Taste Washington In Phoenix- II
Caderetta - French winemaker, Virginie Bourgue opened her own winery, after working with Annette Bergevin and Amber Lane at Bergevin Lane. I was really curious to taste her wines, but somehow this never materialized.
Chateau Ste Michelle is the Godzilla of the Washington wine world, responsible for approximately half the cases produced in the state. Most wines are adequate with a few standouts.
Columbia Crest - Owned by Ste Michelle, the winemaking approach seem to be quite different. Even though they produce around a million cases in a factory-like building there is careful attention to boutique techniques such as punch downs. At all three levels they produce excellent wines. The "Two Vines" series seem to be basically unoaked. The Merlot and Chardonnay can be had at virtually any gas station in Washington. Frequently on sale at about $7, these are two of the world's all time bargains. The Grand Estates line has seen some oak and is about 50% higher. Supposedly, good food wines I have never been as fond of them as the Two Vines. My neighbor, Chao, was just getting into wine when he discovered the Syrah Reserve. This is a knockout wine for the $30 price. A wealthy acquaintance, drank the Merlot Reserve as her everyday wine. I would do the same if I could afford it. I wonder if she is still doing it or whether she has downshifted to the Grand Estates,
Columbia Winery - Even though I have known some of the founders, frankly, with the exception of some of David Lake's wines , I've rarely had a Columbia Winery wine that I really liked.
Cote Bonneville - Sorry, I missed this one.
Cougar Crest - Deborah Hansen is an outstanding winemaker. Of, the wines tasted, I was especially fond of the whistle clean, refreshing Viognier.*
DeLille - It is hard not to like DeLille wines, that includes the Grand Cru and the Doyenne line, too. "D2" is frequently my favorite as was the case once again withe 2006 vintage. I usualy like the Doyenne "Aix" and Syrah. My favorite white is the Doyenne Rousanne, though these vintages were not quite as wonderful as some in the past. The Grand Cru has the potential to become a Washington State "cult" wine. Kind of like a somewhat tannic Chateau Latour that needs to age.
DiStefano Winery - All quite good, no particular favorite.*
Domaine Poulin - My favorite from winemaker Alexis Poulin was the 2007 Deux, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah.
Donedei - Winemaker, Carolyn Lakewold has an interesting story which we wil have to reserve for another time. Her wines are expensive but with production of only about 800 cases, there is barely enough supply to match the demand. The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon tasted like a raspberry, coffee, chocolate truffle in a glass.*
Dunham - Winemaker, Dan Wampler has taken over most of the winemaking from Eric Dunham. The wines are beautiful and this year the 2006 Trutina was especially good.*
Dusted Valley - Ever since Chad started making wine in his garage several years ago, his wines have been big bold and charming. The Dusted Valley Stained Tooth Syrah is a little monster that stains your teeth. The Viognier is a cool refresher with good body. All I wrote for the Boomtown Cab was "WOW. The Boomtown Pinot Gris had a great nose and lots of character.
There's another dozen. Tune in next week...