William Church Wins Again

If you’re looking for good wine at a decent price point, look no further than William Church Winery. Their recent releases, 2007 Bishop’s Blend ($19), 2007 Sur La Mer Bordeaux blend ($28), 2007 “2 Spires” ($32) and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon ($32), are all winners.

We paired a bottle of William Church 2007 Cab last night with juicy barbequed steaks and wow!  With 10% Petit Verdot added to 90% Cab, this wine is both silky and big at the same time, structured and full of richness and spice. Major props to winemaker Rod Balsley and assistant winemaker Marcus Rafanelli. 

And then there’s William Church 2007 Sur La Mer. As regular readers of this blog know, Bordeaux blends are high on my list of favorite wines, and 2007 Sur La Mer is no exception. 2007 is the first vintage of this classic blend of 40% Cabernet, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 10% Malbec and 10% Petit Verdot – and we hope William Church continues to make it every year. Sur La Mer is French for “on the sea,” named after the seaport city of La Rochelle in western France where co-owner Leslie Balsley was born — a special name for a special wine.

We also enjoy 2007 Bishop’s Blend (63% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot & 5% Syrah), which is a bargain at $19. Rod deliberately crafted Bishop’s Blend to be paired with a variety of foods – although we can attest that it’s very drinkable on its own too. And we predict it will be as popular as the 2006 vintage. The tasting notes are perfect: With flavor and complexity found in much more expensive wines, it displays deep wild raspberry and cherry flavors along with smokey oak and mild tannins.

Another recent addition to the William Church releases, 2007 “2 Spires” has already won a gold medal at the 2009 Northwest Wine Summit and a silver medal at the 2009 Seattle Wine Awards. The name “2 Spires” represents the two grapes that are blended into this powerful wine – 62% Syrah from Stillwater Creek and 38% Cabernet Sauvignon from Conner Lee and Dineen Vineyard. Try this wine and you’ll understand why it’s award-winning.


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About Margot

Margot started writing about wine decades ago as a national journalist in Canada and the U.S. She and Dave created this website in 2007. Originally, the website introduced people to wines in Washington state, the second-largest wine region in the U.S. But over the years, the site expanded to feature other wine regions in the U.S., Canada, and in the world. If you like to read about standout wine and winery stories, then Write for Wine is for you.