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- Grape Stuff - 06-02-2003 03:04 PM

My wife and I attended this event this past weekend in Walla Walla Washington. It was a tasting event limited to 300 people, with nearly every winery in the Walla Walla valley pouring something new and something old (relatively speaking). They had some nice cheeses, and music, and an auction at the end.

Granted I'm somewhat new to this, and I think most of the producers were brining out their best stuff, but I was really impressed with the overall quality.

Some of the standouts as follows:

2000 Spring Valley Vineyards - Uriah. A blend of 60% Merlot, 34% Can Franc, and the rest Petite Verdot. This was oh so good, an incredible burst of flavor and a changing finish that kept on going & going.

1996 Le Cole #41 Columbia Valley Cabernet - Very smooth

1995 Leonetti Cabernet - I was really trying to find the tons of oak Bucko, but I guess my pallet is still evolving. I really enjoyed this wine. It was incredibly soft, and velvety, with a ton of different flavors, and the lingering flavors would not leave my mouth.

Cougar Crest - they had a new Cab and a Viognier. Both were stand out, especially the Viognier. I think this is my new (well, maybe my only )favorite white. Huge flavors, and nice and full.

Anyway, we had a great time!


- Innkeeper - 06-02-2003 04:42 PM

Sounds like a great weekend. Wish we lived in wine country!


- winoweenie - 06-02-2003 07:12 PM

Grapeski what Bucko failed to mention is that most of the great new wines made in the world have some oak (As most ARE actually aged for 3-5 years in OAK). [Image: biggrin.gif] With aging, as I've said many times this oak becomes an integral part of the flavor profile of the wine and adds this extra dimension to the wine. That's the reason all 1st growths, big Napa cabs, and Leonettis' need to be aged. Glad you got to sample one of ,IMHO, Washs' finest cabs with some whiskers on it. It'll even be better in another 5. WW


- Bucko - 06-02-2003 10:11 PM

Glad that you liked the Leowoodie..... [Image: biggrin.gif]

WA has great potential for Viognier. I've tried a lot of them lately that have been delicious:

2001 McCrea, Viognier, Yakima Valley, Washington, $22, 341 cases. This light gold beauty has an enticing bouquet that is filled with lychee, lemon, pineapple and apricot scents that float on the nose then expand out over the palate. There is a lot of depth and character to this wine and contains fruit from both Ciel du Cheval Vineyard and Elerding Vineyard. 92/93.

2002 Rulo, Viognier, Columbia Valley, Washington, $18, 770 cases. Typical of the grape, this wine is very aromatic, with lots of honeysuckle and citrus. Stone fruit and citrus unfolds in the mouth, with lots of minerality on the protracted finish. 91/92.

2002 Whitman Cellars, Viognier, Walla Walla Valley, Washington, $18, 198 cases. With a tad too much wood for my oak sensitive palate, this is a very nice wine nevertheless. Floral scents blend with peach, apricot and toasty oak notes. Medium-bodied, with layered fruit, the wine has a brisk, refreshing finish. 90/91.

2001 Waterbrook, Viognier, Columbia Valley, Washington, $20, 603 cases. Aromas of citrus, honeysuckle and melon carry over to the palate, with a nice dose of minerality. Well-balanced, this medium-bodied wine finishes on a crisp note. 89/90.

2002 Isenhower, Dragonfly, Columbia Valley, Washington, $18, 200 cases. This is an interesting blend of Viognier and Rousanne. Tropical fruit and orange zest highlights the wine, with nice structure. Seeing only stainless steel, the bracing acidity makes this a no-brainer for Asian foods. 88/88.

2001 Columbia Winery, Viognier, Red Willow Vineyard, Yakima Valley, Washington, $40. This straw colored wine has a pleasant light peach tinge and a delightful nose of flowers, ripe peaches and mandarin oranges. The mouth feel is full and round, with firm acids. Columbia has made a nice Viognier here, but is out of step with the pricing. 88/86.

2001 Kestrel, Viognier, Yakima Valley, Washington, $20, 247 cases. Quite viscous, with a slight leesy note, the wine delivers pineapples, peaches, and apricots across the senses, finishing on a soft note. 87/87.

2002 Cougar Crest, Viognier, Walla Walla Valley, Washington, $18, 390 cases. A lovely sparkling gold color catches the eye. Pear, citrus, and floral aromas are noted as well on the palate, finishing on a crisp note. 85/85.


- Grape Stuff - 06-03-2003 11:55 AM

Wow, that's a lot of Viognier! Does that grape have a history? Is it grown in France, or Italy, or California? It has such a distinct flavor profile, but I've not seen or heard much about it. I heard someone say at this event that it's a Red Wine Drinkers White.


- Innkeeper - 06-03-2003 12:31 PM

It's primary European range is the Upper Rhone.


- wondersofwine - 06-03-2003 02:15 PM

In France, one of its most famous (and expensive) expressions is in Condrieu. You might try a glass of Condrieu at a wine bar or restaurant sometime if you see it listed.