Saturday, May 28, 2011

Austin Wine Merchant Tasting - Washington State Wines

It's been a few weeks since I've been able to attend these Saturday wine tastings at AWM - how I've missed them! This week's theme was wines from Washington State.

J. Bookwalter Anecdote Riesling 2010, Columbia Valley, WA - $12.99
The 2009 vintage of this wine earned 91 points from Wine Enthusiast.

Aroma - at first beer, then light fruit
Taste - tropical sweet fruit

This wine was just okay for my palate. I'd recommend it to folks who like sweet wines, but I'd much rather have a fresh, dry, Sauvignon Blanc.

Charles & Charles Rosé 2010, Columbia Valley, WA - $11.25
Greg at AWM says this wine is made from Syrah. One of the winemakers is Charles Bieler from France, and the other is Charles Smith from Washington.

Aroma - light fruit, clean, almost soapy
Taste - light tart fruit, dry, good acid, slightly bitter finish

A maybe for me - I don't really like it, but rosé drinkers might. I'm not a huge fan of rosé in general.

Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Chardonnay 2008, Columbia Valley, WA - $14.99
This wine is 100% single vineyard Chardonnay.

Aroma - heavy, buttery
Taste - bitter, heavy

Sarah from AWM says that this wine isn't too heavily oaked (7 months according to the winery's site), but I'm probably extra sensitive to oak, especially in my white wines. I don't like oak in white wines, and I generally purchase whites (Sauv Blancs in particular) that have been fermented and aged in stainless. This wine a no for me, but a maybe for a regular Chardonnay drinker.

J. Bookwalter Subplot No. 24 Red Wine, Columbia Valley, WA - $14.99
This red is a blend of 30% Merlot, 29% Syrah, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 4% Malbec, and 4% Petit Verdot.

Aroma - dark fruit and chocolate
Taste - dark fruit, dark cocoa, strong tannins

I like this wine, except for its high (14.9%) alcohol content. Sarah from AWM thinks it's one of the best value Bordeaux blend U.S. wines. I agree that it's a nice wine - I think a lot of people will like it!

See a set of previous tasting notes for this wine here - very different!

Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon 2009, Columbia Valley, WA - $14.99
This wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Syrah, 3% Merlot, 2% Malbec, and 1% Cabernet Franc.

Aroma - dark fruit, dark cocoa
Taste - Dark fruit, very dark cocoa, strong tannins, tobacco finish

I like this wine. It's also high in alcohol at 14.5%, but the good thing about this wine and the previous one is that neither smell or taste as if they are high in alcohol.

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