Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Woodward canyon

First stop of the day!
After last night introduction to Washington wines, we proceed today onto our first stop of the day in Walla Walla- Woodward Canyon. It was a pretty stand alone cottage with a decent sized tasting room. I wish I took a photo of the surrounding! It was flat farm land with pretty mountains in the backdrop. Just beautiful! 

We were the only ones in the tasting room. They were very friendly and Christmas decorations were in the process of being taken down. The young lady in charge was helpful when we asked for recommendations for wine and food. She even prepared a handout for tasters! How thoughtful! 

We did the classic tasting:

Riesling 2011
This was a dry one with refreshing notes of lemon. Not your typical Riesling. OOo

Red blend NV
This was a meaty savory red blend with plenty of tannins. It was almost sticky, and the Cabernet franc I believe made it much lighter than it would have been. This would be great for everyday drinking! OOO

Merlot 2010
Fruity nose. This was a light merlot with plenty of tannins to boost with very earthy, woody note that reminds one of moist tree bark. Interesting Merlot! OOO

Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 
A blend of mainly Cabernet Sauvignon and 7% Merlot and some Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, this was bright and tannic with an alcohol bit and notes of dark fruits and cherries. Looking back at the notes I took, I wish there were more details! OOO

Pretty presentation
So after yesterday night and now, we are starting to notice a little trend in Washington wines that we haven't quite understood. The heavy reds seem to have a similar nose and taste profile that we cannot figure out hence the very limited description. Is it the moist tree bark? Perhaps as we taste more, it will become more obvious. Onwards to L'Ecole! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Barnard and Griffin

Hip, modern and jazzy
We strolled down the street from Bookwalter and came upon this new establishment. It was modern with colorful art pieces and soft lighting. There was jazz music in the fairly empty place. They are so new that they don't even have a proper site yet.

We got the Viognier, a Cabernet Sauvignon flight and a dessert flight to end the day with.

B&G bottles

This was less floral than a typical viognier. It was light, clean and crisp, with notes of tropical fruits. Not too bad.  OO

Cabernet Sauvignon Flight
Cabernet Sauvignon flight

First we had a row about how they smell which was very interesting since they clearly stood out from anything we have tasted. One of them in particular was a stark contrast with the rest and everyone on the table could tell.

This was one of the more normal smelling one with a floral note. It was tannic with fruity notes of raspberry. OOo

Clone 21
A cabernet sauvignon with a funny smell! Someone threw in iodine which I could smell why. It had a kind of chemical lab smell that really was not appetizing. Otherwise, this young wine was spicy and a little creamy with some residual sugar. Oo

This smells normal with notes of berries. It was definitely more tannic and therefore more astringent which showed in the finish. Otherwise, I enjoy the note of blueberry. OO

On to the dessert flight!

This dry Riesling had wonderful notes of longan and melon. Easy and not loaded with residual sugar. OOO

Orange  muscat
This muscat was unlike any other. With a tropical fruit nose, this was light with plenty of residual sugar and delicious notes of lemon Creme brûlée, papaya and mango! Not much acidity. OOOo

Late harvest muscat canelli
Nose of tropical fruits again although I might be mixing them up a little. This light almost syrupy wine had delectable notes of mango and honeysuckle.  OOO

If you noticed, there was not any vintages on each of their wines. Even on their wine list, no  vintages. Perhaps they feel it is not a big deal? Or they are too new to notice? Anyhow, they definitely have a while to go. 

Fun lighting!
With the wine tasting down, the highlight of the night is just coming up! Here is the crazy Christmas lightshow we saw after plenty of wine in our system and then back home for some amazing (most likely the BEST) apple pie I have ever had. Thanks Peggy! Starting off in Washington with a bang! More tasting tomorrow! 


Monday, January 14, 2013

Washington: Epic Bookwalter

Happy New Year Everyone! Hope everyone had a great holiday season! And yes, I am lagging. Oh well. New Year Resolution: Keep up with the drinking and posting! 

Snowy drive
It was a scenic and snowy drive from Seattle and we finally made it to Richland, East Washington a little after dark. Not wasting any time, we made our first stop at Bookwalter winery just down the street from where we were staying. This will be exciting since I had Bookwalter wines a year ago!

Snowy and festive!

It was a spanish style stand alone winery all covered in white and a full parking lot. The restaurant/wine bar was popping, with live music and a full house for the holidays. We got seated immediately and had full attention from our waitress. Their food selection sounded delicious and was well thought out with the wines in mind.

Epic Flight
We ordered the Epic flight:

Couplet 2011
A blend of chardonnnay and viognier, this had plenty of the floral bouquet you would expect from viognier with roses in the mix. This was fresh and light with no oak at all. Well balanced with wonderful notes of lemon, green apple and honeysuckle, this was enjoyable and a great wine to begin the Washington tasting with! OOO

Foreshadow Merlot 2010
This was an interesting one since I have had the 2009. This was high in alcohol (it hits you!) meaning plenty of sugar for the yeasties, making me think it was a warm year. But no, 2010 was a cool year! Just a young merlot I guess. Nonetheless, this had plenty of tannins to go around and pretty bright with notes of earthiness and fruits like cherry although it was not very fruity surprisingly. Definitely on the savory side. Compared with the 2009, this was on the opposite end with the fruit. OOO

Foreshadow Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
With a nose of toasty caramel and blackcurrant, this had layers of tannins, with juicy notes of dark red cherries, walnuts and cigar. Lingering finish of dark fruits. I would not call it smooth but this was enjoyable. Sounds pretty similar to 2009 except for the chocolate and cigar.  OOOo

Erlenmeyer flask

Protagonist 2010
A blend of merlot, cabernet sauvignon, petite verdot, syrah and cabernet franc, this was quite the party! Nose of toasty caramel and juicy fruits. This was less tannic than expected, with a smooth silky medium to heavy mouthfeel. With a touch of sugar residual, this was juicy and fruity with notes of cocoa and blackcurrant. This had a lingering finish of raisins. And I love the way they served it. YUM! OOOO

Next stop: Barnard and Griffin!