Sunday, June 26, 2011

Final Destination Thomas O’Neil Cellars

Time in a Bottle.

This weekend my wife and I made the most of the beautiful summer weather. Saturday began with an early trip to the Pasco Farmers Market. We purchased fresh produce from local farmers; onions, celery, garlic, cabbage, Bing cherries and strawberries. We took the fruit and vegetables home and headed off to a picnic in Kennewick at Columbia Park. We enjoyed classic picnic fare next to the Columbia River; potato salad, baked beans, chicken, beef brisket and fruit salad. After an afternoon siesta, we wrapped up our day in Richland, with live music and wine at Thomas O’Neil Cellars.

Romagossa Blu playing at Thomas O'Neil Cellars (phone photo).

The band performing yesterday at the winery was Romagossa Blu. They were loose and enjoyed engaging the crowd. The sax player had fun wandering among the tables, blowing out some great sounds. The band’s drummer, Bob Williams, is also someone we know, but we did not know that he played in a band (great to see someone out of context). Thomas O’Neil Cellars wants their guests to have fun all summer long, so you’ll find live music at the winery on Friday and Saturday evenings (no cover). Check the winery Event page for a list of upcoming bands.

Early last month I wrote about my April visit to the newest (technically first) winery in Richland, Thomas O’Neil Cellars. I visited the winery on their grand opening April 15th. They worked hard to open on schedule, which they did. In my post, I mentioned that the red wines were still a bit bottle shocked, but that I expected them to start showing off after some time in the bottle. Guess what? I was correct in my early assessment of the Thomas O’Neil red wines – they are now drinking marvelously.

Glass of 2009 Fusion (2.0) (phone photo).

2009 Fusion
The winery quickly sold out of their first bottling of Thomas O’Neil 2009 Fusion. But on May 15th they bottled a new blend of 2009 Fusion (call it Fusion 2.0). The new bottling of Fusion is a delicious blend of Syrah, Petite Syrah and Grenache. If you have kept up with this blog, then you may realize that I am a fan of Syrah and Grenache; it made me happy to see this particular blend. Naturally, my first glass of wine last night was of the 2009 Fusion (release 2.0).

Oh my, a little time in the bottle can do wonderful things to wine; I truly enjoyed the Fusion 2.0, it's rich, elegant and flavorful, a true treat in the glass. I enjoyed my glass of Fusion along with their Tuscan chicken and Portobello flat-bread. They are making the most of the kitchen with their tasty menu.
2009 Fahrenheit 100 Merlot (phone photo).
2009 Merlot
Next on the menu, my wife and I enjoyed glasses of the 2009 Fahrenheit 100 Merlot. While the Thomas O’Neil label is for their premium signature wines, the Fahrenheit label is for their retail bottles of wine. Just because this is a retail bottle, don’t be surprised by the quality of the Fahrenheit Merlot. It’s a robust wine, with broad shoulders, and a great finish. We loved the Fahrenheit Merlot; it’s quite the contrast to the Fusion, two completely different styles of wine.

Tom O’Neil has crafted some outstanding wines – it was a pleasure to re-visit the winery and his wines. We enjoyed experiencing the talent of this versatile winemaker. Kudos. 

The band was hot, the wine stunning, the food appetizing, the weather perfect and the service impeccable. I’d like to congratulate Thomas and Tricia O’Neil for providing us a great evening; the service and conduct of your staff, exceptional, thank you. Put Thomas O’Neil Cellars on your must visit list. Recommended.

The 2009 Merlot is $20 at the winery, the 2009 Fusion (Release 2.0) is $30 at the winery. I’ll have detailed reviews of both wines soon.

Thomas O'Neil Cellars as seen from Highway 240.

Thomas O'Neil Cellars 2323 Henderson Lp. Richland, WA 99354
(509) 378-9783 Check out their Events Page for a list of events and live music at the winery.
http://www.thomasoneilcellars.com

Cheers!

*Related post: Thomas O'Neil Cellars - Brand Spanking New