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Showing posts from April, 2010

Spring Barrel Weekend 2010 Yakima Valley

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Wine Tasting From the Bus

The Yakima Valley Spring Barrel weekend was a huge success this year. I’ve poured at past Spring Barrel weekends, so I truly enjoyed being on the other end this time. My past experience working this event, taught me to avoid the crowds on Saturday. So we went Sunday, avoided the crowds and craziness and just took our time tasting, talking and walking. Here’s the list of wineries we visited over six hours on Sunday, 25 April 2010.
Red Mountain: Terra Blanca WineryProsser Vintners Village: Airfield Estates, Willow Crest Wine Estates, Thurston Wolfe, Gamache Vintners, Milbrandt VineyardsOn the other side of Interstate 82: Alexandria Nicole Cellars, Cowan VineyardsMy count indicates we visited eight wineries Saturday. Even so, we did not make it to all the wineries I wanted to see (sorry Hightower Cellars, Tasawik Vineyards, Olsen Estates, Mercer Estates and Kestrel Vintners, among others). As it was, eight wineries is ambitious for anyone – fortunately, we rented…

Willow Crest 2009 Rockin' Rose

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Umm, it does rock!

Drinking a Willow Crest 2009 "Rockin' Rose" tonight. Very, very good, bright, fruity with a gentle strawberry finish. Summer in the glass, very flexible and should pair with almost anything. Remember, this is a dry Washington rose, for adults - it's fruity, not sweet. Go buy some.

This is one of "several" bottles purchased Sunday at the Yakima Valley Spring Barrel weekend. We hit Prosser and half a dozen wineries, or so, and had a blast. Always good to taste outside of the comfort zone. I  hope to gather my thoughts on the wineries we visited in Prosser and add notes and recommendations soon. Eleven of us rented a fancy bus for six hours to go tasting safely - worked out well - we all want to do it again next year.

* I have to mention that Cabernet Franc seemed to be the varietal of the day. Syrah was not as visible, not sure why. Just as well, I'm off Syrah at present.

Willow Crest Winery: http://www.willowcrestwinery.com/

Cheers!

Barnard Griffin 2006 Merlot Reserve

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DBYD – Drink Before You Die!

I’ve been eager to open and drink this wine, but I exercised restraint and saved this wine for a special occasion. We just returned from holiday in Vancouver, British Columbia, where I found the occasion to enjoy this wine.
Contact the winery if you are trying to locate a bottle. They may be out of stock by now, but they have a list of distributors who may be able to help you out. Yes, I purchased my bottle direct from the winery.

To enjoy a wine of this caliber, I always open the wine an hour or two before drinking. The intense flavors of this wine cascaded into my mouth like the memory of the waves crashing onto the rocky shore of Playa Linda in Mexico. My mouth was saturated with flavor, roof, tongue, cheeks, gums, and lips. This is a vivid Merlot, a Washington Merlot, crafted with care by the wine making team of Barnard Griffin winery. Stupendous!

Put this on your list as a “not to miss”, buy it and drink it before you die. The time is now, the occasion …

Mirth 2008 Chardonnay

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"One for sorrow - two for mirth - three for a wedding - four for birth"

Evidently, this wine has had some buzz in the last year. The buzz, combined with the price, led me to purchase a bottle today. I was happy to find this wine priced at $7.99. While not the current 2009 vintage, this 2008 vintage is holding up well.

It was a pale straw color, with honey and Asian pear on the nose, crisp, with a lot of Asian pear in the mouth, and a bright, clean, apple finish. Typically, I would not go for this style of Chardonnay, see notes below – but I like this one. This would pair well with a crab salad, steamed mussels or grilled shrimp. Go buy some and share in the buzz.

It’s interesting to note that 65% of the fruit is from Washington and 35% is from Oregon. This makes for a very tasty dual State wine. Does this qualify as a Washington wine? Anyone know? Also of note is that this wine has very little oak, with a blend of 95% fermented in stainless steel and 5% in neutral oak, 13% …