Trust Cellars (WWSR 2009)

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

One of the most exciting parts of this trip to Walla Walla was the stop at Trust Cellars. Winemaker Steve Brooks began making wine in 2005 after leaving his job at CNN. While his initial releases showed great promise, Brooks’ new releases realize that potential and more. Two of these wines – the 2008 Riesling and 2007 Walla Walla Valley Syrah – my friends and I talked about quite literally for the remainder of the weekend. With an exceptional lineup of wines and a wine club with a waiting list, there appears to be no limit to where this winery can go. All wines sampled at 65 degrees unless otherwise noted.







2008 Riesling Columbia Valley

A beautiful nose with sugared grapefruit and pineapple. Spectacular citrus tastes blend with other fruit flavors. Exceptionally well balanced with mineral and a light sweetness on the taste. 100% Riesling. 38% CS Farms (Wahluke Slope); 30% Pheasant (Yakima); 30% Evergreen (Wahluke Slope); 2% Ancient Lakes. 12% alcohol. 224 cases produced. Sampled at 54 degrees.



2008 Rosé of Cab Franc Columbia Valley

Light smoky hints accompany pepper and a slight mustard component. Crisp and clean on the palate. An excellent summer wine. 100% Cab Franc. Bacchus Vineyard. 13.4% alcohol. 151 cases produced. Sampled at 60 degrees. Recommended



2007 Syrah Columbia Valley

Dark purple. Blueberry and other light berries along with a hint of wintergreen mark the nose and taste. Two months in the bottle. Unfined and unfiltered. 54% Lewis; 31% Portteus; 13% Sundance vineyards. 14.5% alcohol. 320 cases produced.



2007 Syrah Walla Walla Valley

Very dark purple. Light game and floral aromas dance together on the nose. Dry on the palate with beautiful berry tastes. Finish hasn’t entirely come together yet but given a little more bottle age will be absolutely superb. 89% Syrah; 11% Cabernet. 61% Les Collines (Block 50 & 30), 28% Va Piano, 11% Lewis (Cabernet). 14.4% alcohol. 214 cases produced.



2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley

Extremely dark to the point of almost being opaque. A compelling nose marked by pencil lead, light anise, and white pepper. Beautifully integrated tannins. 80% Cabernet; 20% Merlot. 39% Phinny; 20% Baccus; 11% Kelly; 10% Champoux. 20% Conner Lee (Merlot). 13.8% alcohol.


Sean P. Sullivan


  1. Sean, your assessments on Steve's riesling, rose, and syrahs are consistent with mine after visiting Trust Cellars during July 4th weekend. I was intrigued by Steve's 2008 riesling, which was a bit sweeter than his 2006 rendition, which I absolutely loved. But I was most taken with his Walla Walla Valley syrah, which as you suggest will benefit from more time in the bottle. I ended up buying some of each of these four wines - will be covering the rose and riesling soon.

  2. Thad, indeed the Walla Walla Syrah is a stunner. I'll look forward to your posts on the rose and riesling.