Seattle

Chateau Ste. Michelle Dry Riesling 2012

St mich riesling

Possibly the cheapest bottle of wine I have ever reviewed, costing less than $6 from Safeway!  I've looked around and almost everywhere in Washington State, this local wine can be found for roughly the same price.

But does cheap mean bad?  Not in this case.  I admit, I was sceptical.  But this 2012 dry white wine from the Riesling grape is actually rather good.  It has the classic petrol Riesling taste, offset by over-ripe peaches and a medium to crisp finish.  Certainly not bone dry and citrusy, like a New Zealand young Sauvignon Blanc, but chill this down and serve it on its own or with chicken and you will walk away feeling like you just discovered an absolute bargain.

Chateau Ste. Michelle is one of the largest wineries in Washington State and produces a wide range of wines, almost all of them consistently good for the price.  Adding a couple of bottles to the wine fridge will not hurt the wallet but will bring pleasure on a warm day.  Take heed though, looks can be deceiving - what appears to look and taste like a light dry white wine, is actually 13% ABV.


Trust Cellars Syrah 2009

I came across Trust Cellars on a trip to Woodinville, just outside Seattle in Washington State.  They had a small outlet there, although the wine is made in the famous Walla Walla region in Eastern Washington.

I think many of the wines in Washington State, whilst good, are overpriced compared to European counterparts.  Partly I think this is due to the smaller quantities of wine made and partly because local consumers are willing to pay high prices for the 'local story'.

I picked up a case of the 2009 Syrah a couple of years ago and it's been sitting in the cellar ever since.  I've tried the odd bottle and would say it is 'a point' right about now.

The wine is deep and rich in color and very smooth to drink, either on it's own or with a light meat.  It's not big enough for steak.  And for a Syrah, it's not that spicy. In fact, on a blind taste, you might venture into right bank bordeaux land.  It's plummy and rounded, not tannic, but punchy at over 14% alcohol.

The 2011 version is selling now for around $30 a bottle, which is good value for the quality.  Trust Cellars is a relatively new winery but already making great strides.

Trust


Washington Wines - a Whole New World

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Since moving to Seattle in early 2011, I have continued to be delighted with the range and quality of wines from Washington State.  Having drank European wines (preference being Spanish, French and Italian in that order) for more than 20 years, with little exposure to US wines, you can imagine my surprise upon moving to this great Seattle, to find row upon row of Washington wines in the supermarkets and hundreds of wineries within an hour's drive.

You see, Washington wines just don't make it as far as London (my home for many years).  You might get some overpriced Californian wine but it doesn't stack up to the wide array of great grog from closer climes.  Well, now that I am living here, I am on a mission to drink mainly Northwest Wines and this blog will act as my memory book.  It's 6pm on a Sunday.  Time for a glass of wine...