Taste Washington 2021 isn’t an in-person event because of the pandemic. But there is plenty to celebrate this month, and so much Washington wine to love. We recently enjoyed six bottles, samples provided for Taste Washington Wine Month. See below for details about these wines, in addition to information about Taste Washington to Go and Taste Washington at Home. These special events underline the creativity of Washington State Wine and Visit Seattle. They pull out all the stops to make this event an epic experience.
Taste Washington Wine Month
Every year, Taste Washington holds a media preview of wines from our state prior to the big celebration, which we like to call the Super Bowl of Wine Events. Since Taste Washington isn’t in person this year, we were sent samples of six wines instead. Here are our thoughts.
Januik Cabernet Sauvignon Ciel Du Cheval Vineyard 2017 (SRP $45)
Januik wines are sourced from the Columbia Valley’s oldest, most prestigious vineyards, a result of winemaker Mike Januik’s long-standing relationships with some of Washington’s most talented growers. Wine critic James Suckling awarded 95 points to this gorgeous Red Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon, which includes 4% Merlot. Think cherries, chocolate and cassis, with hints of spice and herbs. And bring on the steaks!
Three Rivers Svelte 2017 (SRP $54)
Three Rivers 2017 Svelte is such a pretty, elegant wine. Svelte blends Cabernet Sauvignon (50%) and Malbec (20%) with 10% each of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. On Twitter, Three Rivers described this Bordeaux-style blend as “very Black Tie and so elegant it will sweep you off your feet.” We found it rich and balanced with flavors of cherry, coffee and licorice. We decanted it for a few hours, but we recommend cellaring it for a few more years to let it fully develop.
Hightower Murray Syrah 2017 (SRP $25)
Hightower Red Mountain Syrah is co-fermented in traditional Côte Rôtie style. We appreciate this wine vintage after vintage. Aromas of dark fruit lead into similar flavors of blueberries, blackberries, plums and milk chocolate, along with hints of herbs and spice. We paired it with Dave’s spaghetti, but this food-friendly wine could complement barbecued ribs, chicken or grilled meats. Or sip it with gouda or sharp cheddar cheese near the fireplace.
Luke Syrah 2018 ($25)
Luke offers 100% Syrah – rich, concentrated fruit flavors and an intensity that increases over time in the glass. It’s still a baby, so we decanted it for awhile before opening. Peter Devison is the consulting winemaker, so it’s no surprise that we enjoyed this wine. It opens up with pepper, anise, cherries, cocoa and spice, and leads into flavors of blackberry, blueberry and plum, with more spices and chocolate. It’s our first time tasting Luke Wines, and we will look for more in the future.
Browne Family Vineyards Spymaster The Farm 2018 ($80)
This Cabernet Sauvignon from Browne Family Vineyards honors William Bitner Browne, the grandfather of winery founder Andrew Browne. Bitner served as a Counter Intelligence Task Force officer in the U.S. Army in both World War II and the Korean conflict. This awarded him multiple commendations and a Spymaster wine series named after him. This Walla Walla Valley Cab Sauv is young, so we recommend decanting it or putting it away for a few years. When you do open it, pair it with a juicy ribeye steak or barbecued ribs.
Dusted Valley Chardonnay 2018 ($36)
Chardonnay is the most widely planted white grape in Washington state, and in the world. And Dusted Valley produces a classic Chardonnay from Olsen Vineyard. This is a fresh and juicy Chard, with beautiful fruit flavors of apples and pears. We paired it with garlic prawns, but we will buy another bottle or two to open during crab season later this summer. Until then, this pretty white wine will complement halibut, salmon, baked chicken and many other foods. It also will pair well on the deck as the days grow warmer this spring.
As mentioned, Taste Washington isn’t in person this year, but there are still lots of ways to celebrate. Firstly, Washington wineries will offer promotions, including shipping specials, waived tasting fees, wine discounts, virtual tastings and more. Secondly, restaurants will offer weekly specials and recipes. Likewise, there are two ways to enjoy delicious wine and food: Taste Washington to Go and Taste Washington at Home. Full details are available in our previous story.
In conclusion, we hope you join in the fun of Taste Washington, and support our local wineries and restaurants during Taste Washington Wine Month. Furthermore, thank you Taste Washington for the samples of these wonderful Washington state wines.
Previous stories about Taste Washington
- Taste Washington 2021
- Taste Washington 2020 Cancelled
- Another Successful, Fun and Educational Taste Washington (2019)
- Another Success for Taste Washington (2018)
- Don’t Miss the Super Bowl of Wine Events – Taste Washington
Margot and Dave