Spring Valley Vineyards (WWSR 2009)

What follows is an excerpt from the 2009 Walla Walla Spring Release Weekend Report. Download the full report here (Note: Opens .pdf).

Winemaker Serge Laville calls the 2006 vintage “our most labor intensive vintage ever” with almost all of the grape varietals reaching their peak simultaneously. Harvest took place over an intense three week period. While 2005 was an across the board excellent vintage for Washington state, Spring Valley’s 2006 wines exceed the 2005’s. Spring Valley favors a fairly extracted style and flirts with quite high alcohol levels. However, the distinctive style of their estate vineyards still shows through. Spring Valley will be producing 160 cases of Cabernet Franc to be released in the fall. All wines sampled at 60 degrees.







2005 Muleskinner Merlot Walla Walla Valley

Pretty herbal aromas mix with cherry, cocoa, and bright raspberries. Lush and full, although a bit astringent at times. Cranberry lingers on the finish. 94% Merlot; 6% other varietals.



2006 Muleskinner Merlot Walla Walla Valley

Raspberries and bittersweet chocolate laced with light floral notes mark the nose. Rose hips and light herbal notes show through as the wine opens. Rich on the palate. Opens up and sails. The better of the two vintages. 100% Merlot. 14.9% alcohol.



2005 Uriah Walla Walla Valley

A lively nose with strong black licorice and jammy fruit. Lithe and refined on the palate. A lot of texture and grainy tannins. 59% Merlot; 36% Cab Franc; 5% Petit Verdot. 14.8% alcohol. 3,000 cases produced.



2006 Uriah Walla Walla Valley

Rich mocha aromas mingle with cranberry, black cherry, rosehips, and light earth. A rich, thick, multiple swallow wine. 54% Merlot; 33% Cab Franc; 7% Petit Verdot; 6% Malbec. 14.9% alcohol. 5,000 cases produced.



2006 Frederick Walla Walla Valley

Lovely dried red fruits mix with rosehips and light earth aromas. A bold, powerful taste packed with tannins and coffee notes. Still needs a good deal of time. 54% Cabernet; 27% Cab Franc; 10% Merlot; 7% Petit Verdot; 2% Malbec. 15.4% alcohol. 3,000 cases produced.



2006 Derby Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley

Light blackberry, earth, herbs, and dried fruit sprinkled with crumbles of dark chocolate. Very tight and still a bit green at times. Packs a puckering punch and is rich with syrupy fruit. Hasn’t completely come together yet but will be excellent. 100% Cabernet. 15.6% alcohol.



2006 Nina Lee Walla Walla Valley

Oak spices weave through black and blue fruit. Wow this is a thick wine! Extremely tightly wound at the moment, though showing anise and blackberry. A bit heavy on the alcohol at times. 100% Syrah. 15.6% alcohol. 1,000 cases produced.


Sean P. Sullivan

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