Our take on the WA offline - Printable Version

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- Kcwhippet - 08-15-2005 01:06 PM

Well, it's my turn to put in my notes on the offline.

First off, I'd like to thank Kat - and Greg - for putting up with us all, and showing us such a great time. It was a shame more of the crew didn't make it, though I have to say with the smaller group we were able to be more spontaneous. We made a few last minute turns that would probably have left parts of a larger convoy aimed in the wrong direction. That said, we did miss the rest of you guys. The two dinners we had at Kat's home were wonderful and being able to interact with the local wine folks was a real treat. Some of us also got to enjoy a few of Greg's libations.

Well, on to the wineries. I was very impressed with the wines we tasted out of barrel at Willow Creek. As WoW said their young asst. winemaker is one to watch. The two wines I particularly liked aren't even on the list at their web site. The Grenache/Gewurtz was so good even Judy raved, and this is the first Grenache based wine she's liked in all our years tasting wine. Equally as wonderful was the Mourvedre from one barrel they'd singled out as special enough to be bottled separately. We have an order in for a case of each when they're bottled. Remember this one, Winoweenie.

I was surprised at Snoqualmie. This is part of the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and I was sure this was going to be another wine factory. We carry a few Snoqualmie wines and, while they're quite good, they aren't exceptional. Of the wines we tasted there I came away with about a case - 4 2003 Cirque de Rose, 3 1997 Reserve Merlot and 3 1999 Reserve Merlot. Who'da thunk it.

We went to Hedges twice. The first time we were given a tour by Kat through the bowels of the winery, including the library. On Sunday we went back to buy some wine and met Christophe Hedges, who I first thought was just one of the workers. He was out front, shirtless, in the heat filling up the fountain. From what I gather Christophe and Greg (yes that Greg) are in the process of planting about 3500 lavender plants on the grounds, and are up to about 500. We left with 2 bottles of the rereleased 1996 Three Vineyards (about 60/40 CS/Merlot). We also were unfortunately entertained (not really) by the antics of Jeff (or Geoff - who knows) the tasting room manager. Never will you meet such a pompous, officious, self absorbed little twit in a winery such as he is. What a little jerk! I'd only go back if I knew he wasn't going to be there.

So much more to tell, but I've run out of time at the moment (have to go to a meeting). I'll continue this later.

- hotwine - 08-15-2005 03:01 PM

Such a ringing endorsement should be sent to the kid's boss, KC.

- Kcwhippet - 08-15-2005 05:06 PM

If I knew who his boss was I just might do that, Hotsie.

More to come later.

- chittychattykathy - 08-16-2005 04:39 PM

You kill me! [img][/img] lol.
<rolls eyes>
Jeff. Boss would be Tom or Pete-- Hedges. <sigh>

Thanks for the kind words-- we loved having everyone over! Wine gents are still talking about out times together and the intesting wines ect. opened at the house. (I will forward this link on to the Gents, maybe one or two will say "hello" on here!)

We were out shooting pix of Matt #1 waterskiing (for the calendar) last night, good times. tomorrow we are off to Walla Walla to shoot pix of Rich and Jamie.

I will send a pix out to the group of Greg and Christophe-- the "Lavender Guys." Long, and somewhat amusing story there for those who were not here.

Greg will be shooting pix of the harvest on a daily basis, those will also go up on our photo site. G's also "official" at Willow Crest now... [img][/img] (Assistant winemaker.)

I will also send a link all our "2005" peeps on our mailing list for the website-- I should have all the photos up from the trip by Thursday.

Am on a deadline for a few stories, more later.


- dananne - 08-16-2005 05:56 PM

Kat -- I'm posting this for Anne, who is in Orlando right now. She says she wants pics of Matt #1 waterskiing.

The "thumbs up" emoticon was her idea, as well.

I'm rolling my eyes and thinking that it maybe isn't such a good idea to get her around young, hunky winemakers in future [img][/img]

She says she'll be calling you tonight.

- Kcwhippet - 08-16-2005 07:03 PM

How I spent My Summer Vacation: Part Deux

OK, I've done Willow Crest, Snoqualmie and Hedges but there's so much more and I think I'll take them by AVA, or close. First was the Kestrel I missed yesterday. Liked their stuff. Got 2 each of their Lady in Red 3rd Edition, 04 Esprit Froisse Chard (sorry ww), 99 CS and 02 Estate Sangiovese.

As mentioned, we went to J. Bookwalter after dinner at Anthony's, where we were met by Jarrod Boyle the principal of Alexandria Nicole. A very nice man, and I'd buy more of his wines (if I can get them shipped here). Met John Bookwalter's parents, also nice folks - all the folks we met were really nice. Great blues/jazz group there.

Next day we went to Walla Walla - on fumes as Dan mentioned. Went to James Leigh Cellars and later met Jamie (and his young son - precocious). Jamie's a big fan of heavily hopped beers, and I'll send him some from local brewers when the weather cools. Also went to SYZYGY where the wines were not too bad. The highlight there was the logo togs. Unfortunately, Judy wasn't receptive to me getting her the logo thong underwear. Maybe next time. We also went to Tamarack (the Hitching Post lady) where I didn't get anything, and Saviah. Very nice wines and I picked up a bunch of their Red Mountain Syrah. Pepper Bridge was another stop where I picked up a 750 and mag of the 2001 CS - very nice wine and something the Weener would like.

The last day was a jaunt around the Yakima Valley (along with the stop over at Hedges in Red Mountain - and Jeff (yuck!!!)). If you ever have an opportunity to visit Portteus Winery - pass! Great fruit - very, very poor execution. Don't believe we've ever seen a winery screw up good fruit so badly. Two Mountains with Matt No. 1 was wonderful. Hotter than Hades, but the view of Mt. Ranier and Mt. Adams cloaked in snow (hence the Two Mountains) was spectacular. Left after tasting everything and buying a mixed case - check their 2001 Lemberger and 2002 Syrah, WW. We found 3 apricots the birds hadn't found. Went to Tucker Cellars on the way to 2 Mts. Wine sucks, but the gift shop is nice. Went to Bonair - don't know why, but the grounds with the koi pond and gazebo were nice - so were the rest rooms. Claar Cellars was something else. Wine was really nice - got a bunch. The tasting room person was a real throwback to the 60's, but a really nice person. Finally, we hit Piety Flats. the winemaker is Dave Minick, the President/Winemaker at Willow Crest, Came away with a couple bottles of LH Viognier - a slightly unusual wine, but I really liked it.

That's about it - almost. As I said before, we really enjoyed having WoW travelling with us. It was a real treat finally meeting Dananne - actually Dan and Anne. I'd travel wine country (or any country) with them again. Wonderful folks - all of them! Once again, thanks to Kat and Greg for their incredible hospitality. They are folks we'd like to party with with again - great fun. Also, all the other miscellaneous people we met were a joy to meet and interact with - Matt #1, Matt #2, Victor, Jarrod, Jamie, Rich and his wife at Saviah (where we got to taste their Star Meadows wine at Kat's urging even though it's been sold out for ages), and all the other wonderfully, friendly people we met everywhere. Loved it.

[This message has been edited by Kcwhippet (edited 08-16-2005).]

- californiagirl - 08-16-2005 08:21 PM

KC- didn't we open an Alexandria Nichole last time I was out there? For some reason, I remember not liking it. Did you get to taste anything there?

- Kcwhippet - 08-16-2005 08:49 PM

I think we might have caught them in a travel shock stage. Hope Moore, a partner in Alexandria Nicole, was in our shop and let me know our Washington wine selection was really lacking (no argument). I said send me something and she did - a Syrah and a Viognier. We drank them a few days after they were shipped, and they were lacking. What we had in Prosser was really good, in fact we brought some back.

[This message has been edited by Kcwhippet (edited 08-16-2005).]

- chittychattykathy - 08-18-2005 05:17 AM

Is Matt "hunky?".... I really never noticed myself....
Pix sent.

- chittychattykathy - 08-18-2005 05:30 AM

Aside from possible bottle shock the Alex Nic wine tried last year was from a different winemaker as well. Rob's been on just over a year now and is making a huge difference for them.

BTW-- Jamie says "Hello" to all. We shot his "posed" pix last night. (After we shot pix of Rich in the field with his bow and camo.) [img][/img]

- Innkeeper - 08-18-2005 07:17 AM

Great notes KC, sorry we couldn't get there.

- winoweenie - 08-18-2005 07:18 AM

I p[opsted on this thread a couple of days ago and noticed this morn that it dint' take. Musta' been another senior moment whenced I forgot to hit the p[ost button after typing. Anywhoos...Tanks KC for the heads up. I'll talk to my local pusher about bring some of these wines in. I've been a fan of the Hedges Red Mtn Cab since buying their 94. Have posted on it and the 97. Both are outstanding bottlings. Agin', hated missing the trip. Would love to have met CCK and see all of you again. WW