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, April 23, 2007

Taste Washington - II

Almost equal to the pleasure of tasting great wine is the pleasure of talking with great winemakers. These people are artists! They may take a very scientific approach or a very intuitive approach, but what they create is amazing. In many ways winemaking is similar to photography. Winemakers like say that that if they have good grapes the trick is not to mess it up. Let the grapes express themselves. And indeed, varietals have their own personalities and vineyards have their own personalities, but winemakers also have their own personalities and inevitably leave their signature on the wine they make. It is fun to compare wines by different winemakers made from grapes grown in the same vineyard or made from the same varietal.

I had a chance to speak with so many great winemakers at Taste Washington, it is impossible to list them all. Nina Buty Foster explained to me that Buty and the Beast is an inside family joke. Caleb's Beast, by the way, is quite wonderful. John Bell, showed off his skill with a whole variety of Willis Hall wines all of which were good. Tim Narby made an amazing batch of Note Bene wines this time around. His colleagues in the South Seattle Artisan Wine group, also produced outstanding wines. Tim Sorensen at Fall Line is on a roll, as are Gay McNutt and Ben Smith at Cadence who produce wines of great distinction. Brian Carter's wines have a smooth seamlessness. Apex wines which he has made for years are a well kept secret lurking quietly on supermarket shelves where many do not suspect what awaits them in the bottle. This year the Apex Chardonnay and Merlot are particularly good and the Chardonnay is on sale at Safeway at about $18 per bottle. Chris Carmarda at Andrew Will made a gorgeous 2004 Sorella, which is big soft and complex. I had a nice chat with Ron Irvine about marketing wine. Talking with winemakers is definitely part of the pleasure of wine.


  • At 2:49 AM, Blogger David said…

    Hi, do you ever look at cooments from other than North America? I ask, as I have a great interest in the exciting developments in New Zealand, and there are some great things happening there. Festivals (e.g. and some very interesting wineries (e.g. ). Cheers, David.


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