Bits from Prosser, Yakima and Woodinville: Part 1

We have been so busy tasting wine in the last couple of weeks that there hasn’t been time to write about it! Here is Part One of some notes about a few amazing Washington wineries that we visited recently. In alphabetical order:

Airfield Estates: It was our first visit to this Prosser winery and I can guarantee we will go back. Owner Mark Miller, who was entertaining, informative and passionate about his business, gave us a preview of the new releases, and we loved them all: 2007 Bombshell Red, 2007 Spitfire and 2007 Mustang, plus a Tempranillo that most definitely has kick! We also appreciated the winery tour and Mark’s stories about the photos in the Officers Club.

Alexandria Nicole Cellars: As members of this winery’s wine club, we frequently visit the Woodinville tasting room, but it’s always a treat when we can also stop by the unique tasting room in Prosser. The new releases, which we first tried at a Woodinville party the previous week, 2006 Syrah and 2005 Rock Star Red, were amazing, and a special blend for “wine club members only” knocked our socks off. (OK, it was 85 degrees and I wasn’t wearing socks. But you get the picture.)

Desert Wind Winery: We had never been to this Prosser winery either, but are we ever glad we did. The wines were rich and complex, and we spent way too much time in one of the most fabulous gift shops we’ve seen in a winery tasting room!

Gilbert Cellars: The new Yakima tasting room, which opened in August, seems more like a wine bar. It was hopping at all hours of the day and night for the entire weekend. And we just have to say that Gilbert’s new releases are even better than the last ones.

Come back later this week for Part Two of our recent experiences in Prosser, Yakima and Woodinville.


Coming soon

The last two weeks have been action-packed with visits to wineries in Prosser, Yakima and Woodinville. Be sure to come back later in the week to hear about our experiences. In the meantime, mark your calendars for two great release parties coming soon to Woodinville!

On Oct. 4, JM Cellars will be releasing four wines: 2007 Chardonnay, 2007 Late Harvest Semillon, 2006 Red Mountain Merlot and 2006 Columbia Valley Cuvée.

On Oct. 4 and Oct. 5, Mark Ryan Winery will be releasing three 2006 Red Mountain blends: Dead Horse, Long Haul and Water Witch.

The wines from both JM Cellars and Mark Ryan sell out quickly, which is why we pre-ordered! So place your order soon or you might miss out on some quality wine!

We hope to see you at the parties.


Lipstick on a Pig Wines

Yes, it’s true. The expression “Lipstick on a Pig,” which has recently risen from occasional use to the subject of political debate, has gone one step further. From chatter at the water cooler to the wine cooler, people are talking about “Lipstick on a Pig” wines.

There are four varietals of the wine and each one is available with a red or blue label. The wine will be released on Oct. 1, about a month before the U.S. election, so it’s promoted as a way for wine enthusiasts to “vote” their opinions with their palate.

I first read about this new form of a public opinion poll on Twitter, and now you can read the details in the blog Must Love Wine. I know this post does not fall under my usual topic of Washington state wine or northwest wine. But I just had to share this with you!


Alexandria Nicole Cellars Scores Again!

We attended a wine club release party last weekend at Alexandria Nicole Cellar’s new tasting room in Woodinville, and it was one of the best events they’ve had there yet! The music by Butch Harrison and his band was amazing — the absolute best version of Van Morrison’s Moondance that I have ever heard. The chicken with tzadziki and mini-cheeseburgers were scrumptious. The atmosphere was fun — and Jarrod Boyle, winemaker extraordinaire, his charming wife Ali (aka Alexandria Nicole), his wonderful, warm mom Vida (head of the wine club) and Kathy, the hard-working, entertaining wine club manager (in the Woodinville tasting room) kept the party hopping. (Maybe we’ll meet Jarrod’s dad when we’re in Prosser this weekend.)

But the real star of the party was, of course, the wine. There were three releases — each with Jarrod’s unique footprint. The 2006 Rock Star Red is an elegant, smooth and distinctive wine that showcases the winery’s Destiny Ridge Estate Vineyard. Rock Star Red is a bold blend of co-fermented Syrah, Viognier and Grenache. The 2005 Syrah is an Estate wine that is rich and velvety, sourced from four distinct vineyard blocks at Destiny Ridge. And if you prefer white wine, the 2007 Reserve Viognier is crisp and clean, with layers of character.

Alexandria Nicole Cellars just closed their wine club at 1000 members and renamed it “Club 1000.” However, notably, they are taking names on a waiting list, plus they have a new wine club opening soon.

And in case you missed it, we are heading to the Yakima/Prosser area for a brief visit to some of our favorite wineries in that region. So come back to the Write for Wine blog in the near future to hear about our trip!