We were up there 3 1/2 days Fred.
I didn’t take detailed notes, primarily because we now have 3 and 4 year old daughters that are there with us, so I end up doing a lot more “speed tasting” of our favorites than the casual meander through 15 wineries in a day. All of these wineries are some of my regular stops, except as noted.
Day 1 -
Waters Winery - I really like Waters, I think Jamie Brown makes some great wines. They released the 2007 Cab Sauv and the 2009 Rose, which were our primary targets for the visit, but they were also tasting through the 2007 Single Vineyard Syrah’s that are still available and some of their other offerings. I already loaded up on the Syrah last Nov, so bought some Rose for the summer and some Cab. The real surprise was the tasting of the 2007 21 Grams Cab Sauv. I’ve had previous vintages, but I tasted this and was blown away. Easily the best wine I tasted in WW this weekend, amazing balance and finesse. Had not been a buyer before, but left with a bottle this time.
Reynvaan Family Vineyards - Tasted through the Barrel samples (which had actually just been bottled) of the 3 Syrah’s produced by Reynvaan. These still have some of the best noses of wines in WW, with The Unnamed and In The Rocks showing their Viognier component with beautiful floral noses, and The Contender having a bit more beauty meets beast in the nose. I felt all of them were a bit tight on the palate, which could have been my palate or some shock from recently going from barrel to bottle. Based on the '06s I think the '07’s are all that and more, will be interesting to see in Nov.
Sleight of Hand - Trey had the Rolling Stones gracing the Tasting Room when I dropped in, some nice tunes to taste through the lineup. The Levitation Syrah was really showing well, maybe it was just gloating at the recent WS 93. Tasted the '07 Idle Hands Syrah, the collaboration with Mark Ryan winery - very very nice, it had some nice integration from when I first sampled it last Nov. and is a buy in my book.
Rasa Vineyards - I still say this is one of the most under-radar wines in all of WW and WA State in general. The QED and Principia Reserve Syrah remain two of the best wines I tried all last year, and they were showing very nice from the bottle with some age. They released a varietal Mourvedre (Minick Vineyard) and a Riesling (Sagemoor Vineyards). The Mourvedre is hands down the best single varietal expression of this I have had, none of the rough edges that can go with this grape. It was intended to be a blending grape but so many people raved on the barrel samples that they bottled it alone. The Riesling comes from some of the oldest clones in the state, and was a very crisp and pronounced. QPR on all of these wines is awesome.
Long Shadows - Didn’t have time to do the whole tasting lineup, but compared the '06 and '07 Feather Cab (Dunn) and '06 and '07 Pedestal Merlot (Rolland), picked up some of the Feather and Pedestal. The '07’s were really nice, though I’m not feeling the excitement factor anymore on these wines. I am maintaining a few verticals, but scaling back.
Leonetti Vineyards - First year we cleared the list and made it through the mythical front gate as one of the chosen few on the mailing list…well, us and the 37 other SUV’s lined up for 30 minutes on Saturday morning. They were pouring the '08 Merlot and '07 Cab Sauv. Amazing property, amazing hospitality, the wines…I’m still Jury is out on them. I have never had the wines before, so I have no reference points to compare to. I thought they were a bit thin and had some heavy oak that I have heard from others. However, some I know who tasted them said they were closed down and would be stellar in 8 years, the best they had ever tasted. Who knows, time will tell.
Tried to get into Corliss, we were on the mailing list and I thought they had a release event. Doors shut, no soup for you! Not sure what is up with this operation, they sure seem elitist, more so than Leonetti.
Wanted to get up to K but timing didn’t work out. I’ve grown less and less a fan of their wines the past few years. Usually in the TR they are pouring the lower end Charles Smith wines, and the typical K Syrah’s, Ovide, Roma, etc. Don’t expect to get a swig of Royal City…
Beyond that we visited 5 different parks and playgrounds in Walla Walla, got our Ice-burg Cheeseburger fix, and the Creektown Cafe Key Lime pie fix.
Back to the grind now…