey Vineyards in the Yakima Valley is an outstanding wine and delivers serious bang for your buck. Then we moved on to the newly released Bordeaux-style Blends. While the 2011 Gravura is an excellent wine in its own right, the 2011 Sestina absolutely “wow-ed” us. As Avennia’s flagship wine, Sestina absolutely deserves top billing. It is a Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc blend from old vines at Bacchus and Red Willow. This is a gorgeous, complex wine that should only improve with age.

Avennia wines are offered on an allocated basis to their mailing list members. While you may find some of their wines elsewhere, I highly encourage you to get on their mailing list now before it closes and you are out of luck. Other than release events for mailing list members, the winery is not open to the public.

2011 Avennia Gravura Red Wine (Columbia Valley, Washington): 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, and 8% Cabernet Franc. Dark, dense purple. Blackberry, black cherry, leather, and a touch of black pepper come through on both the nose and 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: Winery, $35

2011 Avennia Sestina Red Wine (Columbia Valley, Washington): 72% Cabernet Sauvignon, 19% Merlot, and 9% Cabernet Franc. Dark, dense purple. Gorgeous nose with earth, black fruit, and leather aromas. Complex flavors of herbs, earth, leather, black fruit, and smoked meat come through on the palate. Full-bodied with crisp acidity, and high, chewy tannins. Extremely well-balanced with good complexity and a very long, lingering finish. Should get even better with age. Wow!
Quality: 5 stars (out of 5)
QPR: 5 bangs for your buck (out of 5)
Where to buy: Winery, $55



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

Walla Walla Wine Visits Seattle 2014



By Kori ~ March 5th, 2014

The Walla Walla Valley is one of the oldest of Washington State’s 13 AVA’s. Established in 1984, it encompasses over 1,600 vineyard acres. Located within the greater Columbia Valley AVA, the Walla Walla Valley covers the area around the town of Walla Walla, Washington, and also dips across the state-line into Oregon near Milton-Freewater. The Walla Walla Valley is now home to more than 100 wineries.

The Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance is a winery and grower membership organization committed to furthering the awareness of the quality wineries, wines, and vineyards of the Walla Walla Valley. The WWVWA recently hosted their annual tasting events in Seattle for both the trade and the public. We attended the trade tasting held at McCaw Hall. Given our work commitments, family obligations, and the busy schedule of a first grader, we haven’t been able to travel to Walla Walla recently, so this was a good opportunity for us to visit with winemakers and taste a number of Walla Walla wines all under one roof.

I’ll spare you the laundry list of all of the wines we tasted. However, here are three wines that really grabbed our attention, and I encourage you to give them a try if you have the opportunity.

2011 Waters Winery Loess Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, $50
2010 Figgins Estate Red Wine (Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Petit Verdot), Walla Walla Valley, $85
2010 Cadaretta Windthrow (Syrah/Mourvedre/Grenache), Columbia Valley, $50

If you live in the Seattle area, you’ll have another opportunity to taste Walla Walla wines as well as many more wines from around the state of Washington later this month. Make plans to attend Taste Washington on March 29-30 at CenturyLink Event Center. With that said, if you haven’t yet taken a wine tasting trip to Walla Walla, I highly encourage you to do so. There’s nothing like spending time in Washington wine country.

Cheers!



Filed under: American Wine, Red Wine, Shiraz/Syrah, Washington State Wine, Wine Activities/Events, Wines Over $25