Seattle Wine Blog

This blog is dedicated to commentary on all aspects of wine, especially short entries to help you find the best wines without the usual hype and spin. These are my frank, independent opinions, usually based on tasting wine at a public event, off the shelf or at the winery. "All creative acts must arise out of a specific soil and flicker with a spirit of place" -D.H. Lawrence

Monday, August 28, 2006

2003 Vashon Merlot - Another Small Puget Sound Winery

Our friends, Al & Maxine, who live on Vashon Island, brought a bottle of 2003 Vashon Merlot to dinner Saturday night and it went quite well with Foie Gras, Buffalo, and a variety of cheeses including Beecher's, Drunken Goat, Stilton, and Port du Salut. The wine smells of berries and sherry, with a creamy raspberry flavor and a soft entry to the mouth. It is medium bodied in a somewhat light and elegant style. It has a slightly hot finish which may diminish with a little more bottle age (six months to a year).

We had occasion to taste other good Vashon wines at Taste Washington and more recently tasted the 2002 Anniversary Reserve Red which won a bronze medal at the Northwest Wine Festival. This Bordeaux style blend was full and more balanced than the Merlot, also, a year older. I thought it definitely merited at least a Silver medal. By the way, as with so many wines made in the Puget Sound area, most of the grapes used are grown in sunny eastern Washington and trucked over the Cascade mountains to the winery at harvest time.

Vashon Winery is owned by Ron Irvine who has tried his hand at many aspects of the wine trade. Ron was one of the early owners of Pike and Western Wine Shop in the Pike Place Market in Seattle. He sold his interest and retired to Vashon Island to write a book about the history of Washington state wine. Now he is winemaker and owner of Vashon Winery with a production of about 750 cases on Vashon Island. Vashon wines may be a little hard to find. A day trip to Vashon Island would be a lovely weekend excursion and rewarding way to obtain some Vashon wine, but it would be best to call ahead to make sure the winery is open.


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