Monday, June 20, 2016

New Discoveries Spring Forth

February 2016 – Denise and I attended the “Walla Walla Wine at McCall Hall” tasting in, Seattle, Washington.  We discovered some wineries that we had never heard of before and really enjoyed their wines.  We decided at that time, in the spring we would make a point to go visit these new discoveries and see if they would become some new favorites.

Not long ago Denise and I set off on a spring day to Walla Walla, Washington to visit our dear friends Michael and Coralee.  We were so excited about this visit because we had a list of newly discovered wineries and couldn’t wait to share.

We had two full days of tasting and here is just a sample of what we experienced.

Tertulia Cellars –

2015 Estate vineyard Rose’ – old world style rose with a light salmon color and dry finish.  I loved the way they described how they got the color for the wine.  “In the time it takes to drink 2 beers, that’s how we determine the press time.”  Nice but not overly dry.  A must have for the summer.

2015 Whistling Hills Viognier – I personally love Viognier and so I enjoyed this very floral wine.  Lots of pear, peach and some mineral notes.  Just what I would hope for.

2014 Riviere Galets Estate Vineyard Grenache – layered with complex fruit notes of berries and rhubarb.  Denise found the nose full and moves the palate.  Would be great with pork tenderloin.

a’ Maurice Cellars –

2015 Viognier Columbia Valley – very fresh and fruity

2015 Viognier /Marsanne Boushey Vineyard – honey-floral taste.  Great balance

Henry Earl Estates –

2012 Merlot – definitely a combination of plum, mineral and blackberry aromas.  Loved the nose and the wine was good too.  As I’ve said before I’m not a huge fan of Merlot but even I could enjoy this one.

2012 Malbec – loved this one.  We had it at the show back in February and it didn’t disappoint this time either.  Lots of robust spices but very mild tannins.  Really like this one. 100% Malbec.

2010 Homesteader – blend – merlot, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot, malbec and cabernet franc. – very fruity and does have tannins on the finish.  It’s a great wine for a hearty meal.

JJ Vintners -

2012 “4 Boys” Red Blend – a nice red blend for the table

2010 Cabernet Sauvignon – nice rich and rounded.  Great with pizza

2013 Les Collines Riesling – nice and fruity.  Not too sweet but just right.

These are just some of the wineries that we visited and tried for the first time.  But we also had a “special” moment.  I know that many of you who have visited Walla Walla have probably gone to Pepper Bridge Winery and have enjoyed their wines.  Well, can you believe it but neither Denise nor I had ever been there.  In fact, I don’t think I have ever tasted their wines until this visit.  I know, I know “how could we not have had their wine before?”  They are very popular and you do see them on the wine list of fine dinning establishments.  Well, needless to say we did go see them.  In fact, we visited with the tasting room manager, Mark Hester and somehow ended up on a personal tour of the winery from the owner Norm McKibben.

Norm gave a great tour and really let us see the amazing operations that they have.  You would be awe struck at how clean and organized this winery is.  Norm’s winemaker and partner, Jean-Francois Pellet is the responsible party for all this great organization.  He is a Master Winemaker.  Come to Pepper Bridge and you will taste first hand just how good he is at his craft.

As all good things do, our trip ended too soon.  But before I go I would like to mention two other wineries we visited, Mark Ryan Winery and Tempus.  Great wines and definitely a must visit.  Last but certainly not least in our hearts, we did finish our visit at our favorite winery, Dumas Station in Dayton.  I still hope we can talk Jay into bottling that amazing Petit Verdot he has in the back room.  And if ever any of you need a place to stay please consider our friend's VBRO

Till next time……Cheers!  LaDonna