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, July 06, 2009

Jasnieres On Vashon

July 4th we had a great time with Maxine and Al. We started by visiting one of our favorite wineries - Palouse. Linda tasted us down the entire list starting with the '07 Viognier, an appealing wine with a hint of butterscotch added to the profile. Great with summer fare, fish and seafood. The '07 Riesling is classic off dry with a little more body than typical and the usual suspects in the flavor profile. The "Dynamique" name for the Cab Franc is clever pun combining the names of the two vineyards, Dineen & Meek from which the grapes were sourced.
Unfortunately, this bottle had a hint of that "prune" quality in the nose - a tip-off that the bottle has been open too long, but in the mouth there was good fruit accompanied by a hint of tobacco and chili pepper. The '05 Eclipse was it's usual good self, full of beautiful fruit. The '06 Solitaire was a little too bright for my taste, but good nevertheless. The "06 Ahh Syrah is sourced from three Yakima Valley vineyards - Portteus, Dineen, and Meek. One sip of this deep dark beauty will evoke oohs and ahhs. Although deep in color and big in the mouth, this is no monster, having that certain smoothness associated with Yakima Syrah. The 06' Cab Sauv is Linda's fave. She sure got it right! It's our fave, too! Sourced from Dineen Vineyard it another deep dark beauty full of exciting black fruit. With these two, George more than achieved his goal of "smooth, round and voluptuous." The '06 and '05 "Black Pearl" Petite Sirah are excellent, too, George's favorites, but they suffer by comparison with the outstanding 2004 Black Pearl. I guess Linda wins this round. The 100% Cabernet Sauvignon seems to be this year's winner.

What about Jasnieres, you say? What is Jasnieres? What's Jasnieres got to do with Vashon? What's the rolling hills of the Palouse got to do with Vashon, for that matter? Instead of checking out other wineries, we went to Vashon Thriftway which has a spectacular wine selection. This destination supermarket is worth a trip to the island, just to check out the wine. Of course, you might want to take your bike, too. Then you will save almost enough on the ferry fare to buy a bottle of Jasnieres at Thriftway. Since the 2006 Jasnieres from Pascal Janvier is a Kermit Lynch Selection distrubuted in the Seattle area, you can probably find it without the ferry trip. How fortunate, though to find it on Vashon. It was perfect with the beautiful salmon dinner Maxine prepared.

Ever since tasting Jasnieres at the font, at the Hermetagerie, near Grand Luce, in the Loire Valley, I have been searching despairingly for it in the states, and while the Jasnieres by Janviers isn't exactly Jasnieres by Gigou, the best IMHO, it is still quite wonderful. Made from the Chenin Blanc grape, it is so much drier than its more famous and flabbier cousin, Vouvray. The unusual combination of fruitiness and dryness is fascinating by itself and perfect with salmon. The Janviers finishes with just a hint of citrus which picks it up and will pick you up on a summer afternoon.

What ever happened to the rest of Walla Walla? Look for posts on the airport, the stateline area and others. Look for Back To The Future - Paso Robles, Foxen Road etc., in coming posts.


  • At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Muriel said…

    I love Palouse too! Vashon girl born and raised until Walla Walla stole me away.


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