A day of double-takes comprised what I like to call our experience of “Washington in Washington.”
Dave and I were in Washington, D.C. at the same time as this state’s Washington Wine Commission held a trade and media tasting there.
Ryan Pennington, the Commission’s social-media-savvy PR director, saw my Facebook update that we were headed to D.C., so he kindly invited us to stop by the tasting event at the Rooftop Terrace at The John F. Kennedy Center.
Of course we went! The tasting area was packed, and we listened with pride as many D.C.-area wine experts, restaurant owners, media and wine enthusiasts extolled the virtues of Washington state wine.
And we laughed at the looks on the faces of several winemakers and winery owners when they saw us, out of context, in “the other Washington!”
“What are you doing here?” exclaimed Charlie Hoppes of Fidelitas, Mike White of Barrister, Lisa Baer of Baer, John Abbott of Abeja, Darcey Fugman-Small of Woodward Canyon, Jerry Riener of Guardian Cellars and Doug Long of Obelisco.
“We just happened to be in the neighborhood and heard some excellent Washington state wine was being poured here,” we replied.
We also had an opportunity to taste wine and talk to Daniel Wampfler of Dunham Cellars, Kristi and Lou Facelli of Facelli, Kim Bolander of L’Ecole 41, Debbie Hansen of Cougar Crest, and Mark McNeilly of Mark Ryan.
These were the wines we tasted and recommend (in alphabetical order):
- Abeja 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla ($52)
- Baer 2009 Ursa Red Bordeaux Blend, Columbia Valley ($39)
- Cougar Crest 2007 Estate Cabernet Franc, Walla Walla ($38)
- Dunham Cellars 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon XIV, Columbia Valley ($45)
- Facelli 2008 Barbera, Columbia Valley ($25)
- Fidelitas 2008 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain ($55)
- Guardian Cellars 2009 Gun Metal Red Bordeaux Blend, Columbia Valley ($37)
- L’Ecole 41 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla ($37)
- Long Shadows 2007 Feather Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley ($55)
- Mark Ryan 2009 Dead Horse Red Bordeaux Blend, Red Mountain ($52)
- Obelisco 2009 Electrum Cabernet Sauvignon, Red Mountain ($65)
- Woodward Canyon 2009 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon, Washington State ($54)
Frankly, I couldn’t say it any better than the Washington Wine Commission’s brochure:
“Washington State’s exceptional grapes reach their potential in the hands of extraordinary winemakers, who create bright and balanced expressions of our region with world-class wines.”
Cheers to Washington state winemakers!