This week I tasted through a number of Washington wines. Since March is the official “Washington Wine Month” (I don’t really pay much attention to August) I thought it would be a good idea to devote my mid-month tasting notes entirely to the wines of Washington.

2008 Goose Ridge vineyards G3 Red (Washington State) … $14.99

Aromas of mocha, oak, dark cherries and loads of coco dust. Chocolate, cola and oak notes hit the front of the palate with chocolate dominating the middle palate. Smooth, silky tannins carry into a chocolate-spice finish. This wine is liquified chocolate covered cherries. I found it a little boring, but I can see it being a big hit with consumers. (C+)

2011 Ryan Patrick Vineyards “Ryans Riesling” (Columbia Valley, WA) … $12.99
Aromas of sweet apple skins with a light lemon and tangerine hit with just a whiff of dust. Balanced sweetness up front with notes of ripe, red delicious apples with a dose of apple pie spice that develops into an applesauce finish. This is not a super sweet riesling it is light, elegant and on the simple side. Lots of applesauce on this baby. (C+)

2009 Bergevin Lane Vineyards Calico Red (Columbia Valley, WA) … $13.99

Just a slight hit of alcohol on the nose followed by notes of blueberries, blackberries, currants, mocha and vanilla. Nice intensity on the palate with black fruit notes backed by underlying herbal, vegetal and black tea notes with hits of tobacco. Smooth tannins with just a little attitude. Black olive meets currants and black cherries on the mid-palate flowing seamlessly into a long finish of spice, leather and tobacco notes. This is a lot of wine for the bucks and has some nice complexity. (A-)

Non-Vintage Ryan Patrick Vineyards “Red Head” Red (Columbia Valley, WA) … $8.99

Interesting aromas of CornNuts, dusty light fruits (currants) and an herbal component. The nose is a little challenged. Silky tannins with a backbone of blackberries, vanilla, tobacco and hits of spice. A little thin on the mid-palate leading into a finish of spice, blackberries and mocha. There is an interesting mocha and petroleum/rubber band component on the back end of the finish. (C+)

2011 Hestia Cellars Chenin Blanc (Columbia Valley, WA) … $14.99

I really like Chenin done right, and it is sad to see it disappearing from many Washington wineries, because there use to be a lot of really good ones. However, it is nice to see that both LeCole No 41 and Hestia continue to carry the torch (they are not the only ones of course).
Hestia does a nice job with theirs. Aromas of wool, honey, melon and a backdrop of lemon. Wet wool notes show up on the palate (this is a good thing) with apple, melon and herbal grass notes. Loads of herbs on the finish which shows just a slight bitterness. Whenever you get a wooly component with some herbs and mineral notes, I think it is safe to say, they did it right. (B-)

2010 Apex Cellars “The Catalyst” Red Blend (Columbia Valley, WA) … $14.99

Very seductive and sultry on the nose. Perfumed red flowers, cherries, grape jam, beauty bark and currants. Plush dark cherries on the front of the palate backed by notes of black plums and spice. Boysenberry notes show up on the mid-palate with hits of spice and tar. The finish is long and delicious with spice and dark fruit notes coming through. This is a little softer then I like, but I think I will be in the minority. (B+)

2009 Tamarack Cellars Sangiovese (Columbia Valley, WA) … $24.99

Aromas of dusty sweet blackberries, celery, root vegetables, and blueberries. Very earthy with a dash of vanilla and oak. Vibrant,blackberry, blueberry and currant notes on the front of the palate on soft tannins. Nice flow across the palate with a beam of brightness coming through. However, the finish is just a little thin. I think this is a little over-priced for the quality. (C-)

2010 NW Vine Project Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley, WA) … $13.99

Aromas of currants, cherry, hits of gasoline and oak. The oak dominates on the palate with notes of cherry pits and currants. Dries out quite a bit on the mid-palate and leads into a finish of asparagus and wood. This is a very awkward cab and it never seem to come together. (D)

2011 NW Vine Project Pinot Noir (Willamette Valley, Oregon) … $14.99
Aromas of smoked cherry pits, cassis and dark cherries. Silky smooth dark cherry notes come through on the palate backed by notes of strawberries. Balanced acidity with some wood tannins showing on the finish giving it a slight grip. This pinot is a touch thin, but not a bad showing for the price. (B-)

2011 NW Vine Project Chardonnay (Columbia Valley, WA) … $13.99

A little challenged on the nose with notes of fig and apple a little yeast and funk. There is a bitter element on the palate with notes of lemon grass, apple pie spice and some stemmy elements. It seems slightly disjointed on the palate. (C-)

2011 NW Vine Project Pinot Gris (Willamette Valley, Oregon) … $13.99

Steely on the nose with notes of peach and apples along with notes of mandarin orange, perfumed white flowers and hits of mango. Notes of mangoes and apples come through on the palate backed by a nice minerality. There is a little creaminess on the palate leading into a dry finish of citrus and dusty mineral notes. (B+)

Cheers! And support Washington Wine Month by drinking the fantastic wines (and average but good wines) from our great state. Cheers! Stan The Wine Man

About Stan The Wine Man

I am a blue collar wine guy who has been in the biz for over twenty years. I work at a store in a tourist destination stop. I work hard at finding the best wine for the money. I love the challenge of learning my customer's palate so I can find the best wine for them, whether it is Petrus or white zinfandel. Cheers!
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