Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.

Moderators: Jenise, David M. Bueker, Robin Garr

Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:35 am

Here is an informative article...........

http://www.sfgate.com/wine
User avatar
Bob Parsons Alberta
aka Doris
 
Posts: 9548
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 4:09 pm

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby ClarkDGigHbr » Sun Oct 29, 2006 7:27 pm

Thanks for posting the pointer to that article. A friend of mine sent me this pointer last week. I thought it was a very interesting article about the wine industry in our state.

The author's assertions about the importance of Syrah in Washington reminded me of our visit to Walla Walla two months ago. You may have seen the tasting notes I posted. I stated in one my Reply Postings that I found the Syrahs to be rather special with many distinctive offerings.

So much has changed in the Washington wine industry in the past 20 years. One can only imagine what it will look like 20 years from now.

Thanks again.
Last edited by ClarkDGigHbr on Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
ClarkDGigHbr
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 8:16 pm
Location: Gig Harbor, WA

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Clint Hall » Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:50 pm

As Clark says, one can only imagine what Washington wines will be like twenty years down the road. Right now there aren't enough old vines in the state to service the rapidly expanding new wineries, so much or most of the 40-buck-plus wines you read about are being made from vines only a few years old. Given respected local wine guru Dan McCarthy's view that there's a lamentable shortage of savvy winemakers, and given the present dearth of old vines, it appears there's room for lots of improvement over the next couple of decades.
Clint Hall
Wine guru
 
Posts: 578
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:39 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Randy Buckner » Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:56 pm

The article lost me with the first paragraph -- the usual pandering....

QC is another overoaked, overpriced, Parkerized wine IMHO (not meant to foment trouble -- just how I perceive it).

I take it the article said Syrah was THE grape of WA. The majority of growers and producers will argue Merlot is the great grape of WA, followed closely by Cabernet Sauvignon.

I definitely like a few WA Syrahs (with Boushey fruit at the top of my list), but a good many are overoaked and amateurishly made.
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Christy M. » Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:50 pm

Thanks for the link. It was an interesting article and I'm always interested in what people are saying about wine in my home state.

I agree with Randy that right now, the best WA wines (at least that I've had) are merlot and cab sauvs along with a few semillons. However I haven't had too many syrahs yet. There seems to be a lot of hype about syrah being the next big thing in WA though. The pinots from Chelan are awfully rough. I'm not sure if that is inexperience, young grapes or something else.
Christy
Christy M.
Wine geek
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 5:26 pm
Location: Brooklyn, NY

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby ClarkDGigHbr » Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:03 am

Randy Buckner wrote:The article lost me with the first paragraph -- the usual pandering....

I take it the article said Syrah was THE grape of WA.


Randy, I think you should have taken the time to read the entire article before pronouncing it unfit for general consumption. It quickly moved away from Quilceda Creek adoration, and carefully avoided the hype about Syrah being THE grape of WA. In fact, the author raised some interesting questions about where the WA wine industry is heading, and the fact that the industry as a whole really has a shortage of winemaking experience.

Given your assertion that a good many of the WA Syrahs are "amateurishly made", that is at least one point you both agree upon.

Finally, I think we should be encouraging discourse about winemaking, not shutting it down.

-- Clark
User avatar
ClarkDGigHbr
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 485
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 8:16 pm
Location: Gig Harbor, WA

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Randy Buckner » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:47 am

Finally, I think we should be encouraging discourse about winemaking, not shutting it down.


I was making commentary on the journalistic style, Clark. A rule of thumb in journalism is if you don't capture a reader's interest in the first two paragraphs, the vast majority will quit reading at that point -- exactly what I did with the article.

I went back and finished the article -- decent enough job. I don't agree with the notion that Merlot and Cab are playing second fiddle -- Syrah only has one-third the tonnage of either one. In the right hands, Syrah makes a wonderful wine, but there is a lot of overoaked plonk out there as well.

Several wine makers and growers are touting the Italian varietals as having potential here. From the ones I've tasted, I remain to be convinced.

I look for Rhone grapes to gain in popularity with time, especially Southern Rhone. Besides Syrah and Viognier which have proven themselves, growers have started Roussanne, Marsanne, Grenache Blanc, Picpoul, Grenache, Mourvedre, Counoise and Cinsault -- it will be years before we know how they do.
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Bruce K » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:01 am

Several wine makers and growers are touting the Italian varietals as having potential here. From the ones I've tasted, I remain to be convinced.


Clearly, the jury's still out -- too few have been produced yet. But when I was out there last month, I had Barberas from Yellow Hawk and Morrison Lane that I thought were terrific. Perhaps there's potential there.

I've enjoyed Sangioveses in the past from Yellow Hawk but have not found them particularly good from other producers, including Walla Walla Vintners. However, that was probably due as much or more to bad winemaking (oak, oak, oak) than to bad grapes. And I had a Nebbiolo from Morrison Lane that was too tannic to taste anything else; we'll see if it comes around with time or if there's nothing there underneath. At least some folks are willing to experiment.
User avatar
Bruce K
Wine guru
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:06 pm

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Carl Eppig » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:43 am

My problem with American made Italian wines is that for what ever reason they can't compete economically. Why pay $15-$18 U.S. for a Washington State or CA Sangiovese, when you can get a better Italian one for $10? The comparision goes right up the price point chain.

Barbera is one exception. There are some terrific ones coming out of the high and more northern climes of CA. Some of these wines are excellent, but completely different from their Italian brethern.
Carl Eppig
Our Maine man
 
Posts: 4001
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:38 pm
Location: Middleton, NH, USA

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby wrcstl » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:06 pm

Carl Eppig (Middleton, NH wrote:My problem with American made Italian wines is that for what ever reason they can't compete economically. Why pay $15-$18 U.S. for a Washington State or CA Sangiovese, when you can get a better Italian one for $10?


Carl,
I couldn't agree more. It seems especially true with sangiovese but also riesling, chenin blanc and several grapes. I believe that a region becomes known for great wine from certain grapes and for many reasons other regions in the world have trouble duplicating the quality and style.
Walt
User avatar
wrcstl
Wine guru
 
Posts: 886
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:20 pm
Location: St. Louis

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Randy Buckner » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:24 pm

My problem with American made Italian wines is that for what ever reason they can't compete economically. Why pay $15-$18 U.S. for a Washington State or CA Sangiovese, when you can get a better Italian one for $10?


I guess I'm looking in the wrong places, Carl. I rarely find a Chianti that is palatable for my palate for less than $25. The last one I really enjoyed was the 1998 Nittardi, Chianti Classico Riserva, DOCG, Italy, $28.
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Carl Eppig » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:34 pm

Bucko, not all Sangiovese is Chianti. At the price point I mentioned, you can get a nice Morellino di Scansano. The broader point is that the disparity in quality continues as the price point rises.

Cheers, Carl
Carl Eppig
Our Maine man
 
Posts: 4001
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:38 pm
Location: Middleton, NH, USA

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Randy Buckner » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:37 pm

I've enjoyed Sangioveses in the past from Yellow Hawk


As you probably know, Tim focuses on Sangiovese, Barbera, Muscat Canelli, and Dry Rosé. He does a better job than anyone in the state IMHO, but that said, the Rosé is my only repeat purchase.

Leonetti always gets nice reviews, but at $50 I'll pass. Walla Walla Vintners does a good job with the grape, but then they oak the $hit out of it, well beyond my tolerance levels. Three Rivers makes a nice Sanjo from Pepperbridge Vineyard, but at $39 a bottle why not get the real thing for $15 less?
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby wrcstl » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:45 pm

Randy Buckner wrote:I guess I'm looking in the wrong places, Carl. I rarely find a Chianti that is palatable for my palate for less than $25. The last one I really enjoyed was the 1998 Nittardi, Chianti Classico Riserva, DOCG, Italy, $28.


You must have a defective sangiovese gene. I agree with Carl that there are other places in Italy that make good sangiovese, or a close cousin, but for $20 you can get '01 Felsina CC which is great, or at least you could last year. Next to Bordeaux, CC is our #2 wine as it goes so well with many foods, particularly ones with an acidic base. You cannot drink CC by itself. I have never had a California sangiovese I wanted to drink twice. It is just palate preference but in good years I always buy 2-3 cases and never miss Felsina.
Walt
User avatar
wrcstl
Wine guru
 
Posts: 886
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 3:20 pm
Location: St. Louis

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Randy Buckner » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:54 pm

At the price point I mentioned, you can get a nice Morellino di Scansano.


The owner of a local wine shop I frequent is a real Italian wine geek. He has mentioned Morellino di Scansano, but it went in one ear and out the other. He was hyping some winery that started with Fat---- I'll have to take a closer look.
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Jenise » Tue Oct 31, 2006 12:54 pm

Clark, Clint, Bucko: if you haven't already, get yourself a bottle of Kestrel's "Co-Ferment" Syrah--incredibly yummy, ungooped old vines syrah complexed with viognier. You'll probably have to special order it and that's IF they have any left, but it's worth the effort.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
Jenise
FLDG Dishwasher
 
Posts: 26330
Joined: Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:45 pm
Location: The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Clinton Macsherry » Tue Oct 31, 2006 3:20 pm

Randy Buckner wrote:He was hyping some winery that started with Fat---- I'll have to take a closer look.


I'm guessing Fattoria Le Pupille.
FEAR THE TURTLE ! ! !
Clinton Macsherry
Ultra geek
 
Posts: 359
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2006 2:50 pm
Location: Baltimore MD

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Randy Buckner » Tue Oct 31, 2006 8:04 pm

I'm guessing Fattoria


That's the one, Clinton. Know anything about the house/style?
User avatar
Randy Buckner
Wine guru
 
Posts: 1725
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 12:46 pm
Location: Puget Sound

Re: Hello, all you Washington wine lovers!!

Postby Clint Hall » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:02 pm

My impression is Washington Sangiovese is a hard sell. One reason I think so is that although, as Bucko says, Leonetti makes a good enough Sangiovese, still it lingers on the shelves. Othere Leonetti wines -- Cabs and Merlots -- get snapped up before they see the light of day, and waiting lists to get onto Leonetti mailing lists looked like the Seattle telephone directory, and so when Leo got into the Sangiovese business a few years ago the winery's mystique should have been able to sell just about anything.

Since then the Leo mystique, even for its Cabernets and Merlots, has worn thin, maybe partly the result of public disenchantment with overdoses of sweet oak, but maybe partly, too, the result of seeing those Leonetti Sangiovese bottles gathering dust in wine shops.
Clint Hall
Wine guru
 
Posts: 578
Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 2:39 am
Location: Seattle, WA


Return to The Wine Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Gary Kahle, Majestic-12 [Bot] and 8 guests