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, March 26, 2009

Taste Washington In Phoenix- V

Well this will almost wrap it up for Taste Washington in Phoenix since I seem to have skipped more wineries than I thought. "So many wines, so little time." Look for one last post - Best of Taste Washington Phoenix.

O-S Winery - Part of the original gang of four in the SSAW, Bill Owen makes outstanding wine.
Usually not a bad one in the bunch.

Precept Brands - A marketing group. Pine & Post Chardonnay and Merlot are outstanding values in the same category with Columbia Crest Two Vines and Red Diamond.

Reininger - Since Reininger moved into their new digs right on the way into Walla Walla from the west, the wines have not been quite as exciting as Chuck's earlier efforts. Nevertheless, the Helix wines represent good value, and many of regular bottling are still delicious.

Ryan Patrick - The Rock Island Red is always a good value as is the Naked Chardonnay.

Saint Laurent - Well made wines at reasonable prices. I have a special affinity for Saint Laurent as that is my son-in-law's name.

Seven Hills - I now have enough data to include Seven Hills in the Unofficial Classification of Washington State Wineries - it will be a third growth. The Pinot Gris was pure, fresh and fruity. The Riesling at 1.5% residual sugar "dry" enough in mouthfeel. My fave was the 2006 Walla Walla Merlot.

Sheridan Vineyard - Recently, Scott Greer somehow managed to create one of best vineyards in Washington. The L'Orage (french for "perfect storm") and Syrah are excellent, if a little on the jammy side.

Sleight of Hand - Trey Busch is an outstanding winemaker. He works his magic with virtually every wine he makes. Check out the "Magician" (Gewurz) and the "Spellbinder" (Red Blend).

Sparkman Cellars - Chris Sparkman has lots of experience in the hospitality industry. He got his start in winemaking with his buddy at Mark Ryan. I somehow think of these two plus Chris Gorman as a trio of pirates, aye! The 2007 "Lumiere" Chard and 2006 "Wilderness" were outstanding.

Spring Valley Vineyard - Who can resist Uriah and Frederick made by French winemaker Serge Laville.

Syncline - Winemaker, James Mantone may be the best educated winemaker in the world. Knowledgeable about microbiology, geology, and many other sciences, he bring a philosophical perspective to his biodynamique approach to grape growing and winemaking, but most importantly, his wines are outstandingly good. His Syrah is my favorite. Sommelier Christophe Huser, of Hacienda del Sol, also loved this wine. The Subduction Red, a Rhone-style blend is also an outstanding red at a reasonable price.

Somehow missed Tagaris, Tamarack, and Townshend.

Vin Du Lac Winery - Winemaker Larry Lehmbecker makes fresh wines that see no wood. Virtually all of his wines are quite good. The Ice wine is a special effort. Larry took away many awards from the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition this year.

Missed Waters Winery, Woodhouse Cellars and Woodward Canyon. Woodward Canyon wines are always interesting and sometimes outstanding.

Wines of Substance - Waters winemaker, Jamie Brown, takes a negociant approach using overages from other wineries and vineyards. Thus, he produces a virtual Table of Wine Elements such as CS, SY, CF, ME, CH, RE etc. A very clever scheme allowing the opportunity to taste different varietals made by the same winemaker - a great chance to check out the varietal character of each grape. BTW, once open, these wines keep a long time (five days?) without even being gassed making then great glass pours for restaurants.


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