Best of Our Trip to Wine Country

We tasted many fine Washington wines this past weekend when we visited Yakima, Prosser, Horse Heaven Hills and Red Mountain. It’s impossible to list the best of those wines, but we do want to share  our picks for the best of the wines at some of the wineries we visited (in no particular order).

When we drove back from wine country a couple of days ago, Dave said, “This trip confirms — again — what we have always believed: our favorite wineries offer fine wine, wonderful events and great people.” We’re fortunate that many of those great people have become our friends!

Come back for more details about these wines and about Alexandria Nicole’s fabulous Harvest Party we attended at Destiny Ridge Vineyard. And you can also follow my updates at


Harvest Parties Here We Come!

We’re spending some time at Harvest parties in Horse Heaven Hills and Red Mountain, so the best way to follow our adventures live (or almost live!) is on Twitter ( or possibly on Facebook ().

There are few places that are definites during our trip, and I’m sure there will be lots of surprises too! Here are the definites:

  • Alexandria Nicole Cellars: The main party of our trip: Harvest Party at Destiny Ridge Vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills
  • Col Solare: Tour of the vineyard in Red Mountain
  • Gilbert Cellars: Fun tasting room in Yakima
  • Airfield Estates: We were there during our last visit to Prosser and we’re going back!
  • Windy Point: Pretty view in Yakima Valley
  • Wine O’Clock Wine Bar: Can’t wait to see this Prosser wine bar, because this Write for Wine blog is also available at and my motto is “It’s wine o’clock somewhere!”

And it’s wine o’clock now, so …


Score! Alexandria Nicole Cellars

This just in from Wine Enthusiast’s December ratings for Alexandria Nicole Cellars (ANC) in Woodinville and Prosser … Props to winemaker Jarrod Boyle and Ali (Alexandria Nicole) Boyle!

91 points for:

  • 2008 Late Harvest Riesling Horse Heaven Hills (Editors Choice)
  • 2008 Crawford Viognier Columbia Valley (Editors Choice)
  • 2006 Alderdale Cabernet Sauvignon Horse Heaven Hills

90 points for:

  • 2008 Shepherds Mark White Blend Horse Heaven Hills
  • 2007 Gravity Merlot Horse Heaven Hills
  • 2007 Mr. Big Petite Sirah Horse Heaven Hills

Next week, we’re heading to ANC’s Destiny Vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills, where the grapes for these great wines are harvested on 243 acres on the high bluffs overlooking the Columbia River. We’ve been to both tasting rooms in Woodinville and Prosser, but never to the vineyard itself. We can’t wait!


Full Pull Wines in South Seattle

There’s a new wine retailer in town, but this one is unique. All you will find in Full Pull Wines is Washington State wines. This is bound to please supporters of this state’s fine wines … like us, for example. And the company’s business model is unusual too.

Full Pull Wines is the brainchild of Paul Zitarelli, who was kind enough to send me some information just prior to its launch. He noted that the Washington-focused venture is a non-traditional retailer operating out of a warehouse in SODO. Full Pull sells wine through a mailing list, using a one-offer-per-day model. After ordering, you can pick your wine up at the warehouse or have it shipped.

According to my colleague at Wine Peeps, “If you are a shopper like me who loves the personal attention and customer service of Nordstrom but prefers the prices of Target, Full Pull Wines could be the perfect wine retailer for you.”

We haven’t made it to the warehouse yet, but we hope to visit it and meet Paul one of these days soon. I just signed up for the mailing list, which is the only way to purchase wine from Full Pull. Hopefully you’ll do the same and support a new Washington wine venture.


Delicious D2 from DeLille

We decided not to wait for a special occasion to drink DeLille Cellars 2006 D2. Every day is special, eh? And wow, so is this wine.

The name of this wine also has a special meaning for us, because it is named after the “grand route de vin” (principal wine route) in Bordeaux, where we spend a wonderful week a few years ago. In Bordeaux, there is a tradition of making a “deuxieme” or second wine. So D2 also represents an abbreviation for the second wine at DeLille Cellars.

Don’t let the description “second wine” fool you. This is a magnificent blend of 52.5% Merlot,  38.5% Cabernet Sauvignon , 7% Cabernet Franc and 2% Petit Verdot. I don’t use the word “magnificent” lightly! Regular readers know that my favorite wine is a Bordeaux blend, and this one generated a big sigh of happiness when I sipped it.

If you want further proof, check out these awards given to D2 over the years! Unfortunately, the 2006 vintage is sold out. But you can pre-order the 2007 vintage at DeLille’s website.

Update: Before I had a chance to post this, we also opened DeLille’s Doyenne 2006 AIX. This Provence-style Cab-Syrah blend also is highly recommended; in fact, Wine Spectator gave it 93 points in 2006 and the previous vintage. However, as mentioned (many times) I favor Bordeaux-style blends, so D2 was my preference!


We’re Back!

The Write for Wine blog unexpectedly took a holiday over the Labor Day weekend, but we’re back! And it’s all thanks to Louis!

The “holiday” began after we read a CNET article: “WordPress blogs falling prey to worm The worm does not affect the current version 2.8.4 and the one prior to it. And it only affects people who host their own WordPress blog.”

We host our own WordPress blog but it’s not on the current version, so our immediate reaction was to upgrade to version 2.8.4. Makes sense, eh? You’d think, except our manual upgrade didn’t quite work and the blog site went down, down, down – and remained in that dark state for two days. Two l-o-n-g days.

But then my wonderful nephew Louis came to the rescue – and voila, Write for Wine is back in business! We can’t find enough words to thank Louis, who along with the lovely Karyne, became new parents a mere one week ago when my beautiful great-niece Lyv was born in Montreal. Felicitations et merci beaucoup!

Cheers! Salut!