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.


This entry was posted in Wine by Margot. Bookmark the permalink.

About Margot

Margot has been writing about wine since 1997 at KOIN-TV in Portland, Oregon; ten years later, she created this blog. Write for Wine focuses on the fine wines of Washington state, with additional posts about Oregon, B.C., California, ANZ, France, Italy, Spain and more. A former national journalist in Canada and the U.S., Margot has been a Washington wine enthusiast since moving to Seattle in 1999. Her motto: “It’s wine o’clock somewhere.”