Saturday, April 2, 2011

12 Favorite Walla Walla Wines from 8 Wineries

My Favorite Walla Walla Wines at Taste Washington Seattle.
Why am I surprised that I liked so many Walla Walla wines? I suppose I should not be, because last spring I reveled in Walla Walla wines during the 2010 Spring Release Weekend. FYI: the 2011 Walla Walla Spring Release Weekend will be here soon, so put these wineries on your must visit list.

Alphabetical list of recommended Walla Walla wineries.


1. Basel Cellars Estate Winery
This was my first time enjoying Basel Cellars wines. Basel Cellars is part winery, part resort. While I’ve heard about them for several years, this is the first time I’ve enjoyed their wines. My favorite Basel Cellars wines:
  • 2007 Merriment.
  • 2007 Syrah Pheasant Run.
Tasting room hours: Monday – Sunday 10am – 4pm.


2. Buty Winery
I had the pleasure of meeting Caleb Foster and his wife Nina Buty Foster, last year during the 2010 Wine Blogger Conference. They hosted an amazing Semillon panel tasting. Sunday, I had the pleasure of tasting an impressive Buty red wine. Put this on your must buy list:
  • Redviva – a delicious blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting room: Open most days from 11am-4pm, closed on Sundays. They recommend you contact in advance for an appointment.
Website: http://www.butywinery.com/


3. Dusted Valley
Last year Dusted Valley and their Boomtown label, were named Winery of the year. I’ve been very fond of their Boomtown Syrah for several years. Sunday, I enjoyed the:
  • Dusted Valley Stained Tooth Syrah.
Walla Walla Tasting Room: Open February 15th-April: open Sat-Sun: 12:00pm - 5:00pm, May-November: Thu-Sun: 12:00pm - 5:00pm, December-February 15th: CLOSED.
Woodinville Wine & Art Gallery: Open Wed-Sun: 12:00pm - 5:00pm.
Website: http://www.dustedvalley.com/


4. Long Shadows
Long Shadows is a joint venture with highly acclaimed winemakers from different regions of the world. Each celebrated winemaker crafts a wine, in Walla Walla, inspired by their country of origin. These international winemakers craft some remarkable wines. My favorite red wine of Taste Washington, was made by Pomerol vintner and international consultant, Michel Rolland. He has partnered with Allen Shoup to produce this limited release wine.
  • 2008 Pedestal Merlot.
Tours and tastings are handled on an appointment only basis (tasting fees may apply).
Website: http://www.longshadows.com/


5. Pepper Bridge Winery
Practicing sustainable viticulture, Pepper Bridge Winery remains family-owned. their wines have received widespread acclaim and they have been named a Top 100 Winery worldwide, their 2007 Merlot was rated "The Best of the Year."
  • 2008 Merlot – an impressive wine, loved it.
Tasting room: Open daily 10am – 4pm.
Website: http://www.pepperbridge.com/



6. Saviah Cellars
Saviah Cellars is a family-owned and operated artisan winery. The wine I enjoyed was made with fruit from the valley’s finest vineyards including: Pepper Bridge Vineyard, Seven Hills Vineyard, and McClellan Estate Vineyard, this wine is excellent!
  • 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Tasting room: Friday and Saturday 11am to 5pm and Sunday through Thursday 11am to 4pm and by appointment.
Website: http://www.saviahcellars.com/



7. Waters Winery
Add this winery to your list. As an artisanal winery, Waters is crafting some outstanding wines, and people have noticed. I noticed too this weekend. Two of my favorites are:
  • 2008 Syrah – 100% Syrah.
  • 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon – 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tasting Room: Open Thursday - Monday, 11:00am to 5pm (on Sundays they close at 4pm).
Website: http://www.waterswinery.com/



8. Woodward Canyon Winery
Woodward Canyon is located just outside of Walla Walla. I’ve been visiting Woodward Canyon for many years, but obviously, not often enough. They poured for me my favorite white wine at Taste Washington and two marvelous red wines.
  • 2009 Chardonnay – everything a Washington Chardonnay should be, delicious.
  • 2007 Merlot – a monster Merlot, begging for the company of a steak.
  • 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon – A gorgeous Cabernet, perfect for friends, or just because, enjoy.
Tasting room: open daily from 10am – 5pm.
Website: http://www.woodwardcanyon.com/

There you have it, 12 more wines of the 29 wines I enjoyed at Taste Washington Seattle 2011. I'll have the remaining 9 wines posted soon, along with some shout-outs.

Cheers!