Wine Blog Wednesday #34

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How lucky am I? I started my blog about Washington state wine on Sunday and within two days, I was asked by the Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman to participate in Wine Blog Wednesday! Thank you WWWWW! This month’s theme is Cabernet Sauvignon from the State of Washington. (And we get extra points if we talk about Walla Walla, where we visited in April and had a marvellous time. But more about that later.)

First, I want to say that in the brief time that I’ve been blogging about Washington state wines, I’ve received numerous e-mails from people who had no idea that almost 500 wineries are in Washington. With any luck, we’ll get to visit all of them! In the meantime, I’m faced with a major dilemma. I write about Washington state wine; I love Washington state wine; I’m a member of several wine clubs here; and how on earth can I choose my favorite Cab? I can’t — so I’ll talk about a few of them!

First, in the name of consistency, I decided to stick with the Cab that I mentioned in an earlier post: Fall Line Winery’s 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine is unique — it’s a blend of 100 percent cab. How can it be a blend, if it’s 100 percent cab, you might ask? It’s because the grapes came from Boushey Vineyards in Yakima Valley (45.5 percent); Artz Vineyards in Red Mountain (45.5 percent); and Destiny Ridge Vineyards in Horse Heaven Hills. It’s all Cab, and a sophisticated blend of Cab at that. According to Delaurenti Specialty Food and Wines, all of Fall Line Winery’s blends “possess all the balance, grace and depth that Walla Walla and Columbia Valley grapes are capable of. Fall Line’s Cabernet Sauvignon is all Columbia Valley with chocolate, blackberry and leather.”

So yes, Fall Line Winery’s 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon remains my number one pick. Owners Tim Sorenson and his wife, Nancy Rivenburgh are delightful to chat with and so very enthusiastic about the entire region. If you haven’t tried their Cab, you definitely are missing out. Stop by their warehouse space in Seattle’s Georgetown district–they have wine tastings on the second Saturday of every month–or order wine directly from the Fall Line Winery Web site. It’s the best $30 that we ever spent.

Next, I have to pay tribute to the wines of Walla Walla. As mentioned, we spent some time there in early April and absolutely loved it. We drove from Seattle and stopped at wineries along the way. (Yes, there was always a designated driver.) We spent a couple of days in Walla Walla and visited several nearby wineries that were excellent. Our number one cabernet was Forgeron Cellars 2003 Pepper Bridge Cabernet, which we first heard of when we had delicious ribs at the Depot Grill. It was as good as our friendly, wine-knowledgeable waiter promised. No surprise — our first wine tasting the next morning was at Forgeron Cellars (where we especially love the 2002 Vinfinity but it’s not a Cab, so we won’t mention it).

We also really enjoyed Reininger Winery’s 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon. I’ve also recently written about Reininger’s Helix Merlot. Reininger’s Helix cab also is a favorite. According to the winery’s Web site: “This Helix (snail) is saddled and ready. Vanilla bean and cherry Beech Nut gum say howdy to my nose and once cornered on the palate they get hog tied with some fig, plum and a pinch of cocoa. No sense in keeping this guy penned in by cellaring… with his smooth tannins, he’s ready to slide out the gate leaving a slightly dusty trail of cherry.” (To learn more about Helix and the snail–aka escargot–check out another posting from Wine Blog Wednesday from Alex at Huevos con Vino.)

Most of the other wines we enjoyed in Walla Walla were blends, which I’ll write about on another day. Today, after all, is dedicated to Washington State Cabs. And on our next visit to Walla Walla in the next few months, maybe we’ll even bump into WWWWW.

Cheers!