March is Washington Wine Month. Let’s focus on what our great state has to offer. Here are 7 Washington wines that you should probably be drinking, this month and beyond.
2014 Trust Riesling Yakima Valley / Ancient Lakes ($14.99)
Steve Brooks is one of the most trusted winemakers coming out of Walla Walla. Pun fully intended. The Ancient Lakes’ Evergreen Vineyard comprises 16%, while the balance of this vintage comes from Yakima Valley. Extremely well balanced and clean, with mineral notes and a dry finish. If you have sworn off Rieslings for being too sweet, think again, and Trust us.
2013 Ryan Patrick Rock Island Red Wahluke Slope ($14.99)
Rich, ripe and concentrated are characteristics in the grapes coming from one of the warmest and driest growing regions, the Wahluke Slope, just north of Yakima Valley. The Rock Island is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon, with barely 30% a blend of Merlot, Malbec and Syrah. This wine has been a fan favorite from day 1 at Leschi Market, nearly 2 years ago now. It is an easy drinking, powerful red wine that is incomparable in quality for the price.
Wilridge Winery Rachel Red ($15.99)
One of Leschi and Madrona’s favorite neighborhood wineries partnering to support another Seattle institution. Wilridge Winery’s Rachel Red, named after the famous brass pig greeting everyone beneath the iconic neon Pike Place Market sign, benefits the Pike Place Market Foundation. The Foundation provides a senior center, medical clinic, shelter, preschool, daycare, and assisted living to low-income neighbors who work and live around the Market. This blend is Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah and makes for a great table wine with an even better purpose and message.
2013 Lobo Hills Cabernet Sauvignon ($20)
Staying on the ultra-local kick, it doesn’t get much more local than Tony Dollar’s Lobo Hills Winery. He’s a neighbor to all, just living and working down the lakeside in Seward Park. His production is small while his wines are growing ever more wildly popular. This 100% Cabernet Sauvignon offers tea and sage up front, leading towards big juicy plum, cassis and anise in the finish. Rich, balanced and full of life and flavor. A Washington Cabernet for $20 that cannot be missed.
2013 Cadence Coda Red Mountain ($23.39)
This current version of Cadence’s Coda is 38% Cabernet Franc, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, and 14% Petit Verdot. Spicy yet soft. Big yet elegant. This red blend from Red Mountain has it all. An incredible wine at an even better price, where most wines from this region are coming out at least double the price. Recent accolades include 5 out of 5 stars from the Leschi Tasting Panel as well as 93-points Wine & Spirits.
2013 Walla Walla Vintners Bello Rosso ($30)
A really fun blend from one of the very first wineries in our state’s history. An ode to a Super-Tuscan style at equal parts Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. Cranberry and raspberry on the nose mixed with herbs and pepper. Silky smooth texture leading to a dry finish. While I think all of the Walla Walla Vintners wines are well-crafted, solid offerings, there is just something different about the Bello Rosso that stands out above the rest.
2009 McCrea Syrah Boushey Vineyard ($34.99)
Syrah from one of the most highly regarded vineyards in the state, in the heart of Yakima. Boushey fruit has unmistakable notes of black cherry, coffee, earth and mushroom. Combine unique fruit, with the prowess of a great winery, and this is the result. The complexity and cohesiveness between fruit, oak and acid makes this one of the best examples of Syrah out there. You really should be drinking this wine.
I guess the point of all this is, it’s Washington Wine Month. Try one of the above, or something else, but give Washington wine an extra look this month, you might just find something you like!
Kenneth Benner, a Seattle area native, is a trained chef and has worked in such restaurants as Barbacoa, B.O.K.A. Kitchen + Bar, and Dahlia Lounge. Ken is the wine buyer at Leschi Market. He has a passion for learning, a meticulous palate, and a tenacity for searching out the best for his customers while offering some of the most highly coveted wines in the area. His wine column is intended to inspire and explore new choices in wine, learn about wine with his readers, and share his knowledge and experiences in the wine world. Check out the latest at www.LeschiMarket.com or request to be added to email updates or send questions, comments, or suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow the wine department directly on twitter at twitter.com/leschimarket.