Workaday Wine – A Look at Kamiak’s New Releases
December 18, 2009 by Wino
Last week on a cold and blustery Thursday afternoon, we sat down to get some work done, which means we fired up our laptops and opened two bottles of wine. The wines of the day were a white and a red by Kamiak Wines, a Washington venture (produced and bottled by Gordon Brothers Family Vineyards) whose family ranch dates back to 1907. Kamiak takes its name from Chief Kamiak of the Yakama Tribe who, according to the story, initiated irrigation of the Columbia Valley back in the mid-1800′s.
The two wines we tasted (and finished, you should know) were the 2008 Windust White and the 2007 Rock Lake Red. These are two value wines with a low price-point making them easy to pick up and easy to drink, and quite frankly, made an afternoon of work damn enjoyable.
These are workaday wines. They do exactly what they’re supposed to do–they get the job done, and they do it with a bit of flair.
90% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Chardonnay
2,843 cases produced
On the nose, the Chard really has a voice, even though it doesn’t have enough votes for cloture. The oak may try to filibuster the sweet fruit, but it has only limited success. On the palate, the oak makes a stronger play, toasty and serious, but it lends to a viscous, creamy mouthfeel that is not at all unwelcome. This vino is approaching voluptuousness, and there’s a lot going on in there for a $10 bottle. While the alcohol is as vociferous as a politician, the scramble for attention among the many components is entertaining at the least. Given time, the Windust White softens up a bit, which only encouraged us to keep drinking to see what this wine could do. If only there were more than 750 mL in a bottle.
44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 25% Syrah, 5% Malbec
4,200 cases produced
The Rock Lake Red demonstrates the enthusiastic use of wood. While “just a touch” of new oak is used among the mix of both French and American oak barrels, the sixteen months in barrel shows. It has a good acidic attack, making it a mouth-watering, lipsmacker of a red. Juicy red fruit does a veritable dance throughout, particularly pie cherries. While well-balanced, the Rock Lake Red has a rugged mouthfeel that may soften in time, but it adds interest. This is a wine to serve at house parties with lots of guests. It’s sure to add cheer on a budget, and will also provide a conversation piece for the minglers. It’s also a good bottle to crack open while working on a wine publication.