Washington State Wine Seminar, June 2014

Thank you so much to the Guild of Sommeliers for hosting an event in our humble little town…We loved learning more about the incredible terroir and producers in Washington. Thanks Matt Stamp MS and Steve from the Washington State Wine Commission for guiding our journey today.

Before you read further, queue up this little number: It’s called Walla Walla (right?) and it’s one of my favorite music groups, Glass Animals.* Glass Animals – Walla Walla

The quick and dirty on the wines that stood out from today’s class/tasting**:

There’s going to be a consistent thread of mentioning the great acidity in ALL of these wines. I appreciate bright, balanced acidity in wine and Washington state tends to deliver in this realm, it’s part of what makes them so dynamic and drinkable with or without food.

Long Shadow’s “Poet’s Leap” Resling, Columbia Valley 2013:

Soft, supple, and delicious. A lot of orchard fruit, mainly peach on the palate and nose. Racy and mineral-driven, crowd-pleaser and

W.T. Vintners Gruner Veltliner (image from website)

W.T. Vintners Gruner Veltliner (image from website)

great PQR ($20 SRP). I could drink this wine for breakfast.

W.T. Vintners Grüner Veltliner, Columbia Gorge, 2013:

White pepper, Key lime, wet stone, a little green and herbal on the palate. Basically all them things I love. The kind of white wine I want my fridge stocked with. So good.

Analemma Wines “Oak Ridge” Pinot Noir, Columbia Gorge 2011:

My first positive foray into WA Pinot Noir. So tasty. All lean bright red fruit, tart and reminiscent of Sancerre rouge, which is a fave region of mine for this grape despite the austerity that tends to be a marker for the region. The Analemma Pinot Noir is intriguing a great, lighter contrast to much of what is coming out of the region in terms of bigger, brooding reds. Cranberry, subtle smoke, a little bit green. I liked this wine a lot.

Memaloose “Mistral Ranch” Columbia Valley 2010:

This baby screamed black cherry at me in a way only a Blue Sky Spritzer has in the past. A little sexy green stemmy buisness peeked out, along with high-toned cranberry notes. Awesome acidity and a lot of bright red fruit. I think this wine could be pretty with a hint of a chlll on it, light and bright but serious.

Gramercy Cellars Syrah 2011 (photo taken from website)

Gramercy Cellars Syrah 2011 (photo taken from website)

Grammercy Cellars “Lagniappe” Syrah, Columbia Valley 2011:

Spicy with lots of pretty black fruit. Lean on the palate in the way that I love, but I think that if given the chance this wine would love to expose its fruit. We drank lots of these reds too young today- simply the nature of the beast when in a large group tasting setting. Hope to try it again in a few years. Structurally it has the bones of Godzilla, but the lean flesh of a greyhound. I loved it and hope to sock a few bottles away for the future.

I think that’s enough for one night…part two coming soon!



*Glass Animals are playing at the Entry on July 11th. I’ll be there, will you?

**Obviously a VERY incomprehensive list as we only tasted wines from a limited amount of producers, and due to the nature of the tasting my notes are fairly brief. Nonetheless, these are the wines that were standouts for me:

6 thoughts on “Washington State Wine Seminar, June 2014

  1. Poet’s Leap Riesling is now and always is a favorite of mine. Armin Diel Riesling from Washington state? Yes please!

    • It’s a totally delightful wine Brad, glad you like it too! I could probably drink the Heinz Eifel for breakfast too 🙂

  2. HI April,
    Wow, I rarely see so many of my Washington favorites mentioned in the same place! We visited Steven and Kris last year just as they were opening their new winery space – we love their wines, unfortunately, they don’t ship to Minnesota yet. We’re also big fans of Memaloose and Gramercy Cellars and participate in both their wine clubs.

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