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Category: Washington

The Heights of Washington Wine on Medium

The Heights of Washington Wine on Medium

This one has been in the works for months. Originally slated for Wine Tourist Magazine, WTM unfortunately closed their doors as a publication two months before going to print. After exploring a few homes for this piece, I landed on posting it on Medium. Enjoy here: Such Great Heights: The Upper Reaches of Washington Wine on Medium   Beyond this Medium article, I have two more pieces in the works, one for Growler Magazine. Stay tuned. The couple month hiatus has been…

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2013 Walla Walla Vintners Merlot

2013 Walla Walla Vintners Merlot

91 points Deep ruby with spiced plum, fresh blackberry, graphite, and slate spilling compellingly from the glass. Ripe fruit joins the poised palate deftly balancing depth and buoyancy. The mid-palate gives way to clear, structured tannins and well-integrated acidity. Developing nicely with additional aging potential. Drink now through 2023+. (MW, May 2017) Price $30 Varietal: Merlot Region: Walla Walla Valley AVA Alcohol: 14.2% Producer: Walla Walla Vintners

2014 Owen Roe Abbot’s Table

2014 Owen Roe Abbot’s Table

88 points Juicy and plush with plum and spiced blueberry. Fine, ripe tannins contain a gentle string of acidity through the chewy core. A dusting of cocoa powder adds to the palate. A crowd pleaser, though falling short on dimensionality. Drink now—2020. (MW, January 2017) Price $24 Varietal: Red Blend (Zinfandel, Sangiovese, Blaufrankisch, and Malbec) Region: Columbia Valley, WA Alcohol: 14.1% Producer: Owen Roe

The Head, The Heart, The Slurp

The Head, The Heart, The Slurp

I recently attended an Oregon Syrah tasting with a trio of Willamette Valley winemakers and a few other industry compatriots. We tasted through seven different Oregon Syrahs, including a vertical from Dion Vineyard in the Willamette Valley produced by Anne Hubatch of Helioterra. Violet-blue in color, the 2013 Dion grabbed me by the shoulders and force-focused my energy directly into the glass. Confident white pepper aromatics lead, followed by spice, blueberry, and boysenberry. Floral undertones add a lovely, gentle layer. This…

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News Abounds

News Abounds

July has produced a preponderance of news and excitement here at Wagon Wine. First, the wine industry has called my name. The family at Fullerton Wines has hired me to manage public relations and the wine club, maintain and acquire accounts in the Portland area, and help in the cellar. I begin in August. Integrity matters. Consequently, after this post, I will not review or mention Fullerton Wines, or their second label Three Otters (formerly Bull’s Eye), on this blog. However,…

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Inclined to Syncline

Inclined to Syncline

As well as recline at Syncline’s estate winery (see photo and caption below). A recent visit of Syncline Cellars, near Lyle, Washington, left me giddy to write this post, as well as buy Syncline wines again and again. James and Poppie Mantone have crafted distinctive, memorable wines, while also creating an idyllic destination winery. Inclined to recline while drinking Syncline wine Located along the eastern edge of the Columbia Gorge AVA, Syncline focuses on Rhone varietals. In the winery, James…

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Reflections after the Columbia Gorge Grand Tasting

Reflections after the Columbia Gorge Grand Tasting

The Columbia Gorge Winegrowers Association (CGWA) recently hosted a Grand Tasting at Castaway in NW Portland. After a few days of pondering and reflecting on my notes, I feel more confident than ever that the Columbia Gorge AVA has a bigger and brighter future ahead (though perhaps we shouldn’t hope for “bigger”). This AVA garners relatively little press from regional and national press. As a consequence, it is a spring lilac, under-appreciated, that forces your attention when you get within…

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Owen Roe: Embracing Two Worlds

Owen Roe: Embracing Two Worlds

Time to celebrate a Washington winery that over-delivers at every price point. Owen Roe started releasing wines in 1999 with production based out of St. Paul, Oregon. Despite the Oregon location, Owen Roe has successfully embraced both Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and Washington varietals simultaneously. Many wineries in the northwest truck some grapes from their neighboring state to diversify and spruce up the offerings, but very few have the expertise or access to quality fruit to pull off the crafting…

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Non-Vintage Wines: Broadening the Palate

Non-Vintage Wines: Broadening the Palate

Non-vintage (NV) wine does not resonate widely in our brave, New World wines. This old world technique allows winemakers to blend multiple vintages for added nuance and character, but usually remains a tool of the bubbly and fortified wine makers only–Port and Champagne particularly. Thankfully, J. Bookwalter Winery of Washington has deftly translated this technique to create a dry red blend, Notebook 4NV (their 4th non-vintage Notebook Red). Bookwalter Winery creates this blend to use up their excess juice after…

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