As you may know, I take regular trips down to WA state to visit wineries and tasting rooms (in Woodinville) to learn more about Washington State wines and to pass along that information to you. I had not had the opportunity until this year to make it down to Seattle to Taste Washington. What a wonderful event I must say. In previous years it was only held one afternoon. This year they expanded it to two afternoons, Saturday and Sunday, from 2-5pm. The ticket prices were really reasonable too. $75 for one day or pay $99 for a weekend pass!
Another thing that I really liked about it was that food from different restaurants were interspersed throughout the venue, so you could have a sip of wine and then take a few steps sideways and you were able to have a crab with bacon slider from Palomino Restaurant, try several raw oysters on the half shell, or a canape of some sort from another restaurant to enjoy with the wine. As I mentioned there was fresh raw oysters from the Pacific Northwest, and the fresh crab with bacon slider. But there was also foods from other parts of the world. I enjoyed a few Thai curries as I wandered the tables. And to finish, you could have a quality coffee courtesy of Fonte Coffee.
Wines I Enjoyed at Taste Washington
White and Sparkling Wines
- Cairdeas Winery Nellie Mae 2011. This is a blend of 60% Viognier with 40% Roussanne. 100% fermented in stainless steel. Light lemony green. Light stone fruit with a bit of flintiness/smokiness aromas. Medium minus body. Lots of tropical fruit flavours and some citrus. Medium plus acidity.
Ani Che Cellars Come & Go 2011. This is 100% Albarino. Pale lemon in colour with a light citrus/flowery nose. Dry with nice apple, citrus, orange flavours. Very tasty. Refreshing acidity.
- Ani Che Cellars Lizzy 2010. This is a 60% Roussanne, 40% Marsanne blend. I do enjoy Rhone blends. This one had a light stone fruit nose. Medium minus body. Off dry and quite fruity with peaches and pears. Nice roundness too.
- Barrage Cellars Nuclear Blonde 2009. You can’t tell by the name, but this one is 100% Chardonnay, fermented in neutral oak and left on it’s lees for 13 months. Pale lemon in colour with nice apple aromas and a fino sherry type aroma coming from the lees. Dry with lots of lees and green apple flavours. Medium acidity. Tasty and refreshing.
- a Maurice Cellars Viognier 2009. This wine has a light elegant nose with stone fruit and orange aromas. Medium body, dry with stone fruit flavours and some spiciness. Medium plus length.
- Chateau Ste. Michelle EROICA Riesling 2010. This is a joint venture wine made with Dr. Ernst Loosen from Germany, and doesn’t disappoint. Very nice lime and flowers on the nose. Off dry, high acidity with a hint of petrol on the palate. Citrus and apple flavours. Very well rounded. Medium length. Yum.
- Treveri Extra Brut Chardonnay. It took lots of searching but I eventually found a winery producing sparkling wines. Treveri had an Extra Brut, a Brut and a Sparkling Syrah. The Extra Brut was my favourite of the three wines. It was pale lemon in the glass. Citrus, red apples and lees aromas. Medium bubble with red apple flavour. Dry with light body. In Australia they serve Sparkling Syrah with roast turkey, so maybe try some for your Easter dinner this weekend.
Forgeron Black Smith Syrah 2009. Deep ruby in the glass with blueberry and dark cherry aromas. Nice minerality with blueberry flavours. Medium plus body, dry with soft tannins. Coffee flavour on the finish.
- Fall Line Winery Boushey Vineyard 2008. This is a Bordeaux blend with Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Medium garnet in the glass. Red berries on the nose. Medium body with raspberries and cherry flavours. Medium acidity and low tannins.
- Dusted Valley Stained Tooth Syrah 2010. I visited this winery’s tasting room about a year and raved about their Grenache, which I found out at this tasting is not made every year. So no Grenache at the tasting table this day, but I did really enjoy their Syrah. Dark ruby in colour with lots of blueberries and some vanilla on the nose. Full body, mineral with blueberries. Soft tannins, dry, very tasty.
- Dunham Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. Dark garnet in colour. Nice nose with ripe black fruit, vanilla, oak, and chocolate notes. Medium plus body, smooth. Ripe black fruit and coffee flavours. Medium acidity. Medium length with dark fruit finish. Very nice.
- Gamache Vintners Estate Syrah 2007. Opaque ruby in the glass. Ripe dark fruit and blueberry aromas. Full body with dark fruit flavours. There is a hint of spice on the tongue too. Tasty.
- Foundry Vineyards Artisan Blend 2007. A Bordeaux blend, mainly made with Merlot. Medium garnet in colour. Nice vanilla, purple fruit and blueberry aromas. Ripe, juicy purple fruit, blueberries and vanilla on the palate too.
- Guardian Chalk Line 2009. Another Bordeaux blend, mainly made with Merlot. Their other wine was called Gun Metal. I inquired about these names and found out that the wine maker is a police officer. This wine had a light intensity dark fruit nose. The flavour really hit me. Smokiness, peaty, meaty, dark chocolate and coffee. Dry with medium minus tannins.
- Revelry Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. This is a premium wine with only 9 barrels being made; that works out to 220 cases. Deep garnet in colour. Nice ripe dark fruit nose. Soft mouth feel,medium body, spicy with dark fruit and vanilla flavours. Spice on the finish.
Rotie Cellars Northern Blend 2010. If you know about the Northern Rhone Valley in France you would be able to guess the two grapes that go into this blend. If you don’t it is 95% Syrah, and 15% Viognier. Yes that is a blend of red and white grapes. Very traditional. The Viognier brings out more colour from the Syrah (they are co-fermented) as well as can add a flowery component to the wine. This wine was light garnet in colour. Dark fruit and plums on the nose. Full body with soft tannins. Medium minus acidity. Dark fruit, cocoa and coffee flavours. High acidity on the finish with a long length. This wine should have good longevity.
- TRUST Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. It also has some Merlot and Cabernet Franc blended in. Nice nose of vanilla and plums. Full body, round with ripe black fruit, vanilla, and some chocolate coming in mid-palate. Dry tannins on the finish.
- Va Piano Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon 2008. Dark garnet in the glass. Nice nose, with aromas of dark fruit, vanilla and some capsicum. Full body with juicy black fruit and vanilla. Medium plus tannins. Round mouthfeel. Very tasty.
There were many more wineries to sample but not enough time in the day. If you attended and found a gem that I haven’t listed, please post a comment. I enjoy hearing from you too.
I encourage you to attend Taste Washington next year. If you are in Vancouver, BC, it is only a 3.5 hr trip. Stay overnight and attend Saturday and Sunday. Here is the Taste Washington website. Enjoy!