What a way to kickoff the all new GOTN! We had a nice showing including regulars and even some new members. The biggest change was the venue and time. GOTN now meets at Wine 661 Wine Shop, owned by Tanya Green, the second Sunday of every month from 3:30-5:30pm. The consensus was meeting Sunday afternoons would make it easier with work and school and at the end of our first meeting all were in agreement.
The varietal selected for this gathering was Cabernet Sauvignon from either Oregon or Washington. The largest wine district in Oregon is Willamette Valley, which is in the western part of the state and offers a very cool climate. Primary wine varietals from Oregon are Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Washington's primary wine region is located in the eastern part of the state where it is a dry high desert environment. Primary grapes from Washington are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Riesling. It was no surprise that all of the examples brought to GOTN were from Washington.
Washington's first Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted in 1825 by the Hudson Bay at Fort Vancouver. By 1854 hybrids found their way into Puget Sound and finally by 1860 the Walla Walla Valley. By 1910 Cabernet Sauvignon could be found in many parts of Washington.
Today, Washington has 14 AVA's and over 900 wineries. The vines of Muscat of Alexandria on Snipes Mountain date back to 1917. These are true old vines that are still producing. In 2009 Snipes was the 10th viticulture area to become one of the 14 AVA's. Though Snipes Mountain only has six wineries in it's AVA, they grow 30 different varietals and supply 25 different wineries with grapes which is pretty impressive.
The wines that were brought and tasted during GOTN were very unique:
2010 L'Ecole No. 41 - Walla Walla
Nose: Wet earth/pavement
Palate: Well structured, firm tannins, chalky and jammy(medium). Notes of dry dark cherry with a tobacco leaf finish
2012 Gramercy Celler Reserve - Walla Walla
Nose: Elegant but not as perfumey as the L'Ecole. Light earthiness with the fruits peeking through
Palate: Assorted black fruits with a light tobacco leaf finish
2010 Sheridan Vineyards - Yacoma Valley
Nose: Soft red fruits
Palate: Soft red fruits with firm high tannins (mouth puckering)
2013 Sheridan Vineyard L'Orage - Yacoma Valley