If you read my blog regularly you will know my affection for the Taste of Tulalip event held the start of November every year at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Washington State. This year is their 5th anniversary of the event. Besides their wonderful dinner on Friday night, the big draw is “The Grand Taste” on Saturday afternoon, which is where you would have found me. The Grand Taste is divided into a few rooms. The biggest room hosts only Washington State wineries, the corridor is for European wines, and then a smaller room for wines from Oregon and California. There is also the “pool” room where mico brewery beer is served. In the 4 hr time, I tried to visit as many wineries as possible (sorry no time for beer on this trip). Below are my favourite wines, with tasting notes.
Boizel Brut 1996, France – Light yeast and nuttiness on the nose. Agressive small bubble. CItrus and red apples, followed by citrus flavours. Nuttiness also present. Long length with a mouth watering finish.
- Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or Brut 1999 – This is a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. Nice apple and vanilla aromas. Medium body with agressive small bubbles. Ripe red delicious apples and apple pie spices. Round mouth feel but complemented with a higher level of acidity. Long finish.
- Nicolas Feuillatte Palmes d’Or Rose Brut 2003 – This is also a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir. Light copper orange in colour with a light strawberry nose. More strawberries on the palate, followed by apples. Small agressive bubble with some creaminess. Very nice.
Domaine LeFlaive Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2010, France – Nice tropical fruit and vanilla aromas. Medium body with rip and juicy stone fruit flavours. Soft mouth feel. Some spice mid palate and vanilla. Long length.
- Domaine LeFlaive Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Clavoillon 2009, France – Light citrus and vanilla on the nose with a hint of stone fruit. Light plus body, soft and dry. Stonefruit, vanilla and a hint of minerality. Light weight in the mouth. An elegant wine.
- Jean Noel Gagnard Batard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2010, France – Lighted toasted notes on the nose. Light plus body, round and soft on the palate. Mineral/saltiness in the background with light apples, stone fruit and vanilla in the fore. Long length.
Marques de Caceres, Deusa Nai Albarino 2011, Spain – Nice floral and orange aromas. Medium body and medium mouth feel. Flowers, citrus, orange, and stone fruit flavours. Medium acidity balances the heaviness of this wine. Spice and mouth watering acidity on the finish. Very tasty.
- K Vintners Viognier 2012, Washington – Light citrus and orange on the nose. Medium body but feels heavy, but has acidity to balance it. Starts with stone fruit and follows with a herbal component, then spice on the finish. Has an acidic prickle you feel on your tongue.
- Sparkman Cellars Birdie 2012, Washington – This wine is 100% Riesling. It has a very light apple nose. Medium body, and medium acidity, dry but very fruity on the palate. Apples with a hint of flowers and petrol. Crab apples on the finish.
Ramey Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard 2010, California – It has nice nose with vanilla, citrus and stone fruit aromas. Full body, round with light intensity vanilla, citrus and sweet spices. A very elegant wine.
- Penner Ash Viognier, Oregon – Nice orange aroma in the glass. Medium body, with orange, orange rind and herbal flavours. Medium acidity keeps it lively.
- Eroica Gold 2012, Washington – This is a dessert style Riesling with 7% residual sugar. It has light honey and stone fruit aromas. Medium body. The high acidity balances out the high level of sugar in this wine. Stone fruit, peaches, and petrol on the palate. The acidity cleans up on a long finish.
Vall Llach 2007, Spain – This wine comes from the Priorat region of Spain. Comprised of old vines – almost one hundred years old, with very low yields. A blend of 70% Cariñena,15% Merlot, and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Very deep ruby in colour. Interesting bright cherry and vanilla aromas. Full body and soft on the palate. Dark fruit and dark cherries followed with red apples and vanilla, and finsihed with some licorice. Medium tannins. A very nice wine.
- Vall Llach Embriux 2008, Spain – This wine is based principally on the juice of young vines, between six to twelve years old, and is a blend of indigenous and international varieties. Light sour cherry, vanilla and nutmeg aromas. Full body with sweet cherry and ripe plum flavours, followed with red apples and vanilla. A bit firmer tannins leaves a quite tannic finish so enjoy with food.
- Sparkman Cellars Ruckus 2011, Washington – Made from Red Mountain Syrah grapes; my favourite. Meaty, cherry nose. Medium body, soft mouth feel but very mouth filling. Ripe cherries and vanilla with fine tannins and medium acidity. A quality wine.
Force Majeure Syrah, Collaboration Series I, 2010, Washington – Juicy, ripe cassis nose. Pencil leads, purple fruit, vanilla and dark chocolate on the palate. Medium plus acidity and fine tannins lead to a puckering finish. I also detected some smokiness on the finish.
- Woodinville Wine Cellars Indomitable 2010, Washington – a blend of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon and 22% Malbec. Opaque in colour with a dark fruit nose. Ripe, sweet, dark fruit, plums, black cherries and vanilla on the palate. Apple on the mid palate to finish. Very full bodied, but with soft tannins. Medium plus length. Nice.
- Milbrandt Vineyards, The Estates Syrah 2010, Washington – Nice nose with vanilla, nutmeg, ripe dark fruit and dark chocolate aromas. Full body, soft and very fruity; ripe dark fruit and nutmeg. Silky on your palate with medium tannins. Sweet fruit flavours on the finish. I bought a bottle of this for home.
Revelry Vintners, Block 19 Syrah 2010, Washington – Nice smoky, oak, and cassis aromas. Very masculine aromas. Full body with fine tannins and medium acidity. Ripe dark fruit flavours along with a mineral streak. Peppery finish.
- mackey vineyards RAC 2009, Washington – Named after our Grandfather, Roger Adams Converse. A Bordeaux blend of 61% Cabernet Sauvignon and 39% Merlot. Interesting nose with vanilla, nutmeg and dark fruit aromas. Full body, with juicy fruit flavours of blueberries and purple fruit, and some vanilla. Soft tannins with medium acidity. Tasty.
There was also a wide array of food at this event, expertly cooked by the chefs from the Tulalip Resort Casino. A separate food article will follow. Enjoy it and think about attending next year. It never disappoints!