Round Table – November ’08
November 10, 2008 by Wino
We are committed to not rating wines. That is totally up to you. However, we do want to tell you what wines taste like. Everyone has a unique set of taste buds, so how can we be objective? Group wisdom, my friends, group wisdom. The WINO Round Table is a wine symposium of sorts. This month, we invited a diverse group of winos over to taste various wines, take studious notes, draw pretty graphs, and then relax and finish off the rest of the wine. What we’re left with is an average of each taster’s flavor profile, and a variety of things you may pick up on when you try these wines. Have a look, and then go have a taste. This month: Jameson Fink, Brooke Young, Josh LaRosee and Doug Haugen.
Waving Tree Winery
2004 Grenache, Columbia Valley
Nose: Rubber hose, antiseptic white powder (sugical gloves).
Palate: Very juicy! Open this and drink it all day. A little more tannin would make it a more serious wine, but boy a fun wine to drink. A great lastditch wine of the “summer.” Slap a steak on the grill, pop a bottle or two of this wine, and thank us later.
2004 Pinot Noir, Puget Sound
Nose: Wait, this is a Pinot?
Palate: There’s no way this is a Pinot.
2005 Pinot Noir, Puget Sound
Nose: Now THIS is a Pinot Noir. Leather, dark earthiness, mineral notes and just hints of red fruits.
Palate: A cab-lover’s Pinot, this wine has hearty structure and a burly mouthfeel that likens it to, say, J.R.R Tolken’s Legolas; as pretty as a fairytale, but can bring down an elephant with a stick. Who knew a Puget Sound Pinot could have such punch? NOTE: Not yet released.
Holmes Harbor Cellars
2006 Teregré Red Etude, n/a
Nose: Very rich, ripe fruit with some herbaceous notes.
Palate: The fruit on the nose makes a grand appearance on the palate. This wine’s finish is long, long, long, which is part of the reason that it was this crowd’s favorite for the evening. Garden bell peppers impeccably balanced with berry fruit lend to an impressive mouthfeel. And again, a finish for days.
Whidbey Island Winery
2007 Siegerrebe, Puget Sound
Nose: Mmm… like the perfume on the neck of a beautiful woman of the world, the nose of this wine is intoxicating. Part of the reason that we’re so enamored with Siegerrebe right now is demonstrated by the smell of this wine. Tangerines, rose petals, and spices from a Bavarian kitchen.
Palate: A true crowd pleaser, this wine tastes as good as it smells. Not much acidity, like you might find in other Siegs from the Sound, but it’s certainly not lacking in body or flavor. A beautiful seafood and salad wine, grab a bottle and a crab cracker and find yourself in a sort of Puget Sound Nirvana. And, at $15.00 a bottle, this is about as good as it gets.
Whidbey Island Winery
2004 Composition, n/a
Nose: This wine is just gushing with raspberries, balanced out by broken saplings and some notes of perfume.
Palate: The blend is really standing out tonight. The balance is very respectable, lending to a really velvety mouthfeel and a very long finish. Hints of the blend’s components shine through here and there; Malbec and Cab Franc.
2005 Family Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Mendocino County
Nose: There’s very bright fruit on the nose, Fruity Pebbles even, but with some notes of licorice and leather.
Palate: This wine practically requires it be drunk with a dead animal. Pork, spiced chicken, turkey, even steak, all would pair well with this very wine. Throughout the Round Table tasting, it shows better and better. Although this is not technically a Washington wine, the Bloom family makes it right here in Washington, so we’re going to have to claim it as our own. End of story.
Calla 2006, Puget Sound
Nose: Some real funk on the nose: cut grass and orange blossom.
Palate: Although summer is quite done, this wine really makes you want to sit out on the porch and just gulp it down. Served ice cold, the acid is razor sharp, which is exactly the reason to drink Puget Sound whites.
Whidbey Island Winery
2005 Sangiovese, Yakima Valley
Nose: Red Vines liquorice, raspberry, strawberry.
Palate: This Sangio doesn’t quite have the oomph some might expect from the Washington Sangio trend, but this is not a bad thing. Elegance is where this wine likes to shine, with its warm finish and Jolly Rancher-esquness poking through on the palate from sip to sip.
Alexandria Nicole Cellars
2006 Estate Grenache, Horse Heaven Hills
Nose: We spent a good ten minutes trying to pinpoint what it is on this nose that took us all back to childhood. What did we end up with? Strawberry and chocolate cream wafer snacks. Google it. Also, and less important, nuanced dark fruit and spices, blah blah.
Palate: This Grenache is a bit more “straightfaced” than the Waving Tree Grenache, but at $10 more, it is likely what one would expect. The tannins make this age-worthy or food-worthy, which is where the seriousness comes in. This is a really great showing for a Washington Grenache.
Rednik, Columbia Valley
Nose: What a dirty nose! You’ve been bad, Winenik. Lovers of Euro-centric wine styles will be attracted to this nose. Horse stall, wet alfalfa, and even some beer hops overwhelm black fruit and Spring cut grass.
Palate: The juice comes off a bit flabby, and the hints of alfalfa remain (perfect for vegans!), yet it’s pretty drinkable, especially at the campground or ski lift. (Please ski responsibly.) In a Tetrapak, it looks like something you could slip into your kid’s lunchbox (by mistake, of course). Hardcore wine drinkers are either going to love and appreciate what this wine is about, or turn up their noses clear over their glasses at its style and presentation. We, for one, are in the party of the former. While likely not our first choice when it comes to box/tube wine, it appears that Winenik’s “revolution” style will be taking notice.
Kludt Family Winery
Reserve Syrah, Lake Chelan
Nose: This smells like soap, smoked ham and cedar. It’s like you’re washing dishes in a log cabin on Easter.
Palate: Like the Merlot, this is big on fruit and tannin. Dark, dark, dark in color, the extraction has added the best any grape skin has ever had to offer. With a long, spicy finish, it’s all you can do to wait through it before taking another sip.
Kludt Family Winery
Reserve Merlot, Lake Chelan
Nose: Interesting aroma like unripe fruit on the vine.
Palate: This wine is big all around. Big fruit, big acid, big tannin. It’s the Friendly Giant in a glass: amicable, well-adjusted and dangerous only when enveloping you in a hug. It definitely will never solve the Nature vs. Nurture debate, because it clearly comes from both good breeding and good rearing. If the Kludts were on Family Feud, survey says they’d kick some ass.