Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Otis Kenyon

After Three Rivers Winery and a good vegan lunch at a recommended cafe downtown, we headed down the street to Otis Kenyon Winery.
The black silhouette of a suited man, a new shop, with stylish front, pretty empty with minimal furniture. An plush armchair with an old school ring phone mounted on the wall. Further in the long tasting room, a makeshift tasting table with red clothe over it and plenty of wine bottles on display. A fairly new winery that has received good accolades

Shop front
We began with a Rousanne followed by a Dry Riesling, which I did not take notes on, being distracted with the conversation. 

Matchless Red 2008
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot along With the usual Bordeaux, this juicy one had good notes of cherries with interestingly a little pepper. Overall pretty simple red with a tannic finish which was a little rough. OOO

Estate Syrah 2007
This medium bodied Syrah was juicy that reminds one of raspberry jam. Decent with hints of black pepper and well balanced acidity and tannins. OOO

Overall great experience at a simple tasting room. She didn't charge for the tasting and was very down to earth, joking with us the whole time. It was a good taste of lighter reds that seems typical of Washington wines. Yum! 

Next up, Locati around the corner!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Three rivers wine

Big tasting room!
After a wonderful experience at L'Ecole, we pulled into the parking lot of the grand stand alone building of Three Rivers Winery. The tasting room was tall and spacious with plenty of merchandise to spoil any wine lover. It was pretty intimidating especially since we were about the only group there apart from an ocasional local dropping by.

We headed straight to the rocky tasting bar.

Tasting list
We went for both the flights and were served the Sauvignon blanc first.

Sauvignon blanc 2009
Typical Sauvignon Blanc with nice grapefruit, citrus, apricot flavors although this had a touch (17%) of Semillon, which kind of makes have more of a body. This was refreshing with well balanced acidity. OOOo

Chardonnay 2011
This was a pretty light Chardonnay with a nose of fresh butter! It was creamy but still light, like whipped cream. Refreshing with enough acidity and notes of minerality. Yummy! OOOo

Malbec 2009
Although this was light and simple, there were plenty of tannins in your face! Not fruity. OO

Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
This well balanced one was fruity with nice earthy notes along with hints of berries. OOOo

Petit Verdot 2009
I always thought it was weird to describe a wine until i had this. this was chewy and full of tannins. The astringency was a little overwhelming. OOo

Riesling 2011
This was the first of the reserve, which I had before the reds so the tannin bomb did not get into the way of tasting. With a nice note of lychee, this was full of tropical fruits with a light honey sweetness to it and smooth residual sugar along with enough acidity. OOOo

At this point, we were the only ones around and have gotten rather chatty with the server. He was a quaint character who was taking big steps like a stiff marching soldier and on the feminine side. He was very knowledgeable about the wines and about the area in general.

Cabernet Franc 2008
This Cab Franc was from the Weinbau vineyards, which was the very first in the Waloup slope. Very tannic as expected of a Cab Franc, this was very woody as well with a herby bite and minimum fruit. OO

Merlot Champoux 2008
It was rather hard to tell after the last one if this was actually tannic. This was more fruity than the Cab Franc with notes of cherry and raspberry. There is that moist bark again and a touch of herbs. OOOo

Cabernet Sauvignon 2008
Tannic and herby. Icks, platter wrecked. 

Mini break! Plenty of talking about La Jolla, where the man used to live! 

Svelte 2008
This potent young wine has potential to do some wonders with some age. Layers of tannins waiting to be discovered. Well balanced and smooth with a touch of residual sugar, this is one that will be wonderful with age. OOOo

After this encounter, we headed towards downtown Walla Walla for some grubs and more wine tasting there!

Friday, February 1, 2013


L'Ecole was recommended to us by the lady at Woodward Canyon. It is a beautiful stand alone building that used to be a school and it becomes obvious as you walk in. We walked up the lacquered creaky wooden stairs that led us to the main room a.k.a the tasting room. Decorated with wooden shelves laden with wine and some books for the library touch, large windows let in plenty of light into this spacious room.

Wine Tasting 101

Tasting list

Estate Luminesce 2011
This white Bordeaux blend of 67% Semillon and 33% Sauvignon blanc was a bright and even a little creamy. It was later that I found out they were racked in neutral french oak for a little malolactic action. This was a yummy refreshing white with wonderful notes of tropical fruits like passion fruit (both tartness and sweetness), a little touch of honey and bouquet. OOOo

Chardonnay 2011
A buttery chardonnay but unlike the super creamy counterpart in California, this had a smooth mouthfeel with a medium body. This was dry with light acidity. It was not very fruity and it was hard to point at any particular fruit. With plenty of minerality, this had more bouquet than it had fruits. OOOo

Merlot 2009
Tannins! Other than that, it was hard to tell what is going on except for the plum and spices like nutmeg. OOo

Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 
This had an interesting nose that was not something I expected from a Cabernet Sauvignon. It was not a bad smell but it was just different. Perhaps a signature of Washington Cabernet? Well balanced with good acidity and tannins, this young one was juicy with dark fruits like plums. This is unlike the big bold Cabs from California but rather a lighter, more herby and savory with a touch of spice. Hmmmmm. OOOo

Estate Perigee 2009
A bordeaux that was a little on the tannic side to taste much else. OO

Apogee 2009
This was made from grapes cooler climate than was expected. Even so, this was an earthy herby bordeaux blend that had a kick of spice and raspberry jamminess. OOO

Syrah 2009
This was an interesting one that got me confused about 2009 for Walla Walla. I was told that these Syrahs were obtained from a warmer climate so with the warmer evenings, comes more sugar development. The end result is a juicy, jammy wine with plenty of residual sugar. It was interesting to get a peppery syrah with a blend of maple syrup and raspberry.  I don't know how I feel about savory pancakes just yet. OOo

School snacks
Overall, L'Ecole had some wonderful wines and I cannot get over how pretty the place was. I am pretty sure we got the Syrah to do some back to back Syrah tastings just for funsies and a half bottle of Chardonnay which I enjoyed! Next up, the very peculiar man at Three Rivers Winery.