As always, "there were so many wines and so little time" and I didn't make it to all of the ones on my list. I suppose in many ways, I have taken the wines of Walla Walla for granted, unlike my wine blogging collegue from the west, Sean Sullivan of the Washington Wine Report, who also let me hang with him on Friday afternoon. (or did I let him hang with me on my turf?) We had a friendly "spar" going on about who could blog about more Walla Walla wines in a year (and even Washington wines), but then again, someone would have to take the time to really care and to count them - meh! But fun aside, Sean had a precise, but impressive schedule and made the most of his limited time in Walla Walla. I am looking forward to reading his report, as always.
These rosés are all limited productions so "gather ye rosés while ye may ..."
SuLei Cellars: It was a must that I check out their new downtown tasting room. The big release for Tanya and Elaine was their 2008 Roller Girl Red, inspired by the new local roller derby team, Walla Walla Sweets Roller Girls. Big fruit from Les Collines and Lodmell Vineyards. A Bordeaux style red blend of 48% Cabernet Franc, 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Merlot. It was a mouthful of berries with caramel and tobacco notes. Luscious for $17
Tranche Cellars: 2005 Slice of Pape. Walla Walla's answer to the great Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A traditional southern Rhone style blend of 56% Grenache, 38% Syrah, 5.5% Counoise and a skoosh of Viognier. Elegant. Raspberry and tobacco nose and a palate greeting you with smoky and dark cherry cola flavors. Tranche also greets you with a beautiful grassy view. $35
Trio Vintners: 2006 Mourvèdre. Okay, I didn't taste this during the big weekend, but I did sneak a visit to sample Trio a few days before. Does that count? It's distinctive with dark earthy flavors. A mouthful of wild blackberries and a hint of violet on the nose. It left with a spicy, yet long finish. I sampled it with a lamb sausage and marinara dip. $26
Trust Cellars: Like Pee-Wee Herman says, "If you love it so much, why don't you marry it?" Again, Steve Brooks has another winner with his 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon. I loved it. Balanced and elegant. A palate of dark chocolate covered cherries with a creamy liquor center. Swoon worthy! $36
Walla Walla Vintners: Okay, so call me easy. Hellooo Easy! But I cannot get past their 2008 Cabernet Franc. I have been coveting bottles of WWV Cab Franc since their 1997 release. As always, Myles and Gordy's new vintage didn't disappoint. Cherry cola, chocolate and creme brulee flavors with a hint of the "green" that I love so much about Cabernet Francs. Complex! And believe it or not, but two weeks before WWV Cab Franc was paired for me and my guests with lobster in a saffron scented stock ala Chef Bear at the Marcus Whitman. A pair made for Bacchus and a Mermaid. $28
Okay, so come Sunday I was pooped! Oh well, fiddle dee dee. After all, tomorrow is another wine drinking day in Walla Walla.
(Stay tuned - a video with Spring Release highlights will be coming.)