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

Search

'16 Tour Guide

Reviewed Wineries


While 2014 has been another warm year in Washington, many grape growers in particular are quite pleased with the results.

“From a growers perspective, everything went right,” said Kent Waliser of Sagemoor Vineyards. “Consider, except for a few isolated exceptions, we had no fall freeze last year, no winter damage, no frost damage, no real disease pressure, warm steady growing weather, good fruit set, generally resulting in larger berries which has resulted in tonnages higher than estimated.” Waliser noted that this was a considerable difference from the previous four years.

“Close to ideal vintage!” said Russ Smithyman, Director of Viticulture at Ste Michelle Wine Estates, of the growing season. “A very warm year - progressing to be one of the warmest on record. However, no dramatic heat events, unlike last year.”

“We’re very happy with the quality to date,” said Doug Gore, Executive Vice President of Ste Michelle Wine Estates. “And we have no reason to think it’s not going to continue. There was a concern with the heat that we weren’t going to get the flavors that you get with longer hang time, but I haven’t heard one winemaker complain about fruit getting sweet without flavor. And if people were concerned, I would be hearing about it.”

At Red Willow Vineyard in the Yakima Valley, the warm growing season led to an early end to harvest. “By far the earliest that we’ve ever finished things up,” said Mike Sauer, who finished picking at the beginning of October.

As of September 30th, Red Willow had accumulated 3,149 heat units – a high number for a traditionally moderate site. “The heat was just unrelenting!” Sauer said. “I would estimate that by the end of the season, for our site, this will be a warmer year than last year even.”

Sauer said that the warm growing season compressed harvest significantly. “It was a hectic, hectic harvest,” he said. “Once we got into it, it was just pick as fast as we can.” For Sauer, last week’s rainfall, close to half an inch at Red Willow, was a relief.  “All it did was wash the fruit and settle the dust,” he said. “It was welcome.”

The dilemma this year for winemakers has been how to deal with higher sugars. “Extremely high,” Sauer said of the Brix levels, particularly for the early ripening varieties. “Syrah and Merlot, the sugars shot up so quickly,” he said. “Some winemakers wanted to wait for all the signs of physiological ripening. By then you’re dealing with some really high sugars.”

The warm temperatures also removed some of the natural spacing between pick dates. “There was a real compression of the varieties,” Sauer said. “For us, we started with Syrah, which typically Merlot is leading the way. Then Merlot came. Usually there is a separation of the early varieties and winemakers have some time to turn over their fermenters before you get into your Cabs and Cab Francs. This year the Cabernets were right behind them.”

Despite the warmth of the year and the frenetic pace, Sauer thinks that winemakers and consumers will be pleased with the results. “I tend to think that this vintage is really going to be considered a pretty darn good one,” he said. “But I don’t think many winemakers have had time to catch their breath or even think about how good things are.”

Picture of Sagemoor Vineyard Merlot pressing courtesy of Walla Walla Vintners (Follow on Facebook).

***
See information on the Washington State Growing Degree Days here.

See monthly forecast for Yakima Valley (Sunnyside), Red Mountain (Benton City), Walla WallaPaterson, and Mattawa.

***

The information in the table below is aggregated from personal correspondence with growers and winemakers, as well as information posted on Twitter and Facebook. It is not intended to be comprehensive but rather is intended as a snapshot of what is going on around the state. If you wish to send data for your grapes or vineyards (or correct any of the information below), please email me at wawinereport@gmail.com, leave a comment here, or leave a comment on the WWR Facebook page.



Winery

Grape
Vineyard
Date
Notes
Columbia Valley
Rasa
Merlot
Bacchus
9/19

Rasa
Merlot
Dionysus
9/19

--
Riesling
Lawrence
9/23

Novelty Hill
Sauv Blanc
Stillwater
9/23
10 tons
Long Shadows
Petit Verdot
Dionysus
9/25
For Pirouette
Novelty Hill
Roussanne
Stillwater
9/29

William Church
Malbec
Gamache
9/30

Tamarack
Cabernet Sauv
Bacchus
10/1
Block 3
Novelty Hill
Roussanne
Stillwater
10/2

--
Merlot
Sagemoor
10/2

Yakima Valley
Viscon
Chardonnay
Domanico
9/18

Syncline
Syrah
Boushey
9/19

Adams Bench
Sangiovese
Red Willow
9/19

Stottle
Viognier
Elerding Canyon
9/20

--
Cabernet Sauv
Art Den Hoed
9/26

Airfield
Merlot
Estate
9/29

EFESTE
Syrah
Boushey
10/1

Ashan
Chardonnay
Kestrel
10/1

Red Mountain
Jester Cellars
Merlot
Monte Scarletto
9/10

Sleight of Hand
Cabernet Sauv
RMV
9/19
Block D
Auclair
Merlot
Artz
9/20

Auclair
Cab Sauv
Artz
9/20

Auclair
Cab Sauv
Heart of the Hill
9/20

Cadence
Cabernet Sauv
Ciel du Cheval
9/24
Last fruit
Jester
Cabernet Sauv
Heart of the Hill
9/25

Auclair
Petit Verdot
Artz
9/27

Auclair
Cab Sauv
Artz
9/27

Auclair
Cabernet Franc
Artz
9/27
Last grapes of season
Genoa
Sangiovese
--
9/27

Red Heaven Estates
Petit Verdot
Scooteney
9/27

Syncline
Mourvèdre
Heart of the Hill
9/29
Last Mourvèdre pick
Lantz Cellars
Malbec
Scooteney
9/29

Guardian
Cabernet Sauv
Klipsun
9/30
3.5 tons
Obelisco
Cabernet Sauv
Estate
10/1

Sleight of Hand
Cab Franc
RMV
10/3

Jester
Cabernet Sauv
Kiona
10/3

Walla Walla Valley
Leonetti
Cabernet Sauv
Seven Hills
9/19
First cab. Upper block.
Tertulia
Viognier
Whistling Hills
9/19

J&J
Merlot
Seven Hills
9/19

Rasa
Syrah
Les Collines
9/19
Block 35
WW Vintners
Merlot
Yellow Bird
9/22

Three Rivers
Syrah
Minnick Hills
9/25

Three Rivers
Syrah
Minnick Hills
9/26

Cadaretta
Syrah
Southwind
9/26
Block 26F, clone 470
Nodland
Carmenere
Seven Hills
9/27

Kerloo
Syrah
Les Collines
9/27

L’Ecole
Merlot
Ferguson
9/26

WW Vintners
Malbec
Pepper Bridge
9/27

Nocking Point
Syrah
Estate
9/30

Nocking Point
Cabernet Sauv
Estate
9/30

Sleight of Hand
Syrah
Stoney Vine
10/1
Third pick
Sleight of Hand
Syrah
Les Collines
10/1
Block 23
--
Riesling
Pepper Bridge
10/1

Doubleback
Cabernet Sauv
McQueen
10/1

Wahluke Slope
--
Merlot
Clifton Bluffs
9/22

--
Merlot
Wahluke Slope
9/23

--
Mourvèdre
Clifton Bluffs
9/25

Lauren Ashton
Merlot
Weinbau
9/26

--
Syrah
Northridge
9/29

--
Merlot
Wahluke Slope
10/1

--
Cabernet Sauv
Clifton Hill
10/2

Horse Heaven Hills
Cana’s Feast
Merlot
Destiny Ridge
9/19
First Merlot
--
Malbec
Painted Hills
9/20

Stottle
Tempranillo
Elerding 6 Prong
9/24

Stottle
Sangiovese
Elerding 6 Prong
9/24

Den Hoed
Cabernet Sauv
Wallula
9/26
For Marie’s View
L’Ecole
Grenache
Alder Ridge
9/26
For rosé
Syncline
Mourvèdre
Alder Ridge
9/27

Mercer
Syrah
Estate
9/28

Sleight of Hand
Cabernet Sauv
Phinny
9/29
Estate, first crop
Sleight of Hand
Cab Franc
Phinny
9/29
Estate, first crop
Snipes Mountain
Lauren Ashton
Merlot
Upland
9/25

DavenLore
Tempranillo
Upland
9/28

DavenLore
Syrah
Upland
9/28

Lake Chelan
Hard Row to Hoe
Semillon
Estate
9/30

Hard Row to Hoe
Syrah
Estate
9/30
25.8 Brix and 3.5 pH
Columbia Gorge
Syncline
Pinot Noir
Celilo
9/20
For sparkling
Memaloose
Chenin Blanc
Idiot’s Grace
9/30
First crop
Ancient Lakes
EFESTE
Chardonnay
Evergreen
9/23
For Lola
Milbrandt
Chardonnay
Evergreen
10/1

Milbrandt
Chardonnay
Ancient Lakes
10/2

| edit post

0 comments

Post a Comment

Follow

TN Database


Tasting Note Database Read an explanation of the fields here. FINAL UPDATE 6/13/2015.

Blog Archive