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, May 04, 2009

Taste Washington Seattle

Back to Taste Washington. Let's try doing this in alphabetical order. Airfield Estates has been growing grapes for a while. Recently Marcus Miller has started making wines that are appealing and reasonably priced. Anna Schafer, continues to make outstanding wine at aMaurice Cellars. Both the 2006 Viognier and Chardonnay have a stony European quality. The Malbec is fabulous. Balboa wines have been friendly "value" wines, but now they are going upscale with "Mith" the outstanding Sayulta from Walla Walla grapes, but is this the time to start offering $40 bottles. I guess we will see. It seems to me that Beresen wines fell off a little this year, but not the 2006 Malbec. Everyone seems to be hitting home runs with Malbec. Caderetta had a nice Merlot. Chad at Dusted Valley ventured into the high end with an outstanding '06 Reserve Cab for $45. The 2007 Stained Tooth Syrah is always good at $24. Gifford Hirlinger came up with another really good Malbec. All of the wines from newcomer Gilstrap were excellent.

The 2007 Riesling from Palouse was light and balanced. The 2006 "Ahh" Syrah brought "oohs and aahs" as did the Cab Franc and the Cab Sauv. All of the Ponum and Ponder wines were excellent. Quilceda Creek 2006 Red Wine - "That's really good!" The Saviah 2006 Reserve Syrah was excellent, but the 2006 "Une Vallee" Red Wine was outstanding - velvety and smooth! Once again, Trey Busch worked his magic with the 2007 "The Magician" Gewurz and the "Spellbinder" Red Blend. Chris Sparkman's 2007 "Lumiere" Chardonnay will light up your life and lighten your burdens. The 2007 Syncline Mourvedre from Horse Heaven Hills is heavenly and since Syncline is biodynamique should help you get centered in your life. The trio of winemakers at Trio Vintners made an outstanding Rhone Style Mourvedre that is delightfully rustique and reminiscent of southern French wine. It appears that virtually all of Larry Lehmbecker's wines have won awards for their friendly unoaked style. Newcomer Ward Johnson's Cab Blend was worthy and of course, Lloyd Andersen's Walter Dacon Syrahs were all big fruity, jammy and delish as always. I alway seem to prefer to prefer the C'est Syrah Belle.

Four hours is just not enough time to do justice to so many outstanding winemakers, wineries, and vineyards, but Taste Washington is a great way to discover new wineries and find out which wines you really like. I've often said that the only way to buy wine is to taste it yourself at the winery. At Taste Washington the wineries bring the wine to you all in the same place making it easy to choose your faves for the year.

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