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

Friday, August 14, 2009

Picnic In The Rain

What better way to launch the 2009 Auction of Washington Wine than in a partly cloudy partly rainy field outside Chateau Ste Michelle. Eric Dunham's beautiful Starry Starry Night painting didn't quite capture the scene. Falling Rain Cellars did. But Northwesterners have webbed feet and the staff were prepared so most of the event got moved under the at-the-ready big white tent. The evening seemed subdued between the weather and the economy, but the wine and food were great. I ran into lots of friends - Mary McWilliams and Bill Getz to name just two and lots of winemakers, Trey Busch, Chris Sparkman, Marty Clubb, Brian Carter, and Kevin Correll of Barrage Cellars.

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


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

More blogs about seattle wine blog.