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Showing posts from February, 2011

Updated: Local Wineries: Red Mountain

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List of Red Mountain Wineries.
I've updated the Local Wineries page.

Made time this morning to add Red Mountain AVA information and a list of Red Mountain Wineries to the Local Wineries page. This list does not include Benton City wineries, yet. There are some recent additions to Red Mountain which may not be reflected by my list. I'll do more research to confirm.

I will be adding a legend to the list of wineries: V= Visited Facility, R=Reviewed Wine.

If you notice any errors or omissions, please post a comment.

Thanks for the tweets, #ff, #wawine, #ww, @wild4wawine

Cheers!

Who is Prosser Vineyard and Winery?

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Prosser Vineyard and Winery 2009 Syrah, First Release!

This week I was at the local grocer, once again looking for a bottle of wine to accompany dinner.

My habit is not to buy the wine I know and enjoy, but to seek out the wines I don’t know, and learn more about them. This strategy does not always provide for an enjoyable bottle of wine. Sometimes it does. On display for several weeks, is a wine I did not know, Prosser Vineyard and Winery 2009 Syrah.  Torn between a cool looking bottle of Spanish wine, a local organic Cabernet, and the unknown Prosser Vineyard and Winery Syrah, I pushed past my misgivings about the label (not my favorite design). I decided to take a chance on this bottle of Syrah priced at a reasonable $10.99.

First Washington Wine is a Syrah

The label on this bottle confused me. 
Was this wine made by a vineyard owner, a winery, an organization/club or by the city of Prosser? After some research, I learned that this wine is made by winemaker William Jenkin. William is…

2 Great Wines from Hightower Cellars

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Hightower Cellars 2008 Out of Line and 2008 Murray Syrah

Friday, I was out looking for a birthday present, for a fellow wine lover. While browsing through the birthday cards, I started to think about the most memorable wines of 2010. Which wines did I truly enjoy last year? And which of those wines would be the perfect wine gift? Ah ha! Hightower Cellars Murray Syrah!


I last reviewed Hightower Cellars 2008 Murray Syrah in August 2010. Tim and Kelly Hightower planted the vines for that wine on their Red Mountain property, a mix of mostly Syrah and some Viognier – a classic Rhone style blend. They enjoyed the first fruits of their labor in their 2007 Murray Syrah – a vintage I missed out on. The 2008 Murray Syrah really appealed to me. But where would I be able to purchase a bottle, in time for the party? When in doubt, drive to their Red Mountain winery of course.

Open for Tasting: Hightower Cellars Red Mountain Winery

Hightower Cellars is located at the very top of Red Mountain, off of…

A Romantic Indictment

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Accused of Romanticizing Wine

Last week I met with a member of the wine industry. It was pointed out to me that I “romanticize wine”. This comment has fixed in my head, so I’m writing about it to purge it from my thoughts. Today, I looked up the definition of the word romantic; the two definitions of “romantic” which could be applied to this observation include:
1. fanciful; impractical; unrealistic: romantic ideas.
2. imbued with or dominated by idealism, a desire for adventure,chivalry, etc.

Wow. Is that what was meant? Are my views truly “fanciful”, “impractical” and “unrealistic”?  Yes, I do appreciate the story of wine, the presentation of wine and how great the wine experience can be – especially if the wine is really good. My attitude towards and my characterization of a "good wine" are admittedly influenced by the personality and passion of the winemaker.

An apt example of this, “romanticism” is my review of àMaurice Cellars wine maker, Anna Schafer.

“Anna Schafer is the…

1 New Release from Garrison Creek Cellars

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Garrison Creek Cellars announces the release of their 2007 Zinfandel!

Last year, I visited Walla Walla during Spring Release weekend. Garrison Creek Cellars was the highlight of my visit - see article (Garrison Creek Cellars).


I just received notice that Garrison Creek Cellars is releasing their 2007 Zinfandel. I'm spreading the word, this is your opportunity to take this marvelous wine home.

Winery Supplied Note (more below):
"This wine’s toasty vanilla and bright raspberry characteristics will lend themselves beautifully to bittersweet chocolates."  It is their second Zinfandel ever released, and they are quite proud of it.

Limited quantities of this wine and all purchases are first-come, first-served.  This wine can be purchased directly through the winery via email, or over the phone at (509) 525-7377.  Pricing, case discount, and tasting notes are included below.

Also, the first ever release of Garrison Creek Cellars Library wines.  
If you are missing any of their sol…

How to Ruin the Wine Experience - Expectations Not Met

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Finding fault with a glass cork

Regular readers know that I avoid negative comments about wines and wineries. I feel that there are already plenty of negative opinions out there, so I don’t need to add my voice to them. Characteristically, I focus on the wines I like and my positive wine experiences. Today however, I feel compelled to share a negative experience.
Four years ago I wrote about wine closure technologies (Seeking Closure). In the article I discuss the merits and failures of natural cork, synthetic cork, screw caps, boxed wine and the newer technology of glass cork (glass-on-glass stopper). At the time I had only seen a glass cork once, and felt unqualified to express an opinion. Well that’s changed; I definitely have an opinion on glass closures.

History of the glass-on-glass stopper
The "glass-on-glass" stopper was introduced in 2004. Two brands I am aware of are, Vino Seal and Vino-Lok. Most of the online information on these technologies is from 2004 and 2006.

“…

Wine Tasting at Hamilton Cellars

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Last month, I met with Stacie Hamilton of Hamilton Cellars winery (read post), the newest winery in town. Friday, I met again with Stacie, but this time Stacie and I sat down and tasted Hamilton Cellars marvelous wines.
Hamilton Cellars has a complete lineup of wine: 2008 White blend, 2009 Rosé of Malbec, 2006/2007/2008 Bona Vita Red blend, 2007 Merlot, 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2007 Malbec. There is a $5 tasting fee per person, which is refunded with bottle purchase.

We began with the 2008 White Wine
This wine is 83% Semillon, my favorite white wine varietal, backed up with 17% Viognier. This is a very successful wine. It’s very rich, with a great floral and baked bread nose, full in the mouth and quite satisfying. I’m thinking seafood, crab, lobster, mussels and prawns.


Next, 2009 Rosé of Malbec
Ha! This one will surprise you, it surprised me. The Rosé instantly reminded me of summer 2009, specifically July 2009 – bright, sunny, warm, happy times. Happy times indeed, you can call t…

Going Tasting Today @HamiltonCellars

There's an Internet outage in our region today (Frontier) so I'm using the Internet at our public library. Thank you!

Today I'm finally going to taste at Hamilton Cellars. I'll be there at 3 pm. Stop by and say hello if you're in the area. Ben of @vinotology will be pouring.

Cheers!

Barnard Griffin Winery Visit Wows

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Wine Wednesday, a Perfect Afternoon for Wine Tasting

Winter has returned to the Columbia Valley, today was sunny, but a very cold day. Since today is Wine Wednesday, #WW, I thought it was time to stop in and visit my friends at Barnard Griffin winery. It's been more than a year since I last visited the Barnard Griffin winery, far too long.

Rob Griffin and his wife Deborah were in the tasting room when I arrived and warmly greeted me. I then visited with tasting room manager Kim Gravenslund, who showed me the current lineup. You may already be familiar with the Barnard Griffin “tulip” label wines. These delicious wines are widely available around the country - I purchase them on a regular basis myself. So those wines I did not taste today. Today I sampled the Reserve Barnard Griffin wines – all 10 of them!

I was happy to have Rob and Deborah’s daughter, Elise, pour for me. Elise now works at the winery and was an especially gracious host and guide. I have to note that we did not s…