What is Our Destiny?

As 2008 winds down, our destiny comes from Alexandria Nicole Cellars. That would be 2006 Destiny, a premium blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (66%), Merlot (14%), Cab Franc (11%), Petit Verdot (6%) and Malbec (3%).

Winemaker Jarrod Boyle produced only 225 bottles of this amazing blend of grapes from Destiny Ridge Vineyards in Horse Heaven Hills. And, in recognition of the skills needed to plant, harvest and sort the grapes, each bottle honors the vineyard crew with the signature of their foreman, Jose Luis Yanez.

This honor is made with the typical class we have come to know in both Jarrod and his wife Ali. In the last couple of years, we’ve been fortunate to get to know them, along with Vida and Kathy from the wine club and tasting rooms in Woodinville and Prosser.

So here’s to Destiny!


Washington Wine Auction Next Month

I’m finally catching up on my email and noticed that January 24 is the date set for the eighth annual Washington wine auction and gala, called A Celebration of Washington Wines.

Chateau Ste. Michelle will host the black-tie event, which benefits the Viticulture and Enology program at Washington State University. According to the Tri-City Herald, money from the last two events helped create an endowment for a chair of the WSU program: “Thomas Henick-Kling, an internationally known enologist, will start the position in February and will be based at WSU Tri-Cities in Richland.”

In addition to a gourmet dinner and a variety of wines, the gala includes a reception and auction for items such as etched magnums, library wines and much more.

For more information – and it’s a great way to support the state’s wine industry — visit the website, A Celebration of Washington Wines.


Sip of Snoqualmie

There’s a great new Washington wine event happening in March called Sip of Snoqualmie! Presented by the Snoqualmie Casino, the event will benefit Encompass, an organization with programs that “encompass the family support needs of an entire community.” 

The event on March 14, 2009, includes a showcase of Washington wines, an opportunity to speak to representatives from local wineries across the state, delicious appetizers from the casino, a silent auction and — my favorite — a wine cellar raffle. The cost is $50, and all proceeds will benefit Encompass.

A select number of VIP tickets ($150) will also be available for “the ultimate wine tasting and educational experience.” What that means: a sit-down, educational food pairing and tasting with Cabernets from around the world. After a two-hour private tasting, VIPs will join the other wine enthusiasts at the main event.

I’ll update this post when the list of participating wineries is available.

So think about this — support a good cause and taste great Washington wine while visiting the area’s newest casino. I hope to see you there!


Excellent Efeste

We heard the buzz about Efeste Wines for months but could never organize our schedule with their openings in Woodinville. So I am delighted to tell you that Efeste’s tasting room is now open every weekend — Fridays through Sundays — from noon to 4 p.m.

As mentioned in a previous blog post, we stopped by on St. Nick’s weekend earlier this month and met Brennon Leighton, winemaker extraordinaire, along with owners Kevin and Angie Taylor, who are very passionate about their wines.

Now, as much as I rave about Washington wines, I do not call all winemakers “extraordinaire.” If you try Brennon’s wines, you will understand. His wines are most excellent — he is creating some softer wines with native fermentation, and they really are unique. And what a mouthfeel!

For example, “Jolie Bouche,” which appropriately means “pretty mouth” in French, is the name of Brennon’s 2006 Syrah, expected to be released in March. We pre-ordered it after barrel-tasting the 2007 Jolie Bouche, which was such a winner!  We would have taken a bottle (or two) home with us then and there, if we could have.

Other Efeste wines that we enjoyed: 2005 Ceidleigh Syrah (pronounced kay-lee), which is dense, lush and elegant and 2005 Final-Final — it’s the last or final blend that Efeste makes. Chris Upchurch of DeLille Cellars, known for his bold reds, consulted on the creation of both these two big reds.

If you haven’t stopped by Efeste, I recommend that you make it a priority in the future!

And in case you’re wondering, their website explains the cool name — Efeste, pronounced F-S-T, is an acronym for Daniel & Helen Ferrelli – Patrick Smith – and Kevin & Angela Taylor, the winery founders.


Fall Line Still a Fave

Fall Line Winery in Seattle has always been a favorite of ours; regular readers of this blog have seen several raves about Fall Line and winemaker Tim Sorenson! So I am always pleased to read about others who feel the same way.

For example, here’s a recent post on Cellar Tracker about 2004 Fall Line Horse Heaven Hills Red by a taster named greenblanket:

“Once again I find this wine to carry an elegant balance between ripe Washington fruit and fine tannin and acidity. The handsome boysenberry and currant fruit is becoming more and more accented by spice and herb. … Tim Sorenson is one of the most talented (and affordable) producers of Bordeaux blends in Washington.”

The 2004 vintage is sold out, but try the 2005 release, which is even better!

Hmmmm, maybe we’ll open a bottle tonight!

By the way, Fall Line and other wineries that are part of South Seattle Artisan Wines (SSAW) are open for tasting this Saturday, December 13, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Fall Line will be pouring back-to-back vintages, 2005 and 2006, of their three wines.


Big Washington Wine Weekend

The Washington Wine Wench reminds everyone that this weekend is major in Washington wine country! As mentioned earlier, the annual St. Nick’s weekend is in Woodinville on Saturday and Sunday. It’s one of our favorite wine events of the year because we can visit our favorites plust lots of wineries that are rarely or never open to the public.

Participating wineries include: Adams Bench, Alexandria Nicole Cellars, Anton Ville, Arlington Road Cellars, Brian Carter Cellars, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Columbia Winery, Covington Cellars, Cuillin Hills Winery, Des Voignes Cellars, Di Stefano Winery, Edmonds Winery, Efeste Wine Cellars, Hestia Cellars, Hollywood Hill Vineyards, Januik Winery, J. Bookwalter Winery, Matthews Estate, Northwest Totem Cellars, Novelty Hill Winery, Page Cellars, Red Sky Winery, Ross Andrew Winery, Silver Lake Winery, Sparkman Cellars, Stevens Winery, William Church Winery, Woodhouse Family Cellars, Woodinville Wine Cellars and XSV Wines.

Meanwhile, it’s also a big weekend in Walla Walla. From Thursday through Sunday, more than 80 wineries are  celebrating harvest with special barrel tastings, food, music and good cheer. Find out details at the Walla Walla Wine News website.

Information about St. Nicks can be found at Woodinville Wine Country’s web site. Note: Sunday-only tickets are sold out.