Picnic In The Rain
There were all the usual fun events - ring toss, etc and you could bid on a barrel of wine. The winemakers who had donated barrels offered tastes of the wines in the barrel. There was a silent auction and best of all the opportunity to taste lots of wine. The wines were organized by varietal. The varietal tables were fun because you could compare and contrast, say, all the Rieslings.
I arrived early, so they wouldn't let me in. I hadn't tasted Ste. Michelle wines in a while so I went into the tasting room where I was lucky enough to meet the very fair and able Bridgette who provided me with a private tasting of Cold Creek Vineyard designate wines all of which were excellent. The 2007 Cold Creek Vineyard Chardonnay was just as good as usual with that wonderfully European minerality that I love so much. The 2006 Cold Creek Vineyard Merlot was smooth and soft with great berry fruit. Friendly and easy, but still interesting. The 2006 Cold Creek Cabernet Sauvignon was soft round and fruity, too, with good cherry vanilla flavors.The 2005 Col Solare was like a pillowtop mattress, soft on the top with a firm underpinning. The 2006 Ice Wine Chenin Blanc smelled of honeysuckle and was intensely sweet, but not cloying and annoying. And Lagniappe was the current bottling of the Eroica Riesling which was open because the good Doctor Loosen was in the house and Bridget copped me a taste. Thanks, Bridget. What a great way to get off the ground.
I checked out the food tents and immediately realized there would be lots of good fare that I could eat. A good part of the Washington wine industry donated wine, so there were dozens of each varietal to taste. After tasting through virtually all of the Rieslings the Gilbert stood out as just right for - full of flavor, but dry and crisp - perfect. Riesling is soooo much a matter of taste, of sugar really, it's all about how sweet you like your wine. Among straight Merlots, Barrage Trifecta was the winner. Among whites in general, the Roussanne /Viognier blend from new winey Tranche was a winner. As usual, all of the Syncline wines were wonderful. Mark Ryan's Deadhorse was a killer wine.Elsom Red was , good and Falling Rain winemaker, Judith Papeesh was full of Mischief blending a brew of Merlot Cab Sauv and Malbec. Here come the bests:
Best Reisling - Gilbert
Best White - Tranche Roussanne/Viognier
Best Syrah - Syncline
Best Merlot - Barrage Trifecta
Best Rhone Style Blend - Syncline Cuvee Elena
Best Bordeaux Style Blend - Falling Rain Mischief
Best Winery Name - Falling Rain
Best New Winery Name - Tranche
Best New Winery - Elsom
Best Of Show - Nicolas Cole Dauphine