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'14 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Walla Walla Vintners

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Walla Walla Vintners was bonded in 1995 as the eighth winery in Walla Walla Valley. The winery focuses on red wines, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Sangiovese, and Syrah. Walla Walla Vintners favors an opulent, rich style that consistently shows abundant aromas and flavors of chocolate covered cherries.

The Vineyard Select Cabernet Sauvignon is only made in exceptional vintages. 2006 was clearly one of them as this wine is fabulous. The Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc are two winery favorites. I originally sampled the Cabernet Franc during a barrel tasting and am happy to say this wine has improved considerably since that time. While the price of the Cabernet Franc wine has gone up for this vintage, the price of the Sangiovese has gone down.

Walla Walla Vintners recently planted an estate vineyard next to the winery. The vineyard is next to those of aMaurice, the Chan Family, and Leonetti. The vineyard was planted to Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Brunello, Sangiovese, and Petit Verdot. Now in its second leaf, Walla Walla Vintners hopes to get its first fruit from this vineyard in Fall of 2010.

Myles Anderson, Gordi Venneri, and William vonMetzger serve as winemakers. Walla Walla Vintners produces approximately 5,550 cases annually.

Wines:

Walla Walla Vintners Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard Select WWV 2006 $48 Rating:**
An outrageously enjoyable, complex, evolving nose with earth, chocolate, anise, spice, and light herbal aromas along with a touch of mint. A big but soft, undulating wine with a lot of hang time. 94% Cabernet Sauvignon (Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills, Toker and Windrow vineyards). 6% Petit Verdot (Frazier Bluff). 14.3% alcohol.

Walla Walla Vintners Sangiovese Columbia Valley 2007 $24 Rating:*
Alluring earth, mineral, and floral notes along with a whiff of anise. Textured, round and generous with tart black cherries. A bit heavier than a prototypic sangiovese due to the oaking program but overall a very pleasing wine. 77% Sangiovese (Desert Hills, Desert View, Dwelley, Kiona and Lewis Vineyards). 14% Syrah (Goose Ridge Vineyard) and 9% Malbec (Dwelley, Pepper Bridge and Sagemoor vineyards). 14.2% alcohol.

Walla Walla Vintners Cabernet Franc Columbia Valley 2007 $28 Rating:*
Anise jumps out of the glass along with a potpourri of other spices. Milk chocolate lies underneath. On the taste, soft, supple, and mouthcoating with chocolate and cherries. 84% Cabernet Franc (Cordon Grove, Dwelley, Sagemoor and Weinbau Vineyards). 16% Merlot (Cordon Grove, Killian and Spring Creek Vineyards).

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