11 Wine Recommendations from 4 "Other" Washington Wineries

Four More Washington Wineries Crafting Excellent Wines.
My Taste Washington 2011 reviews are divided into three categories, Woodinville, Walla Walla and Other wineries. My tasting was a bit random, so “Other” is my catch all category. The following 11 recommended wines are listed alphabetical by the winery:

1. Laurelhurst Cellars
Greg Smallwood has been posting to my Facebook Group for two years. At the Grand Tasting, I made a point of visiting and tasting Laurelhurst Cellars. Laurelhurst Cellars is a Seattle winery located in the Georgetown district just South of the stadiums downtown. The winery was established in 2004 by Gabe Warner, Greg Smallwood and Dave Halbgewachs in the basement and garage of Gabe’s home in Laurelhurst. I’m recommending two of their wines.
  • 2008 Merlot - Fruit sources, Boushey Vineyard and Klipsun Vineyard.
  • 2007 Laurus Nobilis – An exceptional wine, outstanding.
Phone: 206-992-2875
Website: http://www.laurelhurstcellars.com/

2. Lost River Winery
I was unfamiliar with Lost River Winery before Taste Washington. The Lost River Winery is a boutique family winery started in 2002 in Mazama, Washington in the upper Methow Valley by a family of Bellingham transplants. Their tasting room is located in the Western-themed town of Winthrop on Highway 20 in the rain shadow of the North Cascade Mountains. 
  • 2007 Merlot – Columbia Valley, 92% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc.
Tasting room: Open Friday, Saturday and Monday year round from 11am -5 pm.
Website: http://www.lostriverwinery.com/

3. Northwest Totem Cellars
I’m not sure when I started following Mike Sharadin and his tweets about Northwest Totem Cellars, but I’m glad I did. Although he did give me one of his hats, that’s not the reason I’m recommending four of his wines. Northwest Totem Cellars is a small, family-owned winery producing hand-crafted wines. January 2008 was their inaugural red wine release, on the heels of their signature Late Harvest Viognier release. Contact the winery about availability of these wines – you can thank me later. 
  • 2007 Longhouse Syrah – My favorite Syrah of the event.
  • 2007 Potlatch.
  • 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon.
  • 2007 Late Harvest Viognier – Loved this wine, I was reluctant to taste it, but it was very refreshing, recommended.
Redmond Tasting room: Open Saturdays 12-4 pm.
Website: http://www.nwtotemcellars.com/

4. Willis Hall
I first met winemaker John Bell when I was pouring at the 2006 Sunshine and Wine event in Yakima, Washington. John impressed me five years ago, and he impressed again. Vintage 2003 was the inaugural vintage for Willis Hall. In April 2006 Seattle Magazine honored John by naming him Best New Winemaker in Washington. My four favorite Willis Hall wines:
  • 2004 Merlot- Great example of Washington Merlot.
  • 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon- ready to drink now.
  • 2005 Cabernet Franc, Charboneau single vineyard- my favorite of the four.
  • 2005 Syrah.
Willis Hall is located in Marysville, Washington
Phone: 360-653-1247
Website: http://www.willishall.com/

I'm almost finished with my comments on Taste Washington Seattle. I still have some shout-outs for friends and wineries to post. It was a pleasure to meet these winemakers and to sample their marvelous Washington wines. Thank you all.


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