Eat, Love, Wine Highlight

Weekly Wine Highlight: Belle & Bottle’s Tasting Favs from the Walla Walla Wine Show

by Laura Huston-
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Monday was the Walla Walla Wine trade tasting event in Seattle that I was able to attend on behalf of Belle & Bottle. And while I didn’t make it to as many tables as would like, I was able to taste many great wines. Here is a highlight of a few notables to showcase the variety and breadth coming from Walla Walla wine country.

Favorite New Kid on the Block

Lagana Cellars

Started in 2013, this (fairly) newcomer had five wines that showed very well. The images show a great display of the artistry involved in winemaking. Their art is on the label as well as in the bottle! I highlighted the chardonnay below but their wines were clean and crisp on the whites and elegant and approachable reds.

2016 Cockburn Ranch Vineyard Chardonnay $25 retail

Tasting Notes: This delicious stainless steel Chardonnay exemplifies the natural characteristics of the varietal, coming closer to a Chablis style even though the grapes were sourced from the warm climate found at Walla Walla Valley’s Cockburn Ranch vineyard. It opens with apple, pear, and fresh linen on the nose followed by apple, peach, guava, and pineapple on the palate. The natural acidity of the wine carries through to the finish with just a touch of cream.

Favorite White Wine

The Walls Vineyard

2015 Lip Stinger Grenache Blanc. $38 retail.

The storied Picpoul, one of the rarest grapes in Washington, is the not-so-secret ingredient of this stunning Grenache Blanc blend. Not-so-secret because “Lip Stinger” is the literal translation of the word picpoul.  “It’s kind of like this wine named itself!” says Ali. “Our Picpoul was grown sur echalas and co-fermented with Rousanne, Marsanne, Clairette Blanche, Viognier; literally every Rhone White varietal at French Creek. They were grown together, picked together, fermented together, and now offer themselves to you in this age-worthy blend. Plus it won’t really sting your lips, just make them more kissable.” High aromatics will have your mouth watering long before layers of stone fruit and pear kiss your palate. A hint of new oak and complex minerality make this a white for all This creamy, balanced beauty will be the star of your table.

Favorite Single Varietal

Tranche

2013 Cabernet Franc $40 retail. Elegant and approachable while still packing enough punch to pair nicely with a wide range of foods.

Winemaker notes:

“Our Blue Mountain Estate Vineyard consistently produces outstanding Cabernet Franc and showcases the dark earth and floral aromas and flavors that make it such a wonderful and distinctive grape variety. Our two best blocks of Cabernet Franc were hand-harvested and sorted into small oak open tops for fermentation. After an extended time on skins, the wines were gently basket-pressed into new and used French oak barriques for just under two years maturation prior to bottling.

Solid Lineup Winner

Long Shadows Vintners

This winery never disappoints. From the Riesling to the syrah each wine has a solid showing. All seven of their wines are available currently, which doesn’t happen for most of the year, so if you haven’t tried them I encourage you to go by their Woodinville tasting room.

Favorite Red Blend

Northstar 2013 Red Blend $50

A part of the Ste. Michelle Wine Estate, Northstar always has a solid merlot to showcase. This was the first time trying their red blend. It retails a bit higher than the merlot and cabernet sauvignon but well worth it.

Tasting Notes: Velvety, lush and elegant, this limited production red wine from Walla Walla showcases notes of black cherry, raspberry, vanilla, and spices leading into a long and satisfying mild toasted finish.

Favorite Washington Staple

Woodward Canyon

Getting fruit from some of the oldest vines in WA has its perks. This wine is always one you can count on and is a great addition to your cellar.

  • 2015 Chardonnay
  • 2014 “Artist Series” Cabernet Sauvignon ranked in Wine Enthusiast’s The Enthusiast 100
  • 2014 “Old Vines” Cabernet Sauvignon ranked in Wine Enthusiast’s Top 100 Cellar Selection for 2017 “One of the state’s best bottles year after year”. Ranked for the third year in a row and only one of four wines from Washington State.

You can email Belle & Bottle to purchase any wines at laura@belleandbottle.com

We are in the process of arranging some events with several of these wineries. Get notified of our upcoming events by signing up for our newsletter at www.belleandbottle.com.

Laura Huston

Drawing from her experience and relationships working at a local restaurant in Washington’s wine country, Laura Huston created Belle & Bottle as a fresh approach to wine club membership.

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