I have to admit that I am really digging this challenge I put before myself to taste and review 100 Washington wines during the month of August, the second Washington Wine Month of the year. I love the wines and have discovered some excellent values and absurdly delicious examples of what can come out of this great state.
Today I will focus on a little Washington winery that has caught my attention in a big way…Cor Cellars. Wine maker Luke Bradshaw is a down-to-earth New Yorker turned Washingtonian who really doesn’t acknowledge his talent for crafting some of the best Washington wines I have come across for the money. I had a chance to taste through his wines recently and here are my thoughts.
2012 Cor Cellars Riesling (Underwood Mountain Vineyards Columbia Gorge, WA) … $19.
Aromas of dusty apple and mouth-watering acidity, very steely on the nose. Green apple skins all over the palate backed by good acidity with a steely edge. This juice penetrates start to bracing finish with a little kiwi action on the back side. (B+)
2012 Cor Alba White (Celilo Vineyards Columbia Gorge, WA) …. $20.
A little petrol action on the nose along with aromas of melon and peach. Melon notes with a little sugar cane action on the palate flowing into a little apple/sugar cane finish. There is a sweet core to this wine but it is by no means over-sweet. This my friends would be perfect with some Asian or Indian food. 56% Pinot Gris and 44% Gewürztraminer. (B-)
2010 Cor Cellars Momentum (Horse Heaven Hills, WA) … $16.
Nice rusticity on the nose giving you some of that “old world” feel with notes of red flowers, currants and cassis. Notes of black olives, wood, cassis and cherries hit up front with a little leather and tobacco joining on the mid-palate and finish. Nice balance of acid and fruit with that old school style shining through with just a touch of vegetation and tannic grip on the finish. This wine is for those who are a bit tired of the silky smooth fruit bombs that dominate the wine shelves these days. It screams for grilled meats. (A-)
2009 Cor Cellars Cabernet Franc (Alder Ridge Vineyards Horse Heaven Hills, WA) … $23.
Aromas of black licorice and Worcestershire Sauce with a green edge. Nice backbone of minerals on the palate with notes of currants and tobacco. There is a leathery edge with a hit of white pepper and a little tannic grip on the long finish. If you are into Chinon from the Loire Valley of France, you will more than likely appreciate what this wine brings to the table. I’m not saying it’s entirely Chinon in style but it is not “New World”, that’s for sure. A well-built wine that is made to enjoy with food. (A-)
2009 Cor Cellars Malbec (Columbia Valley, WA) … $23.
Intense aromas of boysenberries and grape jam. Bold and powerful on the palate without being jammy. Grapes, herbs and spice come through with a little black tea action thrown in. Seamless flow across the palate into a tea, tar, tobacco and boysenberry finish with a kiss of vanilla. This is a big, bad boy who is just tame enough to drink solo, but food wouldn’t hurt. I have to say this is a steal for the price and is one of the best domestic Malbecs I have tried in recent memory. (A+)