We decided in the beginning of the month to celebrate a month of America (because of the 4th) with some wines from Washington. At first pass, it was kinda tough to source WA wine by ourselves, so we reached out to some twitter experts/friends and got some great recommendations. Check them out.
Unfortunately some of the K&L options were in their warehouse and their Redwood city branch and Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan’s pick was only on wine.com. We opted to improvise a little (and threw in a wildcard), ending up with 1 Syrah, 1 Bordeaux blend, and 2 Merlots. Here they are.
We normally don’t opt for wines above $30 but recommendations from Rajat Parr and Andrea Robinson put Gramercy Cellars on our list. We went with the 2007 Gramercy Cellars “Lagniappe” Columbia Valley Syrah (the Walla Walla Syrah was $45). K&L gave it an interesting write up. It includes some Viogner and comes across more elegant and forward than the Walla Walla. We’re really looking forward to trying it out it.
Next comes the 2007 Robert Karl Columbia Valley Claret, a recommendation from K&L Wine. It’s a Bordeaux blend with Cab as its primary component followed by Merlot and Cab Franc. The grapes are from the Horse Heaven Hills AVA in Columbia Valley.
The next two choices were all us. Piggybacking off Horse Heaven Hills AVA, we selected the 2008 Columbia Crest “H3″ Horse Heaven Hills” Washington Merlot, which clearly is from the same AVA in Washington. We actually picked it since it’s one of the larger producers in Washington (they also produce under other labels like Columbia Crest Reserve, Columbia Crest Grand Estates, and Two Vines) and one of the first Washington wineries to focus on Merlot.
While a large producer in its own right, Columbia Crest is actually not an independent wine brand. It belongs to the Chateau Ste. Michelle family which is synonymous with Washington wine (at least to the average consumer like us). Keeping things in the family, we added in the 2007 Chateau Ste. Michelle Columbia Valley Merlot to our tasting. K&L quotes the Wine & Spirits review that uses words like “carob, creosote, and saddle leather”. We’ll use words like “good, excellent, eh,” and maybe “buy me”. Either way, we couldn’t stay away from the Mother Superior of Washington Wine.
Last comes the wildcard. I have a crush on the word “wildcard” ever since an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia where Charlie calls himself the wildcard (see below for details). Andrea Robinson recommended the Eroica Riesling which came across my radar while researching the May Whites for Mom tasting. Since our stockpile of whites to reds is 1:50, I thought it was the smart thing to grab a bottle of the Eroica from the combined efforts of Chateau Ste. Michelle and Dr. Loosen. It supposedly doesn’t have too much residual sugar and get high marks from lots of reviews.
And now for an example of a different kind of wildcard (audio NSFW)…