I had the honor of hosting a wine event called “An Intimate Tasting With The Wine Maker” with Rob Griffin as the guest. Rob is a wealth of information, and he shared it with the large group that gathered to meet him. Rob started his wine making career in Washington at Preston Cellars in 1977. His experience with Washington vineyards and wine, surpasses anyone working in the Washington wine industry today. When he speaks, people in the Washington wine industry listen. He certainly had the rapt attention of all in attendance at this event. We tasted through eleven of his wines and I thought I would start week two with my reviews of the wines we tried.
I believe that Barnard Griffin Winery represents some of the best values in Washington wine that are available today. Here are my thoughts on the wines we tried.
2012 Barnard Griffin Pinot Gris (Columbia Valley, WA) … $10.
Aromas of pears and melons with hits of minerals. Hints of citrus come through with notes of white flowers and honey. Light pear and apple notes come through on the front of the palate with hits of minerality. Fresh and light on the mid-palate flowing into an apple/pear finish with hits of fruit skin and mineral element on the back-end. The flavors don’t “POP” but it’s a good wine. (C+)
2012 Barnard Griffin Fume Blanc (Columbia Valley, WA) … $9.
Aromas of honey and melon with hits of fig and white flowers with a backdrop of apple. There is a nice acidity that hits you on the front of the palate popping the fruit notes of apples and citrus with a little lemon pith thrown in. There is a trace of minerals backing the fruit notes from start to finish. The balanced acidity drives the fruit notes into a dry citrus/melon finish with a pithy edge to it. I think this may be one of the best vintages of the B.G. fume I have tasted in a while. (B+)
2012 Barnard Griffin Rose Of Sangiovese (Columbia Valley, WA) … $11.
Aromas of watermelon, strawberries and cherries. There is a nice core of acidity backing notes of strawberries and watermelon up front through the mid-palate into a rhubarb, citrus finish. Rob Griffin has this rose dialed in. Year in and out this wine does very well in wine competitions and sells out quickly. Dry in style yet shows a backbone of delicious fruit. (B+)
2012 Barnard Griffin Roussanne (Columbia Valley, WA) … $25.
Watch out Rhone Valley, I think Rob just may have out-did himself on this one. Very aromatic on the nose with notes of honey, fig, and melon with hits of peach and tangerine (my mouth is watering just thinking of the nose on this baby). Rich on the front of the palate with a cutting edge of acidity. Notes of peach, fig and melon hit the front of the palate and expand on the mid-palate and linger on the fig-driven finish. There seems to be a citrus element that sneaks in on the finish and a trace of minerality. The balance of acid and fruit on this is near perfect, giving a richness with a bright edge. A “10” in the delicious category. (A)
2012 Barnard Griffin Riesling (Columbia Valley, WA) … $9.Aromas of apple, petrol (that’s a good thing friends), melon and an edge of honey and minerals. Edgy on the palate with minerals, petrol and pear notes coming through with just a touch of honey. Stays dry across the palate into a mineral, melon and pear finish with hits of petrol and honey. A little on the simple side, but for nine bucks it is unbelievably good, and I love the petrol edge (takes me to Alsace). (B+)
Stay tuned for round 2 of the Barnard Griffin wine reviews tomorrow. Cheers to good wine at great prices! Stan The Wine Man