Hommage a DryCab - Washington Wines release

Various spots in Walla Walla

Tasted May 3, 2018 - May 5, 2018 by MC2 Wines with 463 views

Introduction

Finally made our way to Walla Walla to see about this Washington Wine scene and celebrate the release of the 'Hommage a DryCab' barrel project.

Needless to say fun was had, friends were made, and a bit of wine was drunk.

Flight 1 - Breakfast bubbles @ Vino Volo (7 notes)

It's not often I can say that we've started before 9 am, but given the time difference it didn't feel all so crazy to stop by the Vino Volo before our flight out to WW.

Red
2014 Manu Propria Ex Animo Red Willow Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Dark and intense and perhaps not really a breakfast wine, but we're on vacation. Nice dry style with still a very prevalent fruit in that almost sour red fruit style. It's got a touch of pepper. The Vino Volo form says brooding and I like that description for it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
N.V. Domaines de Vinsmoselle Regioun de Regioun Cuvée Brut Crémant de Luxembourg Luxembourg, Moselle, Crémant de Luxembourg
My first time with a wine from Luxembourg and I am enjoying it. It's very light. A touch floral, a touch of almost sweetness (like a white rock candy) and a nice acidity at the end. Not crazy intense or complex, but easy to drink and fun. I'd have again.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
N.V. Ca di Raio Prosecco L'amante Italy, Veneto, Prosecco
From the Vino Volo in the Seattle airport. This is really nice and light and fresh and a touch floral and prob a bit of apple which I don't think of with prosecco. It's a nice version of the wine and goes quite well with a truffle mac and cheese.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
N.V. Boizel Champagne Brut Réserve France, Champagne
From the Vino Volo in Seattle. Can tell that Champagne is always a level up. Much more complex and different. A bit fresh as well. There's like a hint of some herbal notes on the back end. Tasty.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Involuntary Commitment USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Very light, easy, hints of cherry and maybe some ripe raspberry. Definitely made to be a daily drinker, but works for that. A wine that can stand on it's own without food as well. From the Vino Volo in Seattle.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 Cadence Camerata Cara Mia Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
Interesting. A very dry characteristic. Can tell that this was from a cold vintage. It's a more muted flavor, but feels decently integrated. And enjoyable. I would drink again.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Fall Line Winery "Exhibition" USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
From the Vino Volo in Seattle. Maybe my least favorite of the flight. I think I am reacting to the alcohol here which is a bit too much compared to the others. It's almost the opposite coming of a 2011 cadence which is more muted and restrained. This is more intense. Still ok in the acidity that helps balance, but a wine that maybe wants another year or two to calm down.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 2 - Long Shadows (6 notes)

Have always been intrigued by this place and their collaboration model. Esp love Randy Dunn and John Duval and so appreciate an opportunity to see what they do with wines that are not their standard ones. I would say the wines were alright, but perhaps a bit on the heavy side for us.

White
2016 Long Shadows Wineries Riesling Poet's Leap USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Tasted at the winery. Vines are from Horse Heaven Hills on the branches slopes which honestly look quite similar to Germany. More full bodied than I generally think of for Riesling but with a nice crispness to it. Just a hint of petrol. A touch of residual sweetness. There's a quick finish which I actually think works quite well for this wine and lightens up the overall impression.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Long Shadows Wineries Saggi USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
SuperTuscan blend from Long Shadows. Tasted at the winery. This was very fruit forward. Most red fruits. A touch alcoholic. It wasn't a wine that initially jumped out to me. Preferred some of the others in the tasting.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Long Shadows Wineries Merlot Pedestal USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
I thought this wine was still on the young side. A bit tight. Lots of red fruits, but missing some of the balance that I would expect from the wine. It's intense at the moment. Touch of tannin at the end. Had an older version of this a few weeks ago and for my taste I'd let this sit for another 10-15 years.
1 person found this helpful Comments (1)
Red
2015 Long Shadows Wineries Cabernet Sauvignon Feather USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Again a wine that is clearly much too young, but is made for more of the long haul. There's a dusty/drying tannin to this. Blackberry underneath. Touch of pepper. A wine that is more accessible than I think of for Randy Dunn normally, but still one that would benefit from time.
Red
2015 Long Shadows Wineries Pirouette USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Tasted at the winery. This just reminded me of velvet in a glass. Very smooth. Almost no tannin until the very end. Reminded me a bit of an unripe fig. Hint of heat from the alcohol. Majority Cab, but with a combination of the other Bordeaux varietals (merlot, petit verdot, etc.). Oddly no Cab Franc.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Long Shadows Wineries Syrah Sequel USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Tasted at the winery. Majority syrah (93%) with a bit of cab (7%). Black currant. Darker fruits. On the heavier side. Again a hint of alcohol. This is a big wine. I'd want to give it a number of years and see if perhaps time balances some of the pieces although I like the 'stuffing'.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 3 - Gramercy Cellars (9 notes)

This is clearly going to be one of my most favorite visits of the trip. The wine is just very well done and great for the price point. Also fun to chat with Nicole and a good education on WW in general.

Rosé
2017 Gramercy Cellars Rosé Olsen Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Tasted at the winery. I was super excited about this wine. It was one of my favorite roses from a few years ago and then suddenly seemed to be almost impossible to find in the New York market. This is really nice and fresh. Some nice minerals. Hints of strawberry. Lovely acidity. This would be perfect for sipping on a hot afternoon on the terrace.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Gramercy Cellars Mourvedre L'idiot du Village USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Tasted at the winery. 60% mouvedre. Stem inclusion. Lots of black fruit here with this interesting almost like sapling branch sense to it. Very pretty though with some floral. Get a bit of violets. Quite enjoyable.
Red
2014 Gramercy Cellars Syrah Columbia Valley USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Tasted at the winery. Somehow don't have many notes on this one other than I thought it was quite impressive for the price point. Nice balance to it.
Red
2014 Gramercy Cellars Syrah "Lagniappe" USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Tasted at the winery. Really enjoyable. It's mostly dominated by the floral characteristics which I always think lends wine a certain elegance. Good fruit, but also an herbal quality. Very well done. Nicole at the winery compared it to a ballerina for Syrah and I can see that. Quite lovely.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Gramercy Cellars Syrah Forgotten Hills Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Wonderful wine. It's got all those northern rhone characteristics that I just love. Some almost tin that you find in blood when you bite your cheek, a hint of salt. almost meaty. Black fruit behind all of that. It's very tasty.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Tasted at the winery. Fairly approachable even at the young age. I get some dragonfruit and maybe a touch of plum (like the very ripe red ones). Has some pepper and spice. Enjoyable.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Gramercy Cellars Tempranillo Inigo Montoya USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
The second to last vintage of this wine since tempranillo is a tough grape to grow in Washington given the climate and there were issues over the last few years. The pepper really dominates here and you almost have to look behind the curtain to see much else. When I did it was mostly sweeter fruit. Good wine, but I like the Syrahs better.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Franc USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Tasted at the winery. Yum yum yum. This is a wine that makes you want to sign up for the club so you get access. Black fruits and peppers and herbal and a touch toasty but also this great freshness to everything.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Gramercy Cellars Merlot MTA Loess Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Tasted at the winery. Very nice and well done. Bright red fruits with a nice balance to it all. Again a bit of the elegance to the wine which I really appreciate. Very pretty.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 4 - Maison Bleue | Pambrun (7 notes)

Went for Maison Bleue and learned about Pambrun while we were there (Jon's bordeaux varietal project). Definitely a style to these wines. Reminds me a bit of downy dryer sheets on the nose.

White
2014 Domaine J. Meuret Chardonnay Clos Pierre White Salmon Vineyard USA, Oregon/Washington, Columbia Gorge
Tasted at the tasting room in WW. I'm not a chardonnay person so really not the right person to be describing this. It's stainless steel fermentation, but the reality is the varietal shines through that and just wasn't my thing.
Red
2014 Maison Bleue Grenache Bourgeois USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Tasted at the tasting room in WW. The nose is the dryer sheet floral format that I noticed as a theme across many of the wines. One of my first time with Grenache from the rocks. It's very floral in general. Not really in a bad way. We ended up picking up a few bottles. Touch more metallic as well than normal Grenache.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Maison Bleue Coureur des Bois USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Tasted at the tasting room at the winery. This was a bit different than some of the others. Starts out very nice, but somehow the aftertaste didn't quite work for me. I preferred the Grenache and Syrah. There was a touch of astringent cherry bubble gum at the end. Nice and easy and I appreciated the earlier part where it wasn't an overdone wine and something that spoke more for itself.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Maison Bleue Syrah Voyageur USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Tasted at the tasting room in WW. A bit different than some of the wines from the rocks. It's got the meat and brine and almost a beef jerky style to it. There's some definite spice and salt to it. Enjoyable.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Pambrun Merlot USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Tasted at the tasting room in WW. Very floral and almost cotton candy on the nose. I get a bit of hand soap to it, but not in the sense that it's soapy or offputting. More just that very intense floral note which here translates from nose to palate.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Pambrun Chrysologue USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Tasted at the tasting room in WW. This was a bit more integrated than the merlot although still some of the cotton candy and extra floral nature. I think it still needs some more time. Came across as a bit young.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Pambrun Cabernet Sauvignon USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Tasted at the tasting room in WW. Still the same floral nose as the other wines. I really appreciated the way the tannins shone through a bit more on this one. A bit of sour red fruits. Very dry. With the floral bouquet.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 5 - Dinner @ Whitehouse Crawford (18 notes)

Sometimes you just do these dinners and they are an embarrassment of riches where every wine is really worthy of WOTN. That was this dinner. Excellent.

Unfortunately I seem to have misplaced the menu that I grabbed from the evening so don't have a list of all of the courses. As someone who grabbed a very late lunch that day and ended up eating a bit less of the food, I can safely say the wines were lovely all on their own.

White - Sparkling
1996 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon France, Champagne
Really firing on all cylinders tonight. This wine was fresh and young and shows what Dom can be with a bit more age. Super bright. Almost a hint of sweetness. Honeycomb. A bit less brioche than I sometimes associate with the style and a bit more lightness and freshness. Very nice.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
N.V. Krug Champagne Brut Rosé France, Champagne
Another very good experience with this wine. It's got this lovely blend of red fruits and more herbal nature. Maybe even a touch of mint. Definitely strawberry. More expressive. To be fair I preferred the '96 Dom in the line-up, but this was quite good as well.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1990 Château d'Yquem France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
I've never had a D'Yquem I didn't like. Like many of these wines there's a haunting character to it. The finish lasts forever and is so easy to recall than writing the note a day later I still feel like it's so clear what this tasted like. A wine that starts off as a bit more of a mouthful than some, but ends so light on its feet you wonder how that could happen. And it's constantly changing and shifting. Really delicious.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sweet/Dessert
1975 Château Doisy-Daëne France, Bordeaux, Sauternais, Sauternes
Really nice wine that was unfairly paired next to D'Yquem which always seems to be in a different league of wine. Surprisingly more young than I would have expected. Very fresh. Orange blossoms. The sweetness did a nice job on cutting a touch of the hot that existed in the foie. Well done.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2003 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Still a total baby. Not sure if there was any decanting that happened with this, but it certainly felt like it started a bit tighter. Still not quite the same structure that you see on some of the hommages that usually stands out to me. Dark red fruits. Black pepper. A bit of tannin. A wine that needs some more years, but really benefited from some time in the glass. Fun to also try next to the '99.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2006 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Reserve France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Different than ow it has sometimes been in the past. It's got the tea leaves and the cherry, but somehow missing the ethereal style that I usually love with this wine. Heavier. Still quite young. Will hold on remaining bottles for much more time.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Domaine la Barroche Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Pure France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Interesting to revisit a few years later. Mostly I get the spice cabinet here. Perhaps cinnamon dominating. There's some sour red currant. And generally red fruits. Touch of alcohol just at the end.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1990 Les Cailloux (Lucien et André Brunel) Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Centenaire France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Some balsamic notes to this wine. Dried fruit. A bit of potpourri perhaps. Appreciated the age that came here.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1999 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape Hommage à Jacques Perrin France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
This wine needs just a lot more time to really be what it should be. We decanted for prob 4 hours and that was prob a good start. Perhaps of all of the wines this night it was the one that evolved most in the glass. In the beginning it was just young and tight and not quite ready. After a few hours sitting out it was black fruits and spice and herbs and again that structure that makes me appreciate this wine so much. Tasty, but will hold on the other bottles.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
1999 Henri Bonneau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réserve des Célestins France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
At the beginning of the night this was my favorite wine. It benefited from a maybe 4 hour decant before we rebottled and brought to restaurant and poured for third course. Very nice and fresh and young tasting, but with a good integration. Lots of floral notes. A 'pretty' wine that came together quite well.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2000 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Mouline France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
My favorite of the three (drank alongside its brothers the 2000 La Turque and La Landonne) although also the one that was most open for business at the beginning and had the least evolution in the glass. There's an elegance to this wine that comes through with the acid and the floral and the way that the meat and brine and fruit and flowers all work together. Really enjoyable. I think still going strong although was in a good drinking spot as well.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2000 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Turque France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
Drank next to its siblings the La Mouline and La Landonne (same year). A bit more muted than the La Mouline which was happy and open for business. A touch of alcohol in there. Some lavender. Darker fruits. Really just not ready to drink. Needs many more years.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2000 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Landonne France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
The youngest tasting and least accessible of its siblings (drank next to La Mouline and La Turque of same vintage). Tannins very prevalent. Very dark fruit. It's got many years left and the best years are ahead of it.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1998 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Landonne France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
Have just loved all of the '98 LaLa's that I've had and this one was no different. They are wines that are really build for the years though and the good years all ahead. Tannins not really resolved at this point and the extended new oak aging comes through. Black fruits. There's some great stuffing here and I kept revisiting but even at the end of the night (after 6+ hours open) still came across as quite young.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1996 E. Guigal Côte-Rôtie La Turque France, Rhône, Northern Rhône, Côte-Rôtie
In a great spot at the moment (still). It's got that lovely mineral and saline and meat flavors that I associate with Cote Rotie. Fresh and young taskting. Violets. It's growing into itself, but really doing very nicely.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1990 Penfolds Grange Australia, South Australia
Prob my WOTN which is saying something because this was not a shoddy line-up by any means. Very tight. Pretty. Lavender. Black fruits. Tannins very prevalent. Too young for sure, but somehow still the beauty of what this can be was really shining through. For some folks at the table one of their first Grange interactions and I think most were surprised at how well this really stood up. Great wine.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red - Fortified
1970 Fonseca Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
Clove and red fruits and nice and tasty. Tasted again and I almost get the sense of a powdered sugar donut. Surprising. But good.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red - Fortified
1963 Graham Porto Vintage Portugal, Douro, Porto
Different than the '70 Fonseca. This was more smooth and caramel and a hint of alcohol but it blew off quickly. Very tasty.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 6 - Rotie Cellars tasting (6 notes)

A few years ago we had our first Rotie as part of the Expose Washington project and I remember thinking it was pretty good. Last year we got one of these from our Secret Santa and so it def needed to be on the list for the first visit to WW. Did not disappoint. Coming off a bit night the night before so I found myself perhaps a bit more drawn to the white and rose, but across the board the wines are all nice. Proper has always been a favorite of ours so fun to see them bringing it into the fold.

White
2017 Rôtie Cellars Southern White USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Well this was just lovely. We had a big night the night before and so rolled into the Rotie tasting room and I was basically talking myself into wine and then they poured this and it was just lovely. 50% Viognier and then a mix of Marsanne and Roussane. Tropical fruit and lightness and a maybe a hint of sweetness but it is a dry wine. Really good.
Rosé
2017 Rôtie Cellars Mourvedre Rosé USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Went from the white to this and this was also very nice. Different style to some of the Mouvedre roses I've had in the past. On purpose they aim for a bit of effervescence. Light and crisp and fruity. It's a wine that's made for hot summers and patio drinking. Very tasty.
Red
2016 Rôtie Cellars Southern Blend USA, Washington
Mostly grenache but a GSM blend. The pepper here is pretty dominant. Lots of red fruits. More of the heavier style of Grenache. Tasty though I preferred the North version.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Rôtie Cellars Northern Blend USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
This was quite fun. From the rocks vineyard. It was almost a slightly muted version of that. You can get the meat and game quality and perhaps some slate and all, but it's pretty easy drinking. Well done.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Proper Wines Syrah USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
And the rocks has emerged as hoped. It's more of the 'easy drinking' version though. Lots of black raspberries as well. Some darker flavors. And of course the meat and game. They are looking at running a reserve of this that ages for a longer time in oak and would be interested to try. Nice wine.
Red
2015 Rôtie Cellars Swordfight USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Funny wine. Definite blend of sweet and smokey. Get the fruity nature from the Phinney vineyard Syrah and the Mouvedre. Felt like a wine that was made to go with BBQ. Some black pepper. A touch more intense than what I was looking for at the moment.

Flight 7 - DaMa (1 note)

Just did a quick poke in since we finished Rotie and had a few minutes before we were getting picked

Rosé
2017 DaMa Wines Cabernet Franc Rosé USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
While we were tasting at Rotie someone suggested that we check out the rose at this place. It is wonderful. Light and airy but also a bit spicy and herbal from the CF. Not sure exactly how they get that wonderful minerality, but it's excellent. I really enjoy Washington state rose.

Flight 8 - Reynvaan (7 notes)

JerryL at a Seattle offline prob 5 years ago recommended that we sign up for this list and so we did and have been on it ever since. Were lucky enough to meet Matt and Lauren down in Tampa a few years ago. This year though we saw the whole crew heading out to their facility on bottling day. I always forget how much I like the whites, but these were showing just very well. Also appreciate Matt's style of wine which has a certain elegance to it while still going for more of that meaty/briney form. Very well done.

White
2016 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Grenache Blanc USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
I know I like the whites from here and yet somehow I never seem to remember to order them when they come around. This was very nice. Fresh. More tropical fruit than I expected. A touch of herbal notes. Very lively. Very good.
White
2016 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Viognier In the Rocks USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Much fresher than I expect for a Viognier. There's a great acidity to this. Mostly a wine for co-fermentation but they made a little bit of this as well. There's the waxiness I associate with this grape, but not overdone. Honey. Orange blossom. Very nice.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah In the Hills USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
We've been buying this wine, but first time actually getting to try it and it is quite nice. I had no idea that you could get all of that meat and game from different soil type (this is mostly loamy, easy growing area). It's again very fresh and I love the way Matt gets the acidity into his wines. Very well balanced. Touch of blood. Smoke. Really well done.
Red
2015 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah In the Rocks USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Interesting to try this back to back with In the Hills given the wines are very similar with mainly the difference being driven by different soil types. Again you get the more gamey, Rocks sense. There's some slate in here. Some blueberry. Very fresh again. Well enjoyed.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 MTR Productions Syrah Memory Found USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
This is not a wine for the faint of heart. 2012 current release and the extra bottle age makes a difference. Lots of meat and smoke and then this background sweet black fruit note that is quite nice. Very glad we have these, but feels like they need to continue to lie down.
Red
2016 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah In the Rocks USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
From the bottom of the tank after bottling. First time we've ever done that. It is still very primary. As we understand will develop a bit more structure in the bottle before release (and prob quite a bit more before we'll actually drink ours). Can tell there's that metallic, blood note. Still a meaty syrah.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah The Contender USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Also a pull from the bottom of the container after bottling. We went bobbing for wine! Had this and the In the Rocks. I preferred this one a bit mostly for the uniqueness. The Marsanne adds a softness in character to the wine and a touch of a different herbal note. Very enjoyable although as with the In the Rocks still very primary.
3 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 9 - Goat Rocks (5 notes)

First time getting to try Chris and Barb's project and very kind of them to share. I think the Viognier and the Syrah were my favorites.

White
2017 Goat Rocks Winery Gewürztraminer Goat Rocks Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Naches Heights
Really nice of Chris to share some of his wine with us. Had this lovely slightly orange hue. It's a bit of white flowers. A touch of green (not in a bad way). Nice and easy drinking.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2017 Goat Rocks Winery Viognier Goat Rocks Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Naches Heights
Actually a blend of Viognier and Roussane. This is very fresh. Love the acidity. Some minerality to it. Some peach. Not really what I think of as Northern Rhone wines where I expect a heavier mouthful. I liked the style.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Goat Rocks Winery Pinot Noir Goat Rocks Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Naches Heights
Very nice of Chris and Barb to share the wine. This was a very dark red with those nice almost dusty fruits that are in a nice spot. Decent freshness. Well done.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Goat Rocks Winery Sangiovese USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Funny story where this was meant to be riesling and then turned out the grapes were really sangiovese. This was nice though. Very peppery. Some red fruits. Tasty.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Goat Rocks Winery Syrah Goat Rocks Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Naches Heights
Can tell why Syrah is king in Washington state. There's a nice depth to this wine. Good fruit. A touch of wood. Nice wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment

Flight 10 - Creative Impulse vertical @ Rasa (8 notes)

I love doing these verticals. Really helpful to get a feel for the years in a region when you go through a number of them and also interesting to see how the style of a wine stays the same and changes. The 2008 was a special one was were the 2010 and 2011. Found myself gravitating to some of the cooler vintages and then somehow also the 2015 which was hottest vintage on record. Appreciate the way Billo kept that wine in balance.

Red
2015 Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse DuBrul Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Part of a Creative Impulse vertical. This is what we started with. Nice fruit. Lots of boysenberry. Some pepper. Good tannins at the end. It's a very young wine, but liked what Billo did (esp considering one of the hottest summers on record). Picked up a few bottles.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse DuBrul Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
More herbal than the '15 that we had alongside (this was part of a full Creative Impulse vertical). A cleaner fruit profile. Almost get a cherry note to it which is interesting.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2013 Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse DuBrul Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Part of the full Creative Impulse vertical. This was the vintage where the heat came through the mose. Lots of blueberry. Bit more intense. Get a touch more alcohol than some of the other years.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse DuBrul Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Part of a Creative Impulse vertical. More herbal again. I actually get some mint here. Some leather and cigar. Nice red fruit. Very balanced. One of my favorites of the tasting.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2011 Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse DuBrul Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Part of the Creative Impulse vertical. A favorite of mine from the line-up. This was very fresh and pretty. Almost a bit more floral. Darker fruits. As mentioned in the earlier note it's young. Suspect will just get better with time.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse DuBrul Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Part of a Creative Impulse vertical. Of all of the wines this one might be built the most for age. There's a good tannic structure to it. Bright fruit. Get a bit of tea leaves. Bright fruits. Nicely done.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2009 Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse DuBrul Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Part of a Creative Impulse vertical. Lots of pepper and more of a stewed fruit character. Drank next to the 2008 which was just awesome so this got overshadowed a bit.
4 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2008 Rasa Vineyards Creative Impulse DuBrul Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Maybe my favorite of the Creative Impulse vertical. There's almost a candied quality to the fruit. It's got plenty of spice and pepper. Some floral. A pretty wine. Very enjoyable.
4 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 11 - Dinner @ the Marc (8 notes)

We all aimed to do a 3 course meal although split it a bit differently from couple to couple.

In honor of Brad, we opted for a Cali theme with a few bubbles and whites thrown in. While not listed here, there was also a 2007 Aubert Chardonnay from the Ritchie Vineyeard.

Overall a nice set of food and great company. For me the Abreu stood out, but I tend to really like that style. The Sloan was an interesting on though since it really did shift quite a bit through the night.

White - Sparkling
1996 Henriot Champagne Cuvée des Enchanteleurs Brut France, Champagne
First time with this wine. Always nice to start a meal with bubbles. This actually went quite well with an iceberg wedge salad. It's got a lot of nuttiness and some toast. Hint of oxidation which I like in my champagnes. Yummy.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2009 Domaine Marc Morey & Fils Chevalier-Montrachet France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru
From a teeny tiny pour because I am really not a chardonnay person and I wanted to leave the wine for folks who would appreciate it more. This was very well structured and clearly a pretty wine. For me, it's like looking at a piece of artwork done by a very talented artist that is just not in your style. You can recognize the talent and quality, but somehow doesn't speak to me.
Red
2004 Shafer Cabernet Sauvignon Hillside Select USA, California, Napa Valley, Stags Leap District
Had been left open for most of the day so it had some time to open up. It's definitely very young and still almost on the primary side. Lots of black plum. Very tasty.
Red
2005 Hundred Acre Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon Kayli Morgan USA, California, Napa Valley
Amazing the way Jayson is able to make his wines so intense and approachable from the start (and yet they also age quite well). This was very well balanced. Lots of fig and plum and a bit spicy. Nice wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2005 Sloan USA, California, Napa Valley
This probably evolved the most of all of the Cali cabs that we had this night. Perhaps because it was opened at the table. Lots of black fruits (mostly plum). There's also this spice that I can't quite put my finger on but maybe like a tamarind? It really works well with the fruit and gives it a bit of interest.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2007 Araujo Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Eisele Vineyard USA, California, Napa Valley
We brought this to the dinner and I was hopeful, but I still don't think I've had a 'wow' moment with these Eiseles. I always feel like they should be a bit better than they are. With a bunch of other cult wines on the table this was a bit overshadowed. I think my issue was the alcohol which was fairly prevalent here. Good structure otherwise. Perhaps with some more years it tames down?
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2007 Abreu Howell Mountain USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
Another wine we brought and one of my favorites of the night. We'd decanted for maybe an hour and a half, then rebottled and brought to restaurant. This was just well done (as most of Brad's wines are). It's more old world in nature than the others. A bit more of the savory notes as a result in addition to the fruit. Cigar and leather and all of that. True to the 2007 vintage there is more fruit than in some others. But overall just a very nice wine. Still on the young side so needs a bit decant if drinking now.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2010 Château Smith Haut Lafitte France, Bordeaux, Graves, Pessac-Léognan
On the heels of a big Cali tasting. This was quite nice. Still young and very fresh. It's got some black fruits and green notes and maybe a touch of rosemary. Still reasonably tannic. Very nice.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 12 - SJR Vineyard tour w/Steve Roberson (1 note)

This was a tour that was the essence of getting a sense of place. Very well done. Steve clearly drew from the broader picture of Washington State and Oregon down to Walla Walla down to the Rocks district that he helped get certified. I believe his thesis - that this is a place that can make world class wines.

Red
2015 Delmas Syrah SJR Vineyard USA, Oregon, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater
When ppl talk about wine's effect being partially about place and company and all of that I think this experience couldn't have been more in that sweet spot. Drank at the end of a tour of the SJR vineyard with Steve where he expressed his vision for the Rocks district and what they wanted to do with Delmas. Felt very connected to the place and the wine. This is not generally what I think of with rocks wine. The floral is perhaps the most prevalent. It is a bit more muted. Some mineral. Blueberry. Lavender. Hints of tea leaves. Very fresh. Still from young vines and young itself so lacking some of that complexity, but a very nice wine and a producer I look forward to following moving forward.
2 people found this helpful Comments (1)

Flight 13 - aMaurice Visit (5 notes)

Very nice of Jeff and Patty to invite us to visit one of their favorite spots on Saturday afternoon. Outside of town and up on a hill this was a lovely spot. And the Sparrow Viognier was really nice and stood out.

White
2017 ÀMaurice Cellars Viognier USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
This was a nice wine, but completely overshadowed by the one that came after it. There's a touch of green apple to it. Some honey. Acid. Good summer sipper, but just missing a bit more of the complexity that the Sparrow had (which mostly came from some extra herbal notes).
White
2017 ÀMaurice Cellars Viognier Sparrow USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Liked this one enough to buy some bottles. It's a very well done viognier. There's this almost green herbal note to it - perhaps dill? - which makes it more interesting than the standard summer sipping Viognier we had right before. Still a touch of the green apple and honey. Very fresh. Appreciate how much acidity they go for with this.
Red
2015 ÀMaurice Cellars Syrah Fred Estate USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Lots of plum and fig initially. Some pepper. Good tannins that come around at the end and help with the finish. Good wine.
Red
2013 ÀMaurice Cellars Night Owl USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Bordeaux blend with a definite lean towards Merlot (although with all of the major varietals captured in some amount). The red fruits dominate here. Red plum but also red cherry. Some pepper. Again that nice tannic finish.
Red
2014 ÀMaurice Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Reserve Owl & Crown USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
My favorite of the reds in the tasting. This was lots of darker fruit profile with an almost sweetness to it that was balanced by more of a graphite, chocolate structure. A bit more intense, but also a new release so suspect it could use a few years of bottle age. Interesting wine.

Flight 14 - DryCab Release party (17 notes)

The grand event. Of course I didn't capture at least half of the wines that were there including a Texas Tempranillo (I hear good things) and a LI Cabernet (no comment). Lots of interesting bottles and very kindof of everyone to share.

Red
1996 Andrew Will Merlot Klipsun Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
I was concerned on first pouring it. Came out very tight and really seemed like it was just off. There was a bit of unfortunate funkiness to it. Left it in the glass and got distracted by other wines and came back prob 10 mins later and it was a whole different wine. The fruit had opened up. The funk had blown off. The wine had that nice structure that you get with age where everything seems relatively in balance. To be fair if drinking blind prob would not have guessed this was 22 years old. Bits of sweet dark red fruit. Tasty.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Rasa Vineyards Grenache Primus Inter Pares Monette's Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Just a small taste as we arrived for our release party at the end of the official Rasa release party and got a touch of this. It's got a hint of cough syrup to it. Lighter bodied. Easy to drink.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Tero Estates Cabernet Sauvignon Windrow Vineyards Plateau Block USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Some friends had picked this up at a release party earlier in the day and were pouring it. It's fuller bodied wine, but generally an easy drinker. Not overly complex or different, but well put together.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2007 Abreu Howell Mountain USA, California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
On day 2 and I like it even better this day. We had a bit left over after dinner on Friday and brought to the event. The wine is more muted now which creates a touch more balance. No longer quite so fruit predominant. I think it's still fairly young. Will hold on our other bottles.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1989 Château Branaire (Duluc-Ducru) France, Bordeaux, Médoc, St. Julien
It seems I am growing up in my Bordeaux drinking. Last time I had this wine I felt like the new world ones def outshone it. This time I appreciated the difference in style. More library and cigar and wet forest floor here. Maybe right on the edge of being on the downturn (perhaps even over that edge), but still drinking nicely.
White - Sparkling
2007 Ayala Champagne Blanc de Blancs France, Champagne
In a weekend that was very red wine dominated it helped to get some bubbles thrown in here or there. On the nose this reminded me of hand soap and there was def that perfumy/floral sense to it. Somehow though also a buttered piece of toast. Perhaps with a rose jam. It was good.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1987 Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve USA, California, Napa Valley
Just goes to show that once upon a time even Beringer made good wine in the Valley. This was much fresher than you would have expected for 31 years. Leather and fruit and perhaps a touch quicker finish than you would like, but overall a nice wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2004 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
From a 3L. To be fair there was a minority of folks who thought this might be corked. I didn't get that at all, but my tolerance for brett is higher than average. To me it was lovely. That sweet, candied, cherry flavor that a good grenache can producer. Paired with a white pepper. Very fresh and young tasting. Went back to revisit and it was gaining some more structure with some time, but overall quite nice.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Devium French Creek Vineyard Red Wine USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
This was very intense coming on the heels of the Pegau. The fruit was almost stew-like. There were some nice tannins that helped a bit with the balance. But think this could use a few more years to figure itself out.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Rosé
2009 Antica Terra Pinot Noir Rosé Erratica USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
First time with an aged version of these wines and Maggie is quite right that it stands up. It's still very light and almost a bit ethereal in this mode. The cherries kindof dance across the tough. Lots of acidity which almost gives it a bit of effervescence. Enjoyable. Not going anywhere anytime soon.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Xenolith Vintners USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Really liked this wine. Bucked the new world trend of being fruit dominant. Here the first taste was like peppered asparagus (which is better than perhaps it sounds when I write it down). It's got a nice complexity and the flavors continue to shift. Suddenly more of a spice cabinet. Then black fruits. Great wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
1996 Pahlmeyer Proprietary Red USA, California, Napa Valley
From a magnum. To be fair I had a predisposition to this wine since we'd had the '96 Merlot last year and it had been so awesome. This did not disappoint. Prob my WOTN. There's something about adding some age to wine that seems to balance the different components quite a bit more. This was more in the secondary notes and yet still came across as quite lively and fresh. Excellent.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2007 Sine Qua Non Grenache Pictures USA, California
I'm always a sucker for the SQN wines. The way Manfred can make them almost over the top and then somehow create a touch of balance to them I find quite interesting. This is candied fruit and pepper and relatively intense and then somehow it breaks a bit and the acidity shines through some more. Tasty wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
1993 Schloss Schönborn Erbacher Marcobrunn Riesling Kabinett Germany, Rheingau
From a magnum which in true German style is a bit more pointed than normal. Very pretty. Some white flowers and this background hint of petrol but not overpowering. Sweetness comes through well without being overdone. If I was being very picky I would love just a touch more acidity to it, but overall a very enjoyable wine. And young for its age.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White - Sparkling
2005 Bollinger Champagne La Grande Année France, Champagne
Had with champagne biscuits from Paris which were a first for me. I was originally a touch skeptical, but actually it was a nice combination. The bubbles worked with the dry cookies (strawberry) and strawberry is a nice combination with champagne. Given there were the biscuits, didn't get a good taste of this on it's own, but suspect it's a wine that needs to lay down for longer (I like my champagne old enough it's slightly oxidized). This was very far from that.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 CT Barrel Project Syrah SJR Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Very interesting. This morning we'd had the Delmas which was much more in the minerals and floral world. Same vineyard, same grapes, but here you get the brine and olives and salinity. Slate. What I expect from the rocks vineyard and well done.
5 people found this helpful Comments (2)
Red
2016 CT Barrel Project Cabernet Sauvignon Hommage a' Drycab DuBrul Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
The right glass to finish the night since many of the folks there were there to pay tribute to Brad. Interesting to do this wine having done the Creative Impulse the day before. Starting to get a sense of the vineyards style. A bit more floral in nature. This one reminded me a touch of a downy dryer sheet. Young. Needs more time I think. But has some good pieces.
5 people found this helpful Comment

Closing

Many many many thanks to Scott, Chris, Billo, Pinto and all of the others who got involved in making this weekend happen. Many thanks to Lesley for joining us (was great to see her again). And very fun to see some old friends and meet some new ones. This was a weekend for the ages. Too many good wines to pick out a WOTW. I will say we learned quite a bit more about Washington/Oregon-Rocks wines and also about how the 5 am flight back to Seattle is evil and should be avoided at all costs. Some great food in there as well. We got to try Andrae's when the line was quite manageable. And the Gershburger. Looking forward to connecting with everyone again soon.

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