Grape of the Night Returns with Cabs from washington & oregon

Walla Walla Valley, Washington

Walla Walla Valley, Washington

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:

Wine List:

  • 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

Nose: Vanilla

Palate: Well structured and balance with firm tannins.  Blackberries with a long finish

Note: This wine was a blend of 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Since this wine contained 75% Cabernet, it can be called a Cabernet legally. Bottom line is that it was a blend and I was the guilty party.

There was another wine from Washington but unfortunately it was corked. What a great night with tasting and studying wines from the cool terroir of Washington State.  

Everyone enjoyed the variety of choices to thank Tanya for opening up her doors and allowing us to meet at Wine 661.  Some came early enjoying a glass of wine, some purchased food, including the cheese and meat plates to enjoy while we ventured through Washington, others took home a bottle of wine at a 25% discount and finally there were those who had paninis for dinner at the end of the tasting.  As you can see a great variety of choices for each person in attendance to choose from.

All in all it was a great time for those in attendance and we are looking forward to doing it all again on September 11, 2016.  Thank you again Tina for being a great wine stewardess and to owner Tanya of Wine 661 for the variety and atmosphere.


Rusty Sly