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

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Taste Washingon 2010 - Almost Verbatim & Amost Real-Time

As usual Taste Washington was a great experience. Over 800 wines from over 200 wineries, just scratch the surface of the Washington wine field. Washington State winemakers have established a tradition of not following tradition and thinking outside the box. They are willing to experiment with anything that works. Washington grapegrowers grow all kinds of varietals including such Rhone varietals as Mourvedre, Counoise, Cinsault.Looking for Tempranillo, Zin or Pinot Noir, look no further. Want an inexpensive everyday wine? How about Boomtown, Revelry, Dama, Balboa, Barnard Griffin, Columbia Crest or Red Diamond. Looking for an "affordable" cult wine ( I know, it's an oxymoron), try Quilceda Creek, Leonetti, Cayuse or Delille's Grand Cru. Or even more affordable and more available - Andrew Will, Pepper Bridge, or CadenceThere are so many outstanding Washington wines, it's a crime to only be able to taste a  hundred or so, but given the time available I would have only 10 seconds to taste each wine and travel to the next booth. This time, even though I was tempted into tasting from the first part of the alphabet by such beauties as Buty, Cadence and Caderetta, I did manage to get to the the other end with such wonders as Willis Hall. Unfortunately, there is a big hole in the middle. Again, the section featuring vineyards was fascinating. I  tasted  DeLille's  excellent Harrison Hill and several bottles made by the family that owns Upland vineyard. Since I will be reporting on Woodinville Passport this April and the Third Annual Wine Bloggers conference in Walla Walla this June, I tried to avoid Woodinville and Walla Walla wineries this time around. Although it seemed that attendance was down, quality was up. The 2007 vintage  produced many outstanding wines and may well be the best Washington State vintage yet.

This year, I am trying a new approach to my Tasting notes. I recorded my impressions and winemakers' discussions of their wines we will see how it comes out. Of course, later we will have the usual  lists of bests and faves and new wineries. This kind of reminds me of the "live" blogging we did at the first wine blogger's conference in Santa Rosa in 2008.

For reasons unknown, Pine and Post came up first.. As usual, the Chardonnay from 2007 is a good quaff at a reasonable  price. Ben Smith is so excited about his new vineyard and the amount of control he can exercise over the fruit. This year he had an opportunity to to make a blend with 30-40% Petit Verdot. The 2007 Taptiel was deep and linear, needed some age as usual. The Bel Canto was indeed Belle. - "almost a fruitbomb, but not in your face - beautiful!"  2007 Camerata - 85% Cab S, 15% cab, Fr., 15% merlot.Cadence winemakers Gaye and Ben have exceeded their usual high standards. Great stuff. Buy the 2007s. Speaking of which, right next store, the lovely Virginie Bougue from the Luberon in France, was explicating on her 2007s.. She makes wine in an expansive style which still retains the character of the Northwest - the perfect balance of American fruit and French charcter and backbone. The 2007 Syrah has some Sangio and other things in it - "that is fabulous, it even has a little bit of chocolate in the back, this Syrah is a standout wine.. "Virginie, you are very outgoing." Yes I have a different personality."  "Hey, Jeff, how are you?" "All of these wines are spectacular." Premier wines - rhone style blend, like Chateauneuf Du Papes-lots of tannin, Buty- tasted wines made for restaurants such as the Herbfarm  and Canlis - outstanding "house" wines....

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