This is the second post in a two-part series about our recent trip to Barrister Winery in Spokane. The first post tells the story of Barrister’s unique “train-settling style” of winemaking, the signature style of soft mouthfeel and gentle tannins, and other information. Now here are some details about the beautiful wines that we tasted at Barrister.
2016 Sauvignon Blanc, Klipsun Vineyard ($19) This single-vineyard Sauvignon Blanc is crisp and refreshing, with notes of citrus and the minerality that you might expect from wine fermented for two months in 100% stainless steel. We’ve always said that we never met a grape from Red Mountain that we didn’t like, and this is no exception. This Sauv Blanc captures the power of Red Mountain fruit, which comes from old vines planted in 1982. A true summer sipper! Continue reading →
Thousands of people participated in the annual celebration of the excellent juice made in this state — at the Grand Tasting, educational seminars, lunches on local farms and at restaurants, wineries, hotels and retailers that offered special deals and promotions throughout the month.
But we hope that people did more than taste the fine wine of Washington. We hope they appreciated it, and the hard work by people in our state’s wine industry – from farmers to vineyard managers to those in the production facilities, winemakers, distributors, marketing specialists, tasting room staff and more.
In particular, we applaud the workers in the vineyard who toil over the grapes and the terroir, the winemakers who balance creativity and science in every barrel and bottle, and their families who support this extreme effort.
We definitely appreciated every taste that was poured for us at the Grand Tasting. With 225+ wineries participating, we needed a plan. This year, we only tasted reds, and between the two of us, sipped quite a few. (Yes, it is imperative to spit or spill at the Grand Tasting!)
Here are some of our favorites, in alphabetical order:
Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2012 Quarry Butte Red Bordeaux Blend
Virtual tastings and tweet-ups are becoming a weekly occurrence in the wine industry, and one of the best organized in my recent experience was by Wines of Chile.
At this tasting, we explored three styles of wines from four different varietals: Sauvignon Blanc, Carménère (Chile’s signature grape), Pinot Noir (relatively new to Chile) and Cabernet Sauvignon (Chile’s star red grape).
I think many of us who were invited to this event were surprised to discover that Chilean wines are unique and expressive, in addition to offering a low price point.
The tasting, attended by 60 U.S. wine bloggers, was moderated by Master Sommelier and Wines of Chile Educator Fred Dexheimer, who was in the same room as the winemakers. Bloggers watched them live on an online video screen, while tasting from the complimentary bottles shipped to us the previous week. As we experienced the lineup. we could ask questions of the winemakers and comment in a live micro-blogging stream located on the same web page as the video screen; others posted live on Twitter.
And now to the wine …
As regular readers know, we are big fans of Sauvignon Blanc, particularly with prawns or blue cheese on summer evenings relaxing on the deck. Our preference has been Sauv Blancs from Washington (Efeste and JM Cellars) and Napa Valley (Goosecross Cellars), and we are just starting to enjoy this refreshing, zesty wine from New Zealand.
Now, we are adding Sauv Blanc from Chile to our collection. Although these three wines are very different, they all made our list: Viña Casablanca Nimbus Single Vineyard 2012 ($13), San Pedro 1865 Single Vineyard 2011 ($19) and Casa Silva Cool Coast 2011 ($25). We particularly favored the last two because of their grapefruit flavors.
Of the 12 wines that were tasted, other standouts (to us) representing each grape were Morandé Casablanca Valley Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2009 ($18), Koyle Royale 2009 Carménère ($26) and Viña Los Vascos 2009 Le Dix Cabernet Sauvignon ($65).
Here is the full list:
Viña Casablanca Casablanca Valley Nimbus Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2012
San Pedro Leyda Valley 1865 Single Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Casa Silva Colchagua Valley Paredones Estate Cool Coast Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Emiliana Casablanca Valley Novas Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2010
Cono Sur Casablanca Valley 20 Barrels Pinot Noir 2009
Morandé Casablanca Valley Gran Reserva Pinot Noir 2009
Concha y Toro Cachapoal Valley Marques de Casa Concha Carmenere 2010
Carmen Colchagua Valley Alpata Vineyard Gran Reserva Carmenere 2010
Koyle Royale Alto Colchagua Carmenere
Viña Ventisquero Maipo Valley Grey Glacier Single Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Viña Maquis Colchagua Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010
Viña Los Vascos Les Domaines Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) Colchagua Valley Le Dix Cabernet Sauvignon
Thanks Wines of Chile and Emily Denton for inviting me to this educational and fun event.