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

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

La Tour Des Favorites En Woodinville

A few weeks ago I took some friends on a tour of some my favorite wineries in Woodinville - La Tour des Favorites in total Franglais. They had originally wanted to go to Walla Walla, but not in August, so we saved 250 miles and five hours of driving by visiting Woodinville only half an hour to an hour from anywhere in the greater Seattle area (nothing against Walla Walla which I love). On my list were ten wineries including Ponum, Sparkman, Gorman, Darby, Mark Ryan, Brian Carter, Novelty Hill/Januik, Hestia, Adam's Bench, and Barrage. Unfortunately, we had to limit ourselves to only five wineries and even this was too much. We went to the wineries that responded quickly, offered discounts and waived fees.

We started off at Novelty Hill/Januik where we tasted at least a half a dozen wines including two Chardonnays, Viognier, Syrah, Sangiovese, and Mike Januik's big Red. All the wines were fabulous. "Never a bad one in the bunch." We shared six delicious thin-crust pizzas on the patio with the Sangio. One member of the group said he didn't want to go to the other wineries - he just wanted to stay there on the patio of Novelty Hill. All of the staff were wonderful to us. Special thanks to Diane.

Off to Adam's Bench where winemaker Erica Blue tasted us on two vintages of Reckoning, a bottle of Myth, and the very successful Sangiovese. Fabulous dark, rich wines of substance. Erica is a physician, chemist and wine "alchemist." One of the top new wineries to watch. Get on their mailing list or join their wine club while you still can.

On to Shannon at Hestia where he has expanded his offerings to include a Rose and a Chenin/Viognier blend among other. The Cab and the Syrah were faves of the group. This is another new winery to watch. Sign up, don't wait.

Kevin at Barrage had a groaning board of food that the group fairly lunged at. We were a few hours late and felt we had to move on. The Trifecta is a winner and you can expect a barrage of good wines from this newcomer.

We wrapped at Brian Carter winery. We arrived ten minutes before closing but the good ladies of the tasting room accommodated us pouring Brian's outstanding magical kitchen sink blend called Abracadabra - Poof! Great "everyday" wine followed by L'Etalon Brian's excellent Bordeaux style blend.

The group was amazed at the collection of outstanding wineries hidden away in a warehouse district just slightly north of downtown Woodinville. There are so many other fabulous wineries to visit you could spend days checking them out. BTW, those of you Wine Bloggers coming to Walla Walla next June should plan to arrive in Seattle early and stay a few days. I would be happy to take you around to Seattle's fabulous wineries. As most of you know the grapes are grown in Eastern Washington with the "perfect climate." The grapes are shipped to Seattle in small lugs where Boeing Wine Club grads and former Ch. Ste. Michelle winemakers make some of the best wine in the U.S. Why fly to France or even California, when you can get the best of both right here in Washington (no, The Washington State Wine Commission did not pay me to say that). If any of you would like to tour the wineries of Woodinville, South Seattle Artisans, Vashon wineries, Yakima wineries, the Columbia Gorge, Red Mountain, Walla Walla leave a comment with your email address and I'll get back to you.


  • At 12:47 PM, Anonymous Cindy Axthelm said…

    Hi Gene - loved your post. I did not realize that there were that many wineries represented out in Woodinville. My company is currently looking at creating a wine tasting venue in the Interbay neighborhood. I'd love to hear your thoughts on bringing a wine venue closer to the heart of Seattle.


  • At 11:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Pomum* Javier might frown on you using an 'n' there. ;)


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