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
  • To connect you to the larger wine community

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'14 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries

Fresh Sheet November 30th 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013 0 comments
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As we reach the end of November, we bid farewell to the harvest season and its fall colors in this month's Pic of the Vine from contributing photograph Richard Duval. This picture was taken at Red Mountain as harvest came to a close. Click on the picture for a larger image.

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Domaine Ste. Michelle has long dominated the sparkling wine market in Washington since the winery’s founding in 1978. Recently, the winery relaunched itself as simply ‘Michelle’.

A quick look at the new design and packaging makes the intent clear: it’s aimed directly at women in general and more specifically at Millennial women – those aged 21 to 34. Why all the fuss about women? The press release on the relaunching contained the following telling quote:

“With the majority of our sales being made by women, we enhanced shelf appeal with feminine flair,” said Brenda Castañeda, Marketing Manager. “The new packaging features an elegant bottle shape and an attractive white label accented with soft blue (Brut, Extra Dry) and blush (Brut Rosé) hues. The wine meets the demand from women seeking a chic and stylish sparkling wine."

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Well everyone, another Thanksgiving is almost here. As I’ve written before, I suggest not getting too stressed out about pairing wines with Thanksgiving dishes. The variety of dishes that are being served and the assortment of guests mean that one size won’t fit all. The best approach is therefore to have a wide variety of wines at the table.

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The November Virtual Tasting is tonight! The wine is the 2012 Charles Smith Wines Boom Boom! Syrah. This wine retails for $15 and is widely available. The tasting will take place tonight, Tuesday November 26th, from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from a local retailer or from the winery.

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific using the hashtag #charlessmith. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from November 15th to 21st 2013. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world…

Drinks Business Review writes about Duckhorn making wine in Washington.

China Daily reports that Washington wines gain ground.

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The November Virtual Tasting wine is the 2012 Charles Smith Wines Boom Boom! Syrah. This wine retails for $15 and is widely available. The tasting will take place on Tuesday November 26th from 7-8pm Pacific.

What you need to do to participate is:

1. Buy this month’s wine from a local retailer or from the winery.

2. Tweet your comments about the wine on Twitter between 7 and 8pm Pacific on the specified date using the hashtag #charlessmith. For those on Twitter, follow me @wawinereport.

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On the Joys of A Well-aged Wine

Thursday, November 21, 2013 0 comments

Most every wine lover can name an epiphany bottle or two – a wine that changed the way that they thought about wine or thought about a region. One of those wines for me is the 2003 Saviah Cellars Une Vallée Red Wine. It was then and remains now one of my all time favorite Washington wines, one that completely captivated me on the Walla Walla Valley and Washington wine scene. It might not have been on that particular day that I decided to start writing about Washington wine. But if not, it was certainly shortly thereafter. The wine was positively inspiring.

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The California incursion into the Washington wine industry continues with the announcement last week that Napa Valley’s Duckhorn Vineyards will be producing a Red Mountain designated Cabernet Sauvignon, a little kept secret over the past year.

This is only the latest example of the California influx into Washington, as earlier this year Napa Valley’s Cakebread Cellars announced a new Walla Walla Valley-based brand and wine giant  Trinchero Family Estates teamed up with Charles & Charles. Last year saw the purchase by E. & J. Gallo of Columbia Winery and Covey Run. With all of this money coming north, what does it mean for the Washington wine industry?

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from November 8th to November 14th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

Aspen Times Weekly writes about Col Solare, Force Majure, and Long Shadows.

The Indianapolis Star recommends Red Diamond.

The Sun Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) reports writes about what to drink with roast quail.

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Tim Nodland of Spokane’s Nodland Cellars always knew what he wanted to be when he grew up but it wasn’t a winemaker. “I decided I was going to be a lawyer in the fourth grade,” Nodland says matter-of-factly. While Nodland is indeed now a practicing attorney, his journey to winemaking lawyer might never have happened if it weren’t for Kurt Cobain and company.

Nodland’s detour from a law career began when he was a teenager. “When I was seventeen I saw this Fender Telecaster hanging in the window at a shop in Spokane,” Nodland recalled. “My life changed at that moment.”

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Harvest winds down in Washington

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 0 comments

While some growers and winemakers in Washington finished up harvest as much as a month ago, others are still going.

This picture comes from Precept Wine's Canyon Vineyard Ranch in the Yakima Valley, where Sémillon was picked on Monday. This was the winery's last pick of the harvest season.

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The December 1st issue of Wine Enthusiast has an article I wrote on Canadian Icewine. You can read the article here (scroll down to Canada). Read a series of wine reviews here.

Enjoy!

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from November 1st to 7th. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the world...

Harper's UK talks with Ted Baseler about the importance of a back story in wine.


From around the country...

The Austin Chronicle writes about four wines of the week for holiday parties.

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When I sampled the inaugural releases from Lauren Ashton Cellars last year (notes here), I was considerably impressed. The new wines from the winery however, are a revelation – as impressive an across the board lineup as I’ve tasted from any winery this year along with some of the best wines I have tasted in 2013 period.

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A round-up of stories on Washington wine from October 22nd to 31st. Read previous round-ups here.

From around the country...

HawaiiNewsNow.com writes about a global wine shortage.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal names The Velvet Devil Merlot its wine of the week.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution writes about a weekend in Walla Walla.

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Washington’s growing season and harvest in 2013 was a two part story.

As I have written before, 2013 was a warm year – the second warmest on record behind 2003 in terms of Growing Degree Days. However, as the chart below from Washington State University shows, the season actually ran ahead of 2003 throughout the growing season and into the beginning of harvest before things took a sudden turn.

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