Overview


Washington Wine Report is an independent publication focused on bringing Northwest wine to you and bringing you to Northwest wine. Our goal is:
  • To help you select Pacific Northwest wines at a variety of price levels
  • To keep you up-to-date about the Northwest’s wineries, vineyards, and individuals
  • To help you plan trips to wine country
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'14 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Hedges Family Estate is a family-run winery located in the Red Mountain AVA. Pete Hedges serves as winemaker and general manager.

Hedges has two basic tiers of wine. The first is Hedges Family Estate, which includes their flagship Three Vineyards wine, as well as single vineyard offerings of Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah, and a fortified wine. The second is CMS which includes a red wine and a white wine. The term CMS comes from the red blend which is composed of Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah. CMS is the winery’s value offering.

Unfortunately the 2007 CMS Red reminds me a bit of some other value wines I have begun referring to as “hangover wines” where a glass or two leaves you not feeling so good the next day. You could do worse, but at this price point, you can do better.


Hedges CMS Red 2007 $12 Rating: .
A reasonably engaging nose with maple and chocolate with berry and light spice behind it. A bit of heat. Reasonably full mouthfeel with a lot of berry and a tart taste with a touch of blueberry. Taste does not hang together completely and is a bit unappealing toward the finish. Warmer, more standard, temperatures are not very kind to the wine. 51% Merlot; 42% Cabernet; 7% Syrah. 13.8% alcohol. 57,000 cases produced. Sampled at 62 degress.

Purchased at Pete’s Bellevue for $9.99.

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This month's Virtual Tasting - Hedges CMS Red 2007 - will take place tonight. I will be opening the wine about 7pm and looking to get my notes up around 9pm. Please join us in trying this wine and posting your thoughts about it.

For new Virtual Tasters out there, write as much or as little about the wine as you like. Don't be feel intimidated that you have to write something detailed! Write whatever you thought about the wine...liked it, didn't like it, thought a lot about it, didn't, etc.

If you can't join the Virtual Tasting tonight, feel free to try the wine at any point and post your notes up once the virtual tasting post is up after 9pm tonight.

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Guardian Cellars

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 0 comments

Guardian Cellars is one of the many wineries located amidst Woodinville’s office parks. The winery and wines are named after winemaker Jerry Riener’s previous life as a policeman.

Prior to starting Guardian, Riener worked for six years at Mark Ryan Winery. Guardian’s first vintage was two barrels of cabernet in 2003. The winery is sourcing fruit from some excellent vineyards, including Stillwater Creek, Conner Lee, Kiona, Klipsun, and Destiny Ridge.


Wines:

Score

Name

Notes

$

+

Guardian Cellars Angel Sauvignon Blanc Columbia Valley 2007

Bone clear. Lots of mineral notes and cantelope with a bit of sharpness at the end of the nose. A good effort that is very well balanced. 14.1% alcohol. 140 cases produced.


$20

+

Guardian Cellars Gun Metal 2005

Light in color. Black pepper, light anise, spice and baking chocolate on the nose. A pleasing, medium-bodied taste with an excellent mid-palate. Chalky tannins and a medium length finish. A slight unevenness at the very tail end is all that holds this wine back. 14.7% alcohol. 400 cases produced.


$35

*

Guardian Cellars Chalk Line Columbia Valley 2006

Marionberry, brambleberry, and a little spice mixed with chocolate. Full and rich on the palate. 50% Cabernet; 22% Malbec; 17% Syrah; 11% Merlot. 14.7% alcohol.


$25

+

Guardian Cellars Syrah 2005

Classic Rhone-style nose with mineral, brambly fruit, and a touch of blueberry syrup. Lighter on the palate. Very well balanced. Opens up nicely and lingers. 14.9% alcohol. 14.9% alcohol. 56 cases produced.

$35

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Starting last month, I am counting down to my 40th birthday May 23rd with a celebratory wine on the 23rd of each month. Last month’s wine was from Leonetti (notes to come). This month we move to Betz Family Wines.

I picked the 2002 Pere De Famille in anticipation of the release of the 2006 vintage of this wine the first full weekend of March. The 2002 vintage of Betz’ Cabernet-based Bordeaux blend is a stunner and is an easy five to seven years away from maturity. Meanwhile, I am an easy ten to fifteen away from maturity.


Wines:

Score

Name

Notes

$

**

Betz Family Wines Pere de Famille Columbia Valley 2002

A lively, complex nose that can be smelled over a foot away after pouring. Deep, dark fruit swirl around earth, cedar, black pepper, and anise - a virtual wine wheel. On the taste, a gigantic wine with gripping tannins and an absolutely gorgeous mouthfeel. An hour after decanting it refuses to be tamed. 77% Cabernet; 17% Merlot; 6% Malbec. Klipsunb, Ciel du Cheval, and Alder Ridge vineyards. 14.4% alcohol. 705 cases produced.

$45

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Reminder that this month's Virtual Tasting will take place this Thursday. As usual, I will be opening the wine - the 2007 Hedges CMS Red - about 7pm and looking to get my notes up around 9pm. Please join us in trying this wine and posting your thoughts about it. Write as much or as little about the wine as you like. Don't feel intimidated by having to write a professional-style tasting note. My favorite VT comment was "Blech!"

If you can't join the Virtual Tasting on Thursday, feel free to try the wine at any point before or after this and post your notes up once the virtual tasting post is up on the 26th.

Read more about this month's virtual tasting here.

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Five Under Fifteen - February

Thursday, February 19, 2009 2 comments






In tough times, we continue the search for inexpensive wines.

The previous vintage of Sagelands’ Freddie’s Blend was one of my favorite value wines from last year. The name Freddie's Blend refers to Federique Spencer, Sagelands’ winemaker.

No information available on Haystack Needle unfortunately.

The Eliseo Silva Brand, from Tagaris Wines, is named after the vineyard manager who worked at the Arete and Alice vineyards on the Wahluke Slope. This wine is one of Esquin’s top six sellers.

Maryhill Winery, located in Goldendale, Washington, is a reasonably large producer at 80,000 cases per year.

Pavin and Riley is part of the Precept Brands portfolio.

Next month we will be trying some reader recommended wines including Columbia Winery’s Merlot and Kiona’s Lemberger. If you have a favorite wine that retails for under $15, leave a comment or send me an e-mail and I will check it out.

Wines:

Score

Name

Notes

$

+

Sagelands Freddie’s Blend 2006

Mint, spice, black licorice and smoky, toasted oak with a bit of fruit showing through. A fair amount of oak – which is a bit overbearing at times – as well as berry on the taste. A full mid-palate loaded with fruit and oak. After about an hour, mocha and spice show through. A bit heavy handed at times but recommended as it gives you a good bit to talk about at this price point. Recommended.

Sampled at 66 degrees. Purchased at Pete’s Bellevue for $9

$13

+

Haystack Needle Sangiovese 2007

A classic sangiovese style that is light, bright, and tart. Young and earthy, it is just a touch hot on the nose.

Purchased at Pete’s Bellevue for $9

$9

+

Eliseo Silva Syrah Columbia Valley 2006

An engaging nose with violets, berry, plum, herbs, and tobacco. Lots and lots of fruit on a taste that is a bit over-extracted. A good value overall but quite over the top. 13.5% alcohol.

Purchased at Esquin for $9.

$9

.

Maryhill Red Wine 2007

Fairly light in color. Lots of toasty oak aromas including caramel and threads of chocolate. Coats the palate and has a fair tannin lick but is pretty thin in the middle. A little unevenly balanced and hangs around in a bit of an unpleasant way. The Syrah definitely shows through.

Sampled at 63 degrees. Purchased at Safeway for $8.

$13

.

Pavin and Riley Merlot 2005

Very dark in color. Toasted oak aromas overwhelm most of the fruit initially. As it opens up, truffles and dark berries start to show through. A simple, straight-forward somewhat chewy merlot. One of those wines you seem to care for a bit less as time goes on. 13.5% alcohol.

Purchased at Safeway for $9.

$12

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Adams Bench

Wednesday, February 18, 2009 0 comments

Adams Bench is the work of Tim and Erica Blue. The winery is named after the school bench where students were sent as punishment when Tim was a boy in Indiana (The bench now resides at the Blue home).

Starting out as a winemaker, Tim, a trial lawyer in Seattle, peppered Andrew Will’s Chris Carmada with questions via e-mail. The relationship grew over time and Carmada remains a consultant to the winery.

Adams Bench is making very good wines that are striving for greatness (the reserve Cabernet reminded me a bit of a baby Quilceda). The winery is committed to maintaining itself as a small production operation. The number 1000 – for one thousand cases – is featured prominently on the winery’s logo.

Adams Bench is located in Woodinville and is open by appointment.

Wines:

Score

Name

Notes

$

+

Adams Bench Red Wine “Reckoning” 2006

Blueberry and spice mix with blackberry and tobacco. A thick textured wine with generous amounts of oak and vanilla flavors. 86% Cabernet. Sampled at 70 degrees. 252 cases produced.


$34

*

Adams Bench Reserve Cabernet “V” 2006

A rich, opulent, textured wine with coffee grounds, syrup, anise, and a perfumed aspect to the nose. Very well put together. Give 1-2 years or decant prior to serving. 75% Cabernet; 23% Merlot; 2% Cab Franc. Sampled at 70 degrees.

$42

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Liberty Bay Cellars

Tuesday, February 17, 2009 0 comments

Liberty Bay Cellars is located in Poulsbo, Washington. Winemaker and founder Dave Prigmore produces about 1,000 cases per year. The winery sources fruit from Conner Lee, Stillwater Creek, Elephant Mountain, and Sugarloaf vineyards.




Wines:

Score

Name

Notes

$

*

Liberty Bay Cabernet Stillwater Creek Columbia Valley 2005

A delicate nose with pencil shavings and spicy plum. A tight fruit core surrounded by black fruit and lots of black currant. A slow attack that opens up and then blossoms. A bit short on the finish. 13.8% alcohol. 175 cases produced.


$33

+

Liberty Bay Syrah Columbia Valley 2006

An unusual nose with mulberry and a light nut component along with something I just can’t put my finger on. At times, floral to the extent of almost seeming perfumed. A thick, gripping taste that is a bit over-extracted. 15.4% alcohol. 194 cases produced.


$25

.

Liberty Bay Merlot Conner Lee Vineyard 2005

A fairly light nose with spice, dark licorice, a sweet component, and a whiff of nail polish. A bit over-extracted and tart. 14.7% alcohol. 74 cases produced.


$38

+

Liberty Bay Cabernet Conner Lee Vineyard 2005

An engaging nose with dark rich spice and dried fruit. A bit of alcohol on the nose. A rich wine that is a bit over-extracted but opens up and expands nicely. Has the best finish of those tasted. 14.7% alcohol. 25 cases produced.

$33

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Solesce – Latin for “sun” and “essence” - is Brian Carter’s flagship wine, a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec.

Brian Carter began making wine in Washington in 1980 for Paul Thomas Winery. In 1988, he started Apex Winery. Brian Carter Cellars was incorporated in 2004 after seven years of making wine out of the Apex facility.


Wines:

Score

Name

Notes

$

**

Brian Carter Cellars Solesce 1999

An expressive nose with earth, dried fruit, rose petals, and a potpourri of spices. Beautifully put together with an incredible dose of cranberry that comes on in the mid-palate and remains through the finish. An elegant collision of old and new world styles. Close to its peak.


Sampled at 62 degrees. Purchased from the winery.


NA

+

Brian Carter Solesce 2000

Bright maraschino cherry, light mint, floral notes, and a generous amount of white pepper. The nose is subtle, pretty, and interesting but doesn’t deliver quite as much as I would like for a wine its age. Fairly forward on the palate and then trails and lingers. Tannins still have a lot of firmness. Improves a bit after one hour of decanting.


Sampled at 62 degrees. Purchased from the winery.

NA









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In terms of quality and value (Quality to Price Ratio or QPR in wine parlance), Woodinville’s Novelty Hill consistently ranks toward the top. The wines are always excellent to exceptional at reasonable price points and can frequently be found on sale. Winemaker Mike Januik – who also has his own Januik label – serves as winemaker.

Novelty Hill sources much of its fruit from Stillwater Creek Vineyard. The winery's portfolio includes a number of vineyard designated wines from this vineyard. Stillwater Creek is a 245 acre, family owned vineyard on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills (you can feel the new AVA coming!) in Royal City, Washington about 45 miles east of Ellensburg. Stillwater Creek is providing grapes to an increasing number of vintners including Betz, Baer, and Saviah.


Wines:

Score

Name

Notes

$

*

Novelty Hill Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2005

Oak aromas predominate – including toffee, cedar, and white pepper – on a nose marked by little fruit. Round and generous and palate coating. Well balanced with soft tannins. Anise and tart fruit mark the finish. 14.1% alcohol. 4,108 cases produced.


Purchased at Safeway for $18.

$25

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Doug at Wino Magazine put a blog post up earlier in the week about the effects of the economic downturn on small wineries. One of his suggestions is to buy directly from the winery. I have mentioned this in the past and couldn’t agree more, especially in tough economic times.

An example I heard a while back has stuck with me. A winemaker said it cost him $13 per bottle to make his wine. It wholesaled at $15 per bottle and retailed at $30 per bottle. So for every bottle he sold through distributors, he made $2. For every bottle he sold through the winery, he made $17. Let's do some simple math here. Say he makes 200 cases of a wine. The profit margin is $4,800 if sold exclusively through a distributor. $40,800 if bought exclusively through the winery. Needless to say that is quite a difference. It is easy to understand why wineries that do almost all of their business through mailing lists - such as Leonetti, Quilceda, and Cayuse - do quite well. For this reason, buy direct if you can.

That said, one thing for wineries to consider is dropping their shipping costs to a minimal amount. For many consumers, there is a barrier to buying directly through the winery due to the often high shipping costs. Given that the bottle cost is often close to that found in many retail stores, you are adding an often significant cost. If the shipping cost is $24 per case (not uncommon), that's an extra $2 a bottle. For your $60 wine or a wine that is not available locally, maybe you don't care. In cases like the present when people are focusing on value, it is a deal breaker, especially given that there are so many options on the shelves. In particular, if someone is just going to buy a bottle or two, adding in a shipping cost of $10-15 (again not uncommon) is completely prohibitive.

The bottom line is that if buying through the winery is cost neutral to positive for the consumer, more will take advantage of it. Ask Columbia Crest how their one penny shipping did in December although the 95 point Wine Spectator review clearly helped there. I would encourage wineries to consider minimal shipping costs combined with an aggressive email campaign to increase sales to help get through the tough times. I'm not suggesting the wineries take it on the chin in terms of shipping costs, but rather look at the overall benefits (decreased shipping cost but increased margin). At least during the economic downturn, it is something for wineries to consider.

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Saviah Cellars The Jack 2007

Thursday, February 12, 2009 0 comments

The Jack is back!

The Jack is Saviah Cellars’ red table wine. This merlot dominant blend started about six years back as a non-vintage offering and is now in its fourth vintage.

The 2007 Jack continues Saviah’s tradition of excellence. This is a very enjoyable wine at a great price point. Look over your shoulder for the police if you find it on sale.


Wines:

Score

Name

Notes

$

*

Saviah Cellars The Jack Columbia Valley 2007

Surprisingly light in color, especially considering the wallop this wine packs. An appealing, evolving nose that opens with black pepper, dark fruit, cedar and traces of black licorice. Over time, the licorice becomes more prominent. Full bodied on the taste with a great lick of tannins. Vaynerchuck’s oak monster makes a brief appearance, although for me it works. 86% Merlot; 6% Cabernet; 4% Cab Franc; 2% Syrah; 2% Petite Verdot. 14.1% alcohol. 4777 cases produced.


Purchased at Pete’s Bellevue for $11.99.

$18

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Darby is a Woodinville, Washington winery.

Wines:

Score

Name

Notes

$

+

Darby Syrah Destiny Ridge Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills 2006

Spice and light campfire with a little alcohol showing through. Opens up but has a bit of a hole in the middle and finishes a bit hot. 95% Syrah; 5% Viognier. 215 cases produced.

$30

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A summary of articles from February 1st to 7th on Washington wine.

Our feature article this week comes from Gourmet magazine which writes an article on Walla Walla.



From around the country…


MSNBC writes about the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers annual trade show.

Atlanta’s AJC gives a callout to Gordon Brothers Syrah.


From the blogosphere…


Wine Peeps writes that 2007 may be Washington’s best vintage ever.

Swordfern takes a look at Morrison Lane’s 2006, Viognier, Animale’s 2006 Grenache, and several Cabernet-Syrah blends.

Wine and Spirits Daily writes about 2008 sales growth for several Washington wineries.

Coffee Like Wine checks out Charles Smith’s 2006 Boom Boom Syrah.


From the locals…


The Everett Herald writes about Whidbey Island’s wine and chocolate event.

The Tri-City Herald writes about WSU’s new director of the enology and viticulture program. They also write about Trust Cellars and Bergevin Lane.

Tri-City Herald also writes about the planned development of the Southridge area, including plans for a winery and tasting room.

The Walla Walla Union Bulletin writes about Gourmet Magazine’s recent trip to Walla Walla.

WSU Today writes about the recent “Celebration of Washington Wines” dinner and auction.

The Bellingham Herald writes about Washington Petit Syrah with callouts to Milbrandt and Thurston Wolfe.

A wire story report on Flying Fish’s donating a portion of its proceeeds to ocean conservancy.

In another wire story, Foley Family Wines, whose portfolio includes Three Rivers in Walla Walla, announced its new organizational structure.

Paul Gregutt writes about Milbrandt Vineyards.

Oregon Magazine writes about Mercer.

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David and Cecile Larsen are the owners and winemakers for Soos Creek Winery which is located in Kent, Washington. The winery was founded in 1989 and has slowly grown in production to over 1,500 cases.

David Larsen is one of a number of winemakers who started out in the Boeing Winemaking Club. More importantly, David is in the group of Washington winemakers who are also climbers – one of my other passions.

Soos Creek sources its fruit from some of the best vineyards in the state, including Champoux, Ciel du Cheval, Boushey, Klipsun, and Sagemoor.


Wines:

Score

Name

Notes

$

*

Soos Creek Red Wine Artist Series #5 2005

An engaging nose with spicy plum, tobacco, and black licorice. A pleasing, round taste with lots of fig and soft tannins. 49% Cabernet; 42% Cab Franc; 9% Merlot. 14.1% alcohol.

$28

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DeLille Cellars New Releases

Saturday, February 7, 2009 0 comments

The latest releases from DeLille continue their tradition of excellence. The white wines – released in the fall - are exceptionally intricate. The reds – released this weekend - are elegant and spectacular, although extremely young and needing some time. The only drawback? These are not recession reds.




Wines

Score

Name

Notes

$

*

Doyenne Metier Blanc Red Mountain 2007

Almost clear in color except for a beautifuly gold hue. Dried apricots an mineral dominate the nose. A creamy feel on the taste with an intricate, textured finish. 100% Viognier. 100% Red Mountain.


$32

*

Doyenne Roussanne Red Mountain 2007

Beautiful floral nose with a light citrus component. Light and crisp on the palate with mineral on the finish. 100% Roussanne. Ciel du Cheval Vineyard.


$32

**

DeLille Cellars Harrison Hill 2006

A very engaging, layered nose with rhubarb, currant, and red licorice with a light earth and herbal component beneath them. A very elegant wine that is beautifully textured with refined fruit and spices. Exceptionally well balanced. Hangs on and on. 65% Cabernet; 25% Merlot; 9% Cab Franc; 1% Petit Verdot. 99% Harrison Hill Vineyard (1% Petit Verdot from Ciel du Cheval).


$75

**

DeLille Cellars Chaleur Estate Yakima Valley 2006

This wine is Red Mountain in a glass. A complex, layered wine with violets and red fruit above and earth and cassis below. Pretty cherry aromas sneak up and around as do floral and herbal notes. Gargantuan on the taste with a tight fruit core and well integrated tannins. Give 2-5 years. 65% Cabernet (Ciel du Cheval); 25% Merlot (Klipsun, Boushey); 8% Cab Franc (Ciel du Cheval); 2% Petit Verdot (Ciel du Cheval).


$75

**

Doyenne Syrah Grand Ciel Vineyard Red Mountain 2006

Herbs de Provence, stone and very light smoke aromas. Tart berries come through as the wine opens up. An elegant wine with a lot of structure. Textured and complex on the palate with berries and currant. 98% Syrah (Grand Ciel); 2% Viogner (Ciel du Cheval).

$75

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Beresan Stone River 2005

Thursday, February 5, 2009 2 comments

Beresan, a Walla Walla winery, is the work of Tom Waliser and family. The winery, named after the region of the Ukraine the Walisers are from, is located in a two story barn built in 1926 that was remodeled for Beresan in 2003.

Unlike many Washington wineries, Beresan uses mostly estate fruit. Fruit not from the estate vineyards come from vineyards that Beresan’s owner, Tom Waliser, manages. Complete control over the fruit and winemaking produces results that are quite frequently spectacular.

The 2005 Stone River is no exception. This is a complex, rich, evolving wine that is extremely enjoyable now but should lay down for a number of years.


Wines:

Score

Name

Notes

$

**

Beresan Stone River Walla Walla Valley 2005

Holy smoke Batman! Smoky syrah nose jumps out of the glass (make sure you have your wine away). A rich, luscious mouth feel. Opens and expands with a long finish. After decanting, a fascinating nose shows through will full-on pomegranate juice, lychee, and berry. This is complimented by Panda bear licorice laced with milk chocolate when the wine is not swirled. An excellent, complex wine. 35% Cabernet; 25% Syrah; 25% Merlot; 15% Cab Franc. Waliser (41%), Yellow Jacket (49%), and Pepper Bridge (10%) vineyards. 14.1 % alcohol. 420 cases produced.

$35

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For those of you living in the Portland area, there are a couple upcoming Walla Walla wine events. Walla Walla is a top wine region in the state (see my 2008 Holiday Barrel Tasting Report here.

TASTE Walla Walla
March 2, 2009
5:00pm-7:30pm
Advance Ticket price: $50(thru February 6, 2009)
Standard Ticket price: $65
Tickets can be purchased through the Portland Art Museum box office.


Wine by the Glass
Bullseye Glass Gallery, Portland OR
March 3, 2009
5:30pm-7:30pm
Ticket price: $25 (inclusive of wine tasting and hors d’ oeuvres)

Participating Wineries: Adamant Cellars, Eleganté, Gifford Hirlinger, Lowden Hills Winery, Stella Fino, Sweet Valley Wines, Tertulia Cellars, and Trust Cellars


For additional information on these events, go to www.wallawallawine.com

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Latitude 46 North – the name of this winery – is the latitudinal position just south of Walla Walla where this winery is located. Latitude 46 North’s wines are served in Seattle at the Tasting Room located in Post Alley at Pike’s Place.

See Wino's blog for their recent review of this wine as well.


Wines:

Score

Name

Notes

$

*

Latitude 46 N Vindication Red Columbia Valley 2003

Lots of black pepper, espresso along with light earth aromas and black cherry. The taste has lots of black cherry and a nice plushness. A full mid-palate and a pleasing finish. 70% Merlot; 26% Cabernet; 4% Syrah. 14.3% alcohol.

$29

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William Church's Bishop's Blend, winner of the 2008 Reader Survey Wine to Watch award, will be released on Saturday March 7th. The release party will be at the winery from 12-5pm.

The Bishop's Blend is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 14% Malbec, 12% Petit Verdot, 8% Syrah and 2% Sangiovese. The wine costs $19.

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Hedges Family Estate made their first vintage in 1987. The winery, located in Benton City, largely concentrates on Cabernet and Merlot. Hedges played a central role in the creation of the Red Mountain AVA in 2001. Pete Hedges serves as their winemaker.

As usual, I will be cracking the wine at about 7pm and looking to get my notes up around 9pm. Please join us in trying the wine and posting your notes. Can't join the virtual tasting on the 26th? Feel free to try the wine at any point before or after this and post your notes once virtual tasting post is up on the 26th.

Read notes from other virtual tastings below.


January 2009 Virtual Tasting

December 2008 Virtual Tasting

November 2008 Virtual Tasting

October 2008 Virtual Tasting

September 2008 Virtual Tasting

August 2008 Virtual Tasting

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A summary of articles from January 15th to 31st on Washington wine.


The feature article this go-round is from the Wall Street Journal which calls Washington syrah the “new kick-butt American Zinfandel.” The article gives callouts to Dunham, Owen Roe, Gramercy, K Vintners, L’Ecole, and Reininger.


From around the country…

The San Francisco Chronicle writes about Cream Wine of Yakima in Sunnyside who will be using refillable quart-sized milk bottles for their wine.

Chicago’s Currier News recommends Bergevin Lane’s Fruit Bomb for the Superbowl.

The Modesto Bee writes about Washington wine with callouts to Ch. Ste. Michelle, Northstar, Columbia Crest, and Januik.



From the blogosphere…

Walla Walla Wine News writes about the recent closing of five Walla Walla restaurants including 26 Brix, Luscious by Nature, Destination Grill, Pine Street Grill, and Caravaggio.

The Wine Economist wonders how many AVA’s is enough with the recent approval of the Snipes Mountain AVA in Washington.

Wild for Washington Wine writes about Leonetti’s 2006 Merlot.

Swordfern Wines writes about the 2000 Col Solare, McCrea, and Mark Ryan’s 2006 Long Haul.

Wine Peeps does a spotlight on Stephenson Cellars. They also check out some red blends.

Cheers 2 Wine writes about Ch. Ste. Michelle’s Riesling.

A Meal Without Wine checks out Barnard Griffin’s non-vintage Cabernet Merlot.

Life of Wiley writes about Owen Roe’s Sinister Hand.

Seattle Wine Blog writes about Washington’s ten best vineyards.

Through the Walla Walla Grapevine writes about merlot and Bergevin Lane.

The Wine Muse does a Washington versus Sonoma battle.

Ambassador of Wine writes about Pepper Bridge’s 2005 Cabernet.

Washington Wine writes about wineries plans for Valentine’s Day. They also do a follow-up on their earlier article about ice wine as well as an article about Gewürtztraminner.

Wino’s blog looks at Latitude 46 N’s 2003 Vindication and Owen Roe’s 2007 Sinister Hand.



From the locals…

The Walla Walla Union Bulletin writes about the closing of 26 Brix as does Walla Walla Wine News. The Union Bulletin also writes about the beginning of a carbon sequestration project in Walla Walla.

The Bellingham Herald writes about Washington branching out into new varietals.

The Oregon Statesman Journal writes about Maryhill Winery’s Cab Franc 2005 winning a double platinum award at Wine Press NW’s platinum judging.

The Tri-City Herald writes about the approval of the Snipes Canyon AVA. They also write about 2008 production numbers.

The Tri-City Herald also reports the death of winemaker Mike Paul of Patrick M. Paul Winery.

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