Tag Archive: Wine

Walla Walla Washington

Earlier this month, I took a take a trip to Walla Walla Washington to visit family. I was able to, (they insisted on it) take a good amount of the few days I was there to visit multiple wineries.

It’s amazing to me, how much Walla Walla has changed since I was a child. Back then, there were two or three restaurants that weren’t chains, that I can personally remember. Now, there are dozens of restaurants of all varieties

Over the course of two days, I tasted my way through the following wineries:

College Cellars, of the Enology and Viticulture Center

Lagana – run by a graduate of the Enology & Viticulture Center

Lodmell Cellars

Sui Lei Winery

Goose Ridge Cellars




And one or two more that I tasted through, without taking notes. I just wanted to enjoy their wines.

It was a real pleasure to meet so many wonderful people, of all ages, who were so in love with wine. It was a rare pleasure for me, since it’s so rare, out here in Montana, that I get to talk about wine with people who know about it. Like any passion, it has it’s own language.

Over the next few days, I’ll be writing about my experiences with those wineries.


Prdct_PnNr_2010This is one of Oregon’s brilliant Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley. It was also one of the first pinot noirs that I enjoyed thoroughly. This wine showed as a clean, dark cranberry purple hue in the glass. It entertained husky strawberries, baking cherries, and thick jam preserves that are only minimally sweetened. It was full of sun warmed berries, rich velvet over a welcoming supple body, a mouthwatering balance of tart and sweet. This affair of hypnotic velvet concludes with a mellow, relaxed finish, the drop of a gloved hand, brushing a bannister.

The Van Duzer label is a beautifully flirty flapper wine goddess, with lovely coloring. It’s refreshing to see a label that isn’t irreverent or stuffy once in awhile, with the wine behind it to back it up. The Van Duzer Winery practices sustainable growing practices, and has been recognized by LIVE (Low Impact Viticulture and Eneology) and is Salmon Safe.

11-Pinos11 Pinos 2010 is a beautiful experience from the winery called Vega Tolosa, made from a little known grape variety called Bobal. 11 Pinos is 100% Bobal, from vines that are at least 80 years old from the DO of Manchuela in Spain.

This dark decadence is full of black currant, with instant cherry cordial, savory herbs, mouthwatering red fruit, and mellow cranberries. This wine is tight at first, but a juicy knock out. 11 Pinos is a tango between the acid and tannin, with tart plum flavors. It’s balanced by being a chilled fall morning just before the harvest celebration, a walk along the rows of fruit as the cool, fresh scents rise to greet the nose.

This was one of the first wine’s that I have ever experienced the elusive concept of “terroir.” It had a quality like nothing I can ever remember finding in wine, Spanish or otherwise, and I can only place it as being the terroir of the place.

213901This Riesling from down under presents as pale hay, and brightly golden in the glass. It comes from the Margaret River area in Australia. It’s full of golden delicious and pink lady apple flavors, lemon zest, pear skin, and edges of green minerality. While this is an un-oaked chardonnay, it still has a mildly buttery quality that is eery.

The Leeuwin Estate Riesling is supposedly typical of Australian Rieslings in that it isn’t what we would expect when we hear “Riesling.” Most people tend to think of Rieslings as presenting as “Sweeter” or more “fruit forward” than most wines. This particular Riesling presents like a blend of semmilon, and sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. Feel free to disagree, but that’s what comes to my mind. It’s dry, more open, less fruit forward, and a nifty change of pace.

This Riesling is a golden harlequin behind a mask, with sardonic laughter that only a misplaced Germanic descendant can spell.