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, June 07, 2010

Woodinville Passport IV- A Moveable Feast

Woodinville Passport was a moveable feast. So many outstanding wines, so many great winemakers, so much fun and pleasure. When I "have to" taste a hundred wines or more I always spit, well, almost always. Every once in a while I involuntarily swallow. Really, I can't help it, the wine makes me do it. Sometimes it is just so good that I swallow it. One swallow does not a summmer make, but one swallow tells me how much I love the wine and think it is fabulous. When I write notes I use a three star, or three swallow system. One star wines are wines I swallow, two star wines are wines I wish I could keep swallowing, three star wines are wines where I wish I could swallow the whole thing - slowly. So for me:

*     -  Excellent - Gold
**   -  Outstanding  - Double Gold
*** -  Extraordinary - Platinum
+    -   Best Buy + Good Value

There were an amazing number of swallows at Passport this year. Here are my faves organized by rating, but in no particular order within each category.

 RED  WINES

Under $30

Blends
 * 2007 Sparkman "Widerness" ($28)
 * 2006 Gifford Hirlinger "Vireo" ($23)
 * 2008 Des Voignes "The Groove" ($20)
 * 2005 Mathews Red (?)
 * 2008 Airfield "Bombshell" ($16) +
 * Darby "Chaos" ($28)
 * 2007 Davenport " R.H.D." ($24)
 * 2007 Davenport "Continuity" ($24)
 * NV Woodslake Due Ani ($17)+
 * 2007 Robert Ramsay "Mason's Red" ($19)+
 * 2007 Two Vintners "Lola" ($25)
** 2007 Elsom "Red" (?)
** 2008 Airfield "Mustang" - Rhone blend ($25)
** 2008 Airfield "Spitfire" ($25)
*** Patterson "Big Daddy" ($18) +

Other Reds
* 2007 Dusted Valley Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon ($28                                                                       * 2007 Elsom Cabernet Sauvignon (?)                                                                                                         * 2008 William Church "Bad Habit"  Cabernet Sauvignon ($17)+                     
* 2007 Two Vintners Syrah ($21)
* 2007 William Church Syrah ($28)
* 2006 Gifford Hirlinger Estate Merlot ($22)
* 2008 Covington Barbera ($29)
* 2005 Zefina Sangiovese($25)
* 2007 Gifford Hirlinger Petit Verdot ($26)
* 2007 Elsom Malbec (?)
* 2008 Chatter Creek Grenache ($18)+
* 2007 Chatter Creek Malbec ($24)
* 2007 Barrage Cabernet Franc (?)
* 2007 Barrage "Secret Weapon" Syrah (?)
* 2008 Two Vintners Zinfandel ($20)
*** 2007 Pomum "Tinto" Tempranillo ($25)+

Over $30
* 2005 Canon De Sol Meritage (?)
* 2007 Pondera Salon II (?)
* 2007 Des Voignes "Solea" ($30)
* 2007 Irlandes Reserve Syrah ($34)
* 2007 Covington Cabernet Sauvignon ($35)
* 2007 Irlandes Reserve "Karma" ($44)
* 2007 Sparkman "Kingpin" ($56)
** 2007 Pondera "Cuvee" (?)
** 2007 Robert Ramsay Mourvedre ($42)
***2007 Pomum Syrah ($36)
***2007 Robert Ramsay Cabernet Sauvignon ($38)                                                           


WHITE WINES

* 2007 Red Sky Semillon ($18)
* 2009 Efeste Riesling ($10)+
* 2008 William Church Viognier ($21)
* 2006 Pomum Riesling ($18)
** 2008 Isenhower "Snapdragon"  Roussanne blend ($19)+

ROSE WINES

* 2009 Covington "Josie" Rose ($15)+
* 2009 Patterson Rose ($18)


DESSERT/SWEET WINES

* 2008 Chatter Creek "Dry" Orange Muscat ($18)+
* 2009 Patterson Late Harvest Roussanne ($22)

Truly a movable feast! How sweet it is! These days we need some sweet endings. BTW, Northwest Totem's Late Harvest Viognier is consistently good and another sweet thing. Almost all of the wines that Hestia, Adam's Bench, Novelty Hill and Januik offer up almost always make me want to swallow. You will, too! Almost never a bad wine from these outstanding wineries. You can pretty much count on quality from them and the other wines rated here. The 2007 vintage is profound. You must stock up on these wines. The 2007 vintage was one of the best in Washington and many of these wineries have reduced their prices by about 15%. This year for the first time in a while, I could have used $20 or $25 as a cutting point rather than $30. Twenty dollars is a lot closer to the $14-$15 price point that most consumers use. Why were there so many swallows? Because 2007 was an almost perfect year in a "Perfect Climate,"  Here you have over 50 recommendations not counting at least another 25 from my top faves - Hestia, Adam's Bench, Novelty Hill and Januik (see Tour Des Favorites - 9/9/09 in the archives). There must be at least another 25 from wineries I didn't get to - DeLille, Betz, Brian Carter, NW Totem, Gorman, Mark Ryan, Darby, Baer, Edmonds, etc,. - so over 100 top wines from over 100 wineries. That's why the annual Wine Bloggers Conference should come to Seattle/Woodinville next year! Here is proof that you don't have to pay an arm and a leg for truly excellent wine. These are special wines. Vintages like this don't come along that often and the wines are affordable. So much pleasure, for relatively little expense. Okay, so maybe it's a little more than twice as much as you usually spend for wine, buy half as much and double your pleasure. I wish the Washington wine commission would pay this shill a commission :) Enjoy!

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