Saturday, May 29, 2010

Washington Wine Reviews

While on the trip for the WineMaker Magazine Conference Margot and I picked up some Washington wines to bring to meals and share with our new winemaking friends. Based on the responses we got everyone sure liked meeting us with wine in hand!

White Salmon – San Crispin Field (Rhone Style Blend)
Underwood, Washington
http://www.whitesalmonvineyard.com/

This was the most balanced and food-worthy red wine I had on the whole trip. With aromas of red fruits and peppery/spicy flavors it wasn’t overpowering nor was it too subtle to be taken seriously. I had it with dinner which consisted of rare prime rib, steamed salmon, steamed vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes. The wine went well with everything and especially the prime rib for me because I don’t like it rare. Wine saves the day!

Coyote Canyon – Viognier 2008
Prosser, Washington
http://www.coyotecanyonwinery.com/

This was a truly delightful wine shared over lunch at the conference. The aromas from this wine were exceptional with abundant flowers and fruit. The wine was medium dry with that very slight hint of sweetness that made it versatile with a variety of food flavors. I love Viognier and have made it every year I have been making wine. I now have a new target to shoot for with my newest batch I am starting this week.

Brehm Vineyards – Riesling 2008
Underwood, Washington
http://www.brehmvineyards.com/

Peter Brehm was a presenter at the conference so I was excited to meet him and of course wanted to try some of his wines. He is also involved in the White Salmon winery from which the first selection came. This Riesling is what I would call a classic and “true” representation of the origins of Riesling. Tight and focused with moderate aromas of stone fruits this wine is dry and reminded me of an Alsatian style Riesling. We included this in our farewell wine & cheese tasting. It paired well with apple slices and the Willapa White sheep’s milk cheese. Peter’s claim to fame at the conference is his frozen grape business of which I have yet to take advantage. Based on my tastings of his wines I just might have to get some grapes and try my luck!

Overall our experience with wines from Oregon and Washington was excellent, and we only scratched the surface. I don’t have any words of wisdom on how to select which vineyards to visit or what wine bars to drink at, but I can tell you that trying a broad range of selections from the region will turn up many winners.

Cheers!

--Jason

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