My first trip to Walla Walla

Walla Walla, Washington

Tasted May 12, 2022 - May 14, 2022 by Eric with 321 views

Flight 1 - Woodward Canyon (6 notes)

We stopped on the way into town, classic, oaky, old school Walla Walla.

White
2020 Woodward Canyon Chardonnay USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Sort of "popcorn" creamy. Rich, hot palate. I like the aromatics and some nice slate. Not really my style overall but a well made wine.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
N.V. Woodward Canyon Red Table Wine USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
The so called "NV Pizza Wine", a psychotic blend of 43% Cabernet Franc, 15% Barbera, 12% Dolcetto, 8% Syrah, 6% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Mourvedre, 2% Chardonnay, and 2% Sauvignon Blanc. This is not a wine of distinction, but it is quite juicy, fun and fresh. A good wine for a BBQ.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Woodward Canyon Cabernet Franc Estate USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Green. Candied. Sweet. Sort of everything I have not liked about Walla Walla historically.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Woodward Canyon Merlot Estate Walla Walla Valley USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Meh. Spicy.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Woodward Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon Artist Series USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Here we go. Pretty classic. Oak, black fruit, some vegetal spice. Nice!
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Woodward Canyon Cabernet Sauvignon Old Vines USA, Washington
Serious Cab! Lots of oak but balanced with tons of fruit and structure. If If I hadn't tasted some older Old Vines wines over the years I might be worried, but I am confident this will turn into a beautiful wine that easily handles the oak.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 2 - L’Ecole Heritage Wine Bar (1 note)

We shared a bottle before dinner at the lovely wine bar off the lobby of the Marcus Whitman.

Red
2013 L'Ecole No. 41 Apogée Pepper Bridge Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 15% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Franc. Saturated, perfumed, pleasing, smooth, tart berry, black cherry with nice acidity.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 3 - Figgins (at Leonetti) (3 notes)

We started our day with a visit to the cave and cellar at Leonetti with Chris Figgins.

Rosé
2021 Toil Oregon Pinot Noir Rosé USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
Sulphur. Mineral. Pretty wound up right now.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Figgins Estate Red Wine USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Mmmmm, saturated purple, perfumed, nice structure, really fresh acidity, silky but lingering tannins.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2015 Leonetti Cellar Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Mmmm, juicy, raspberry, floral, racy, spicy, candied red fruit. Very Walla Walla, very Leonetti but so much more delicate than than the wines from 20 years ago. Nice!
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 4 - Rôtie Cellars (7 notes)

I have always enjoyed these wines, so it was lovely to visit and taste through a nice portion of the lineup.

Rosé
2021 Rôtie Cellars Rosé USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
85% Syrah and 15% Mourvedre. Juicy, really nice rosé, clean, tangy. A bit of bubble-gum but finishes out salty.
2 people found this helpful Comment
White
2021 Rôtie Cellars Southern White USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
70% Viognier, 20% Marsanne, 10% Roussanne. Floral, exotic, very Viognier in character. Really nice white! They use the Marsanne and Roussanne to bring more acidity to the blend, and it really works well.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2020 Rôtie Cellars Southern Blend USA, Washington
65% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre. Juicy, smoky, strawberry, a bit candied, lots of acid. My Grenache bias leans strongly to Chateauneuf-du-Pape, but this has some nice funk to it.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2020 Rôtie Cellars Northern Blend USA, Oregon, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater
95% Syrah and 5% Viognier. Knockout nose, smoky, and floral. Mmm, sultry palate, nice texture, a really black and brooding expression of Syrah. I really enjoyed this.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Rosé - Sparkling
2021 Rôtie Cellars Bubbly Rosé USA, Washington
85% Syrah and 15% Grenache. 11.5% Alcohol. Frothy, juicy, airy. Very refreshing.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Rôtie Cellars Grenache "Big G" USA, Oregon, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater
Wild, feral nose that is loaded with Rocks funk. Tons of strawberry character. Pure, laser-focused.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Rôtie Cellars Syrah Love Rocks Tablas USA, Oregon, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater
Mmmm, loaded with black pepper, really proper Syrah, silky, a hint of sweetness but then leans savory, deep and long. Really impressive.
3 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 5 - Force Majeure (6 notes)

It is funny to read my notes which seem pretty pleased. In reality, while these are really well made wines, stylistically they are way over the top for me. Much too concentrated, some of the wines almost sweet.

Red
2019 Force Majeure Parabellum Coulée Rhone Blend USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
Saturated, lightly sweet, polished, pretty
5 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2017 Force Majeure Parvata Force Majeure Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
Serious. Dark, smoky, grippy, quite nice.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Force Majeure Syrah Force Majeure Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
Spicy, really deep, nice Syrah, blue fruited, saturated.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Force Majeure Epinette Force Majeure Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
Right bank blend. Very oaky. Saturated. Sweet.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Force Majeure Cabernet Sauvignon USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
Blackberry, hyper saturated, oaky.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Orange
2020 Holocene Pinot Gris USA, Oregon, Willamette Valley
A very dark Pinot Gris with some acknowledged smoke taint. It is interesting as an oddity for now, but I would not want this in my cellar.
3 people found this helpful Comments (3)

Flight 6 - Delmas (and SJR Vineyard tour) (3 notes)

We started with 2 hours in the SJR vineyard with Steve Robertson and then went to Rasa to taste the Delmas and Rasa wines. Steve is a madman of the best kind, and SJR is a special site.

White
2018 Delmas Viognier SJR Vineyard USA, Oregon, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater
Classic aromatics, fireworks, 100% new French oak, amazing that the wine easily handles the oak, really lovely.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Delmas Syrah SJR Vineyard USA, Oregon, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater
13.5% alcohol with 7.5% Viognier. Smoky, charcoal on the nose. So feminine, so Rocks, deeply savory, very Syrah in personality.
5 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Delmas The Peddler SJR Vineyard USA, Oregon, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater
100% new French oak, whole cluster, from magnum. Stalk and mineral on the nose. More masculine with more concentration than the regular Syrah. I love this, really special, it is getting more complex each time I go back to the glass.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 7 - Rasa (6 notes)

It was lovely to taste with Billo, and I found most of these wines to be exceptional and really in the wheelhouse of the style I enjoy.

Red
2018 Rasa Vineyards Veritas Sequitur Grenache Syrah SJR Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
78% Grenache and 22% Syrah. Lovely raspberry and white pepper.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Rasa Vineyards Syrah Principia Reserve USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
A slightly off note on the nose, but this blows off.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Rasa Vineyards Syrah Veritas Sequitur SJR Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
100% whole cluster, 100% French oak. This was fun to taste after the 2019 Delmas. While that wine was more reminiscent of Cote-Rotie, this was Hermitage all the way. Smoky, very Syrah, black fruit. Really excellent.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Rasa Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon For The Love of The Game Wallula Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Horse Heaven Hills
Nice Cabernet, green/leafy notes, black cherry. Excellent balance.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Rasa Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Plus One Kiona Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
Less green, more Red Mountain, black fruit but still with nice acidity, a bit more ripe than the For The Love of The Game, quite nice.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Rasa Vineyards Fianchetto XL Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
47% Cabernet Sauvignon, 29% Merlot, 24% Cabernet Franc. Pretty classic Walla Walla, candied red fruit, surprisingly tannic.
3 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 8 - Reynvaan (6 notes)

There was a little confusion, and our appointment didn't make it into their tasting book. However, with some social media sleuthing we were able to track down Mike and Matt who came and hosted us for a lovely tasting. I love what they are doing, and we could have stayed and tasted all day and been happy.

White
2019 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Grenache Blanc USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Lemon, fresh, actually incredibly refreshing. Just 12.2% alcohol and so vibrant. Everyone loved this.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah Foothills Reserve USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
13.9% Mmmm, smoky, leafy, salty, savory, racy, in the style of Cornas
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah Stonessence USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
14.3% More of a blackberry profile. Still has tons of the smoky, wonderful, meaty aspect of Syrah.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2016 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah In the Rocks USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Blended with 5% Viognier. Funky Rocks nose! The palate is pretty locked up and restrained, but this is juicy with nice inner mouth perfume. Patience.
3 people found this helpful Comments (3)
Red
2017 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah The Contender USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
406% Marsanne. A bit of sulphur. Quite round yet still racy with so much cut and precision. There is an impressive richness brought on by the Marsanne.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah Stonessence USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Some sulphur. Super juicy. Pretty locked up at this stage.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 9 - Gramercy Cellars (8 notes)

Reading my notes, they generally seem OK. The reality though is I was pretty disappointed with a number of the wines, especially the Syrah. They just seemed to lack concentration and were even more restrained than I expected.

Rosé
2021 Gramercy Cellars Rosé Olsen Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
52% Cinsault 24% Grenache 24% Syrah. I didn't have any notes on this. It was basic and clean.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Gramercy Cellars Grenache The Third Man USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
75% Grenache 15% Syrah 10% Mourvedre. Green and weedy.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2017 Gramercy Cellars Syrah Walla Walla Valley USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Coloring inside the lines. Fine. A basic Syrah.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Gramercy Cellars Syrah Holy Roller Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
5% Viognier and 70% whole cluster. Juicy, fairly tasty, but the weight and intensity here are more akin to Pinot Noir than Syrah. Some underripe, underweight and lacking tipicity.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2014 Gramercy Cellars Syrah Forgotten Hills Vineyard USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Black olive, tapenade, marine. This is nice.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Gramercy Cellars Syrah Lagniappe USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
More structure but still quite lean. When I think of the Betz La Côte Patriarche which is also from Red Willow Vineyard, I am not even sure how these are from the same site.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Black cherry, nice, juicy, proper.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 Gramercy Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Mmm, juicy black cherry, dry and toothsome tannins. I quite like this.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 10 - Doubleback (3 notes)

A nice visit. Quite corporate.

Red
2020 Doubleback Wines Merlot USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Round and ready, fresh, a nice Merlot. Nice acidity. Cocoa and cherry.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Doubleback Wines Cabernet Sauvignon USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
87% Cabernet Sauvignon 6% Merlot 4% Petit Verdot 3% Malbec. Very pure, clean, licorice, red fruit. Nice, leafy aromatics, tobacco, some oak. Very well made.
3 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Bledsoe Family Winery Cabernet Sauvignon USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
75% Cabernet Sauvignon 13% Merlot 11% Malbec 1% Cabernet Franc. Cassis, tobacco, super fresh cab. Black cherry with pure fruit. Less oaky than the Doubleback.
3 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 11 - Valdemar (2 notes)

Well the Tapas was outstanding!

Red
2018 Bodegas Valdemar Rioja Conde de Valdemar Crianza Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
Not good. Raisin and fig. Better with the tapas but still way too much dried fruit character.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2012 Bodegas Valdemar Rioja Conde de Valdemar Reserva Spain, La Rioja, La Rioja Alta, Rioja
80% Tempranillo, 10% Graciano, 5% Maturana, 5% Garnacha. A huge step up from the Crianza. Fresh, powerful, juicy.
2 people found this helpful Comment

Flight 12 - The Walls and Pášxa (7 notes)

Rosé
2021 The Walls Vineyards Cruel Summer USA, Oregon/Washington, Columbia Gorge
French Creek Vineyard, Yakima Valley. Beautiful, dry, watermelon, mineral.
1 person found this helpful Comment
White
2020 The Walls Vineyards Chardonnay Martin's Gold USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Yakima Valley
French Creek Vineyard, Yakima Valley. Spiced, poached pear. Quite sweet.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2018 The Walls Vineyards Mahana USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
River Rock Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley. Sappy, red fruit, but a touch sweet. Interesting, not great. 30% Grenache which explains the sweetness.
2 people found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 The Walls Vineyards Bellamy USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
River Rock Vineyard, Walla Walla Valley. Quite ripe, raspberry ganache. 5-10% Petit Verdot, some nice and juicy acidity.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 The Walls Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon Curiositas USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
Deep black fruit, sweet, sweet core. Savage tannins.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 The Walls Vineyards Stanley Groovy USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Red Mountain
Powerful, structured, juicy, a nice kick in the teeth.
1 person found this helpful Comment
Red
2019 Pášxa Syrah SJR Vineyard USA, Oregon, The Rocks District of Milton-Freewater
This brings the Rocks funk. Sweet, white pepper, quite meaty.
1 person found this helpful Comment
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