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

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Go East Young Man - I

Where did all those wineries west of Walla Walla come from. They came from the incubator, No, I'm not saying they are chickens. I'm saying some of them came from the "incubator" at the Walla Walla airport. The Port of Walla Walla has been offering space to new wineries for quite some time. Just east of where commercial flights actually land, most of the Quonset huts have been occupied by pioneering new winemakers. This is very convenient as you can get off a Horizon flight from Seattle in the morning head over to the wineries and fly back the same evening, but why wouldn't you want to linger to check out the more than one hundred wineries in Walla Walla. Recently, the Port decided to build a special new incubator putting up five new attractive wineries facing an open field at the end of the Quonset huts. Who are the special five? Cavu, Adamantine, Lodmell, Trio, and Kontos clockwise in the semicircle. The quality varies, but the spirit doesn't.

Cavu Cellars, as distinguished from Cavu Winery, a start up in California, appears to be a father/son operation. The '08 SB is balanced and well made, the '06 Horizon a blend of Cab Sauv juiced up with 7% Petite Verdot is fairly big and dynamic. The Barbera will not be released until August 2009. It is deep and dark, definitely a food wine, nowhere near as rough as some of the Italian versions can be - very appealing. The Cab Sauv will be released in 2010. The fruit comes from the Les Collines Vineyard in the Blue Mountain foothills. It's a real winner.

Adamant has lost its baby fat and is now a healthy two year old. It has become even more shapely and Adamant wines are selling out like hotcakes. I seem to have lost my notes on the wines, but trust me, you can't go wrong with one of Devin's wines. Devin's wife Deborah is a very talented artist. It appears they are both artists. Last year I said this was a winery to watch. You had better get on their mailing list.

Lodmell Cellars offered three wines - a balanced 2006 Sauv Blanc, a round strawberry-rhubarb flavored Rose, and a deep dark squid's ink 2006 Syrah with fruity, round ripe flavors and hints of spice, everything a Syrah should be.

Trio Vintners was founded by three winemakers who somehow seem to cooperate. This the best new kid on the block. We were introduced to Trio by our friend Mary who brought us a bottle of the 2006 Mourvedre - an authentic wine that reminded us of the Rhone and the south of France. All the other wines we tasted were of high quality. The 2007 Riesling was classic with striking peach flavors. The 2007 Rose was sweet tasting and pretty.The 2006 Sangiovese was round soft and very appealing. The 2006 Zinfandel was round and fruity. Altogether a winery to watch.

Kontos at two o'clock on the semi-circle offered four wines. Our favorite was the 2006 Boushay Syrah. Boushay Syrah is almost always more elegant and refined than most other Washington Syrah.

There are many more wineries at the airport. Eric Dunham, for example, has just not not been able to tear himself away. Next time we will visit other airport wineries including a chateau and then drive out east to aMaurice and a few others.

2 Comments:

  • At 10:59 AM, OpenID denise said…

    Gene -
    Thanks for your generous comments about Trio Vintners wines. It's true that we are three winemakers who "somehow seem to cooperate". LOL! I'm glad you got to experience all of our wines - and visit the other "incubator" wineries. It's a very unique destination - I don't know of any other site in the country that has this kind of set up for new wineries. Trio Vintners will be here for at least another couple of years. (We have six years total in our building.) Then on to...? That's the burning question at this point in our evolution! Stay tuned! - Denise Slattery

     
  • At 10:59 AM, OpenID denise said…

    Gene -
    Thanks for your generous comments about Trio Vintners wines. It's true that we are three winemakers who "somehow seem to cooperate". LOL! I'm glad you got to experience all of our wines - and visit the other "incubator" wineries. It's a very unique destination - I don't know of any other site in the country that has this kind of set up for new wineries. Trio Vintners will be here for at least another couple of years. (We have six years total in our building.) Then on to...? That's the burning question at this point in our evolution! Stay tuned! - Denise Slattery

     

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