WELCOME TO WASHINGTON
Washington state is small but mighty. Washington is the 2nd largest wine regions in the United States. Growing over 80 grape varieties there is no shortage of diversity. The thing about Washington is that they have yet to find what their thing is. Oregon has Pinot Noir, Napa has Cabernet, Sonoma has Zin, but does Washington have? Washington in my opinion has found a niche in powerful wines. Most of the wines I have tasted, red or white bring weight and power behind them. Structure and integrity give these wines drive and direction and staining power. The power that the red wines hold along with the structure and intensity should be reason enough for any serious Cabernet Drinker to check out this region. These wines are for the people who love big spicy bold red wines chalk full of grippy intense tannins. Here are a few of the my favorite wineries or projects from the region.
DeLille Cellars is regarded as a top American producer of Bordeaux-style blends, showcasing a tradition of quality and excellence over its 30-year history. DeLille remains a principal influence in establishing Washington State as a premier viticultural region, with a focus on the Red Mountain AVA and other prestigious vineyard sites throughout the Columbia Valley.
DeLille 2019 D2 Red Wine, Columbia Valley, Washington State $45.99 Cranberries, roasted coffee beans, cassis and burnt orange are highlighted by deep, rich barrel tones of nutmeg, vanilla bean, dark chocolate and clove. As the wine develops in the glass, the fruit profile shifts between red and dark fruits
Hedges born after 1976 when Tom Hedges(Washington native) marries Annie-Marie(Champagne France Native). Their love of wine produced their first vintage of Columbia Valley Cabernet/Merlot in 1987 and 1989 they purchased 50 acres on the top of Red Mountain. It wasn’t until 1990 that the first wines began being distributed in North America. In 2008 the entire property was converted into biodynamic farming.
Hedges 2020 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain, Washington $41.99 Aromas and Flavors of blackberry, cassis, Christmas spices such as anise, clove, and cardamom combined with fresh leather, graphite, dried herbs, dusty cocoa round out the secondary notes . Beautiful texture that is lush rich tense dry and long.
Weathereye is located at the top of Red Mountain. Cameron Myhrvold in 2004 purchased WeatherEye Vineyard out of an ongoing support and advocartion for Washington wine. Cameron sought out Ryan Johnson to plant the vineyard and hired Todd Alexander to make the wines. Ryan Johnson leads our farming and viticulture. Having previously managed Ciel du Cheval Vineyard for 15 years and having co-founded the Force Majeure Vineyard he has unparalleled knowledge of Red Mountain’s upper slopes, and has developed his own system of innovative hillside viticulture. Todd Alexander is our gifted winemaker who cut his teeth and rose in prominence in Napa Valley, working on production teams at Plumpjack and CADE wineries, before becoming winemaker at famous “cult” producer Bryant Family Vineyard. The Hillfighter series coming from the WeatherEye vineyard have sparked an interest in this project that I am very excited to see blossom. WeatherEye is planted to 30 acres of Rhône, Bordeaux, and Spanish varieties.
This red wine is a a cross between a spanish and rhone blend. Kicking off the blend with a big dose of 53% Tempranillo, then spicing things up with 30% Syrah, and throwing in a healthy crunch from 17% Mourvèdre. Lots of ripe black fruits, cedarwood, spice, and dried herb notes emerge and it's medium to full-bodied, with a ripe, round, textured mouthfeel, building tannins, and a great mid-palate.
The weight an intensity with a zest of acidity and salty texture make this wine a food lovers dream. 58% Roussanne & 42% Clairette. Fermented in neutral oak and amphora, and produces a spectacular wine with notes of candied apricot, fresh kiwi, lime peel, white wildflowers, and ripe peach. Luscious waxy mouthfeel, a full-body and medium plus acidity.