Revisiting Washington

Woodinville

Tasted June 7, 2019 by MC2 Wines with 104 views

Introduction

A day trip to Woodinville six years ago was our first introduction to Washington wine. Since then we've expanded quite a bit outside of just US based wines and across a number of different styles, and so I was interested to see where I'd be at with these wines.

Flight 1 - Mark Ryan (10 notes)

Lovely visit with Billy who was kind enough to open the tasting room a bit early. Great conversation and service. Had heard that MR was struggling a bit with creating a nice experience and they seem to ahve nipped that one completely in the bud. We'd visited back in 2013 and I remember really liking the wines. It's very much the more intense, more fruit forward style which I can do from time to time. I do prefer a bit more acidity though.

White
2018 Mark Ryan Viognier Yakima Valley USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Nice start to the day. It's always nice to ease into a day and esp around 10 am having a white as the first wine isn't a bad thing. It's nice and tart. Get some lemon peel. A bit lighter in body than some Viognier but it's still got a decent roundness to it. Nice.
Red
2017 Mark Ryan Syrah Wild Eyed Red Mountain USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
Probably my favorite of all of the MR reds but that could be because I'm partial to Syrah and most of the others were Bordeaux blends. There is maybe a hint of the olive and brine notes, but I find this to be much more fruit dominant. Lots of black currants and other darker style fruits. It's riper than what I might normally drink, but not as ripe as some of the others. Could use a hint more acidity to balance it. I'd still be interested to see it with some age and see if that mutes some of it down just a touch more.
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Red
2017 Mark Ryan The Dissident USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
65% CS plus a blend of CF, Merlot, PV. This is one of their more popular bottles of wine from the winery. At a more accessible price point than some others. It's much fruitier than the Syrah right before it. I'd say the fruit was almost skewing a touch towards the stewed style. A bit too much for me. Interesting though to try it next to the 2014 which seemed to have integrated and calmed down a bit more. Don't know enough about Washington wine to know if the difference was major differences in vintage, but suspect there is also benefit for giving this a bit of time in bottle.
Red
2014 Mark Ryan The Dissident USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
75% CS plus a blend of CF, Merlot, and PV. Drank next to the younger brother (2017) and I really liked what a few years did for this. It's much more integrated. A bit less intense in the fruit (although still a fruit forward wine). Lots of darker notes. It's still not quite the Syrah to me, but could see it being a nice wine with a broader group of folks where you need a wine that's at a more reasonable price point.
Red
2016 Mark Ryan Long Haul USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
80% Merlot and then some other Bordeaux varietals. This is very much what you think when you think of merlot - all plushy and velvet in nature. Darker red fruits. I'd like a hint of acid to create a bit more balance. It's much more mouth coating. There's something just a touch odd at the end which I couldn't quite figure out at first, but I think it's just a tail end of heat. Wonder if some of that would soften down with some more time.
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Red
2016 Mark Ryan Cabernet Sauvignon Dead Horse USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
The Cab dominated wine. It's interesting because this is often the wine I think of for MR as the 'flagship' and yet there are a few wines which are higher end in the tasting room. This is again quite intense and again I'd like a bit more acidity than it has. It's got a nice cranberry, spice, dust combination to it. I'm still more partial to the Syrah, but this was nice in that kindof fun fruity way.
Red
2014 Mark Ryan Cabernet Sauvignon Dead Horse USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
Again it feels like the wine that has had a few more years is in a much better spot (although not sure that it wasn't that 14 was just a more moderate year in general). This was tasted next to the big brother 2016. It's a bit more muted. Bit more herbal. Still lots of black fruits. Again the spice. It's a tasty wine but in that fun and fruity way.
Red
2016 Mark Ryan Cabernet Sauvignon Lonely Heart USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
This was a clear step up from the Dead Horse that we had before. More herbal, darker blackberry and maybe a touch of blueberry as well. There's this heat on most of these wines that seems to come out kindof 2/3rds of the way through the wine and detracts a bit. Would hope that would blow off with some more time.
Red
2016 Mark Ryan Syrah Lost Soul Red Willow Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
This was again the very intense style and I'd like to think that with some time it will calm down into itself a bit. There's a lot of the more intense fruit going. Some dust as well. I don't get as much of the more savory syrah notes here. It is a similar wine though to the Wild Eyed with just an extra year. Got a bottle to see how it goes.
Rosé
2018 Mark Ryan Board Track Racer "The Vincent" USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
More of the darker fruit style rose. Tangy. Some of that sweet tart style. Fruity. Fairly fresh. A bit more body to the style than I usually go for, but it does it fairly well.

Flight 2 - Delille (2 notes)

Got a chance to do a preview of the new facility. Still in progress of getting built, but can tell it will be quite special. Unfortunately didn't make it to the main tasting room to get to try things given how busy the day was, but both the rose and D2 were drinking quite well.

Rosé
2018 DeLille Cellars Rosé USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
More my style for rose. Its light and gentle and crisp and very fresh. A bit more herbal. I get a lot more orange fruit here - orange peel and all of that. Very fresh though.
Red
2017 DeLille Cellars D2 USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Super baby - this taste came from the tank. Bottling happening soon. This was really nice though. Surprised me a bit how much I liked it. It's more balanced than I would have expected. Good fruit, but good freshness here too. Lots of blackberry and darker notes.

Flight 3 - Adams Bench (5 notes)

Strong recommendation from a friend and I can see what he meant. Another younger producer but with access to some very interesting wines and imagine they will continue to grow into themselves.

Red
2015 Adams Bench Reckoning USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
This is a very soft and kindof velvety style of wine. Darker fruits, some pine notes, a bit of herbal and violets. It's got a hint of the pretty style which I always like (I think I get that from more floral notes). Good tannins.
Red
2014 Adams Bench Cabernet Sauvignon "the V" USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
80% CS, 13% Merlot, 7% CF. Really lovely. Lots more flower petals. A bunch of red fruits, flower petals. Very pretty and fresh. It's well structured and approachable now, but I think would benefit a lot from some more age.
Red
2015 Adams Bench Cabernet Sauvignon Mays Discovery USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills
80% cab, 20% merlot. More spring in style. Still lots of fruit. Much more tannin than some of the other wines. Really coats the mouth. Suspect it will be lovely with some more time.
Red
2014 Adams Bench Cabernet Sauvignon Stillwater Creek Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
77% CS, 23% Merlot. Very fresh again. Some more blackberry liqueur notes, but there's some acidity here which works. Stronger tannins. Needs time.
Red
2016 Adams Bench Sangiovese URSULA Red Willow Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Fruity and stemmy in nature. It's lower acid than some of the other wines. More intense than some of the other wines. Kindof fun but also kindof overdone. Not sure where I came out between those two.

Flight 4 - Alexandria Nicole (5 notes)

First time with this producer and definitely an interesting visit. Really appreciated the way they are branching out with different varietals. My favorite was actually the Lemberger which isn't a grape that I've had much experience with. Interesting to try.

Red
2015 Alexandria Nicole Tempranillo Big Shot Destiny Ridge Vineyards USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills
Starts off a touch more muted. It's darker fruits. More intense. Lower acid. A hint on the ripe side, but not quite as ripe as some other areas. Missing some of the spice that I normally associate with this varietal. There's a bit more of wood flavor to it.
Red
2016 Alexandria Nicole Grenache Members Only Destiny Ridge Vineyards USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills
Part of the AN wine club. There's always a mixing party where a GSM is created by different members and then the favorite is voted on and goes into the final blend. This was 56% Grenache, 29% Syrah, and 15% Mouvedre. High on the Mouvedre this year. Very fruit forward and more intense. It was decanted and rebottled, but could use some time I think to come together. Bit more alcohol. Would like to see some more integration.
Red
2014 Alexandria Nicole Lemberger Destiny Ridge Vineyards USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills
My favorite of the tasting and one of my favorites of the day. I like trying some new wines and appreciate seeing something a bit different. This was fresher in style than some of the others. A bit minty. Some darker fruits. Very interesting and different wine. I appreciated that.
Red
2015 Alexandria Nicole Petit Verdot Little Big Man Destiny Ridge Vineyards USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills
Many of the Woodinville wineries referenced their 100% PVs but this was the only one that I got to try this day. It's black and darker and more intense. Some spice. Some tannin. A bit of a quicker finish. Definitely a different style but on the heels of the Lemberger I'd say a bit less different than I would have thought. Interesting to try. Not as fun for me as the Lemberger.
Red
2016 Alexandria Nicole Syrah Jet Black Destiny Ridge Vineyards USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills
Interesting wine and at a pretty nice price point. It was less fruit than many of the others. Still a touch less acid than I'd have liked. But overall not bad and another one I'd keep an eye out for in the right instance.

Flight 5 - J. Bookwalter (5 notes)

Another recommendation from a friend. Surprised me a bit that I found myself enjoying some of the 'mid-range' wines (the beg of the Reserve tasting). The higher end ones were a bit intense for my tastes.

Red
2016 J. Bookwalter Cabernet Franc Suspense Conner-Lee Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Maybe one of my favorites of the tasting. It's very much in the ripe format and yet it somehow keeps some of that bell pepper and green notes. It's got some great black fruits as well. Young but drinking well now and suspect it would get better.
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Red
2016 J. Bookwalter Conflict Conner-Lee Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Nice wine. A touch less ripe than some of the other wines and that seems to make it a bit more interesting. It's fresher in nature. Bit more acid. Still good fruit.
Red
2016 J. Bookwalter Cabernet Sauvignon Protagonist USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
This was very different than the conflict we had right before. Much more alcohol. Much more of the stereotypical Washington style. Darker fruits. Almost liquor like. Not really my style. Just a bit too intense.
Red
2015 J. Bookwalter Cabernet Sauvignon Volume Five Dionysus Vineyards USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Another jump to up in the intensity scale. This is again on the overdone side of things. Lots of fruit. Lots of ripe. Lower acid. Just too much for me.
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Red
2015 J. Bookwalter Chapter 8 USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
This is a bit better than the volume but still on the more intense side. It's alcoholic. Kindof ripe.

Flight 6 - Two Vintners (7 notes)

My favorite of the day and a really nice surprise for me. Was very interesting to see that you can indeed take some of the more 'old world' style and apply it to the Washington grapes and the output was really compelling. Very nice.

White
2018 Two Vintners Grenache Blanc Boushey Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Had first tried this a few years ago and it continues to be a nice wine. Very fresh. Really nice acidity which helped a bit. On the easier drinking side. Some hints of white flower and white fruit.
Red
2017 Two Vintners Grenache Claire Boushey Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
This surprised me. All boushey vineyard fruit. It's much more of the lighter style of grenache. Nice acidity. Nice and fresh. A touch of pretty. It's not quite the Rayas level of this, but it's in that vein and I appreciated it.
Red
2016 Two Vintners Grenache USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Very much more like the Washington style of Grenache compared to the Claire. It's darker red fruits. More intense. Still well balanced and good for what it is, but I preferred the Claire.
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Red
2016 Two Vintners Syrah Some Days Are Diamonds USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills
Classic and fresh style of Syrah. It's more fruit style but with a good acidity and structure. A hint of the savory side as well. Some herbal. Well done. This and it's sister wine (the Stones) were two of my favorites of the day.
Red
2016 Two Vintners Syrah Some Days are Stones USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Drank next to its brother the Diamonds. This one is much more focused on the savory side of things. Lots of olive and brine and maybe a bit of the iron and blood side as well. Still has fruits, just not as predominant. Nice acidity again. Drinking very well.
Red
2015 Two Vintners Merlot USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Beautiful and bright. Still more of a mouthful and some velvet going. A touch of alcohol as well, but I think it would blow off. The wine feels reasonably balanced. Pretty.
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Red
2016 Two Vintners Zinfandel Stonetree Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Wahluke Slope
Very fruity and intense. Perhaps my least favorite of the group, but I think it might also have been that this grape likes to be on the more fruit forward side.

Flight 7 - Avennia (8 notes)

Heard a lot about this project throughout the day. Newer winery, but with access to a lot of the better vineyards given the parties involved. I think it was good, but after the more subtle style of Two Vintners this came across as a bit more intense.

White
2017 Avennia Sauvignon Blanc Oliane USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
Interesting white wine. It's a bit less ripe in style. Slightly green. Not overdone. Feels balanced. Drinks well.
White
2017 Avennia La Perle Rhone White USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
One of my favorites of the tasting. It's lighter in style than sometimes these rhone whites can be which I appreciate. Very fresh in style. Some lime. Easy drinking.
Rosé
2018 Avennia L'Egerie USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Nice and light and interesting. And some more red fruits. More ripe but not overdone. Very drinkable. Light and interesting.
Red
2016 Avennia Syrah Le Corbeau Discovery Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills
Fresh and slightly herbal in style. There's a hint of more heat here which surprised me but just really shows up on the finish. Detracts a touch from the wine, but wonder if I'd given it some time it would do better.
Red
2016 Avennia Syrah Arnaut Boushey Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
This starts off really well done and well structured. More old school in nature. Again though like 2/3rds of the way in there's this kindof odd flavor which I think might have been a bit of alc again. Again would love to give it a bit more time to see what happens since there's a lot to like about most of the stuffing.
Red
2016 Avennia Justine USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Very ripe fruit, all red. Reminds me a lot of a CdP-style. More intense. Not quite my favorite.
Red
2016 Avennia Cabernet Franc Champoux Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills
This is ripe and intense at first glance. Lots of red and black fruits. And yet there's this hint of green pepper and that seems to help balance it out a bit more.
Red
2016 Avennia Sestina USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Last wine of the afternoon tasting and at this point it was a lot. It's all intense and fruit. Very young.

Closing

Clear favorite of the day was Two Vintners. I had traditionally just known them for their whites, but should have paid more attention to the reds which were all quite well done. All of the wines certainly in the more intense format, but some of those are quite well done in that style. Also really enjoyed Delille. Wish I had made it to the main tasting room, but only so much wine that can be had during the day. Had a lovely lunch at Barking Frog. Definitely recommend the mac and cheese.

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