Washington Wine Month: some must haves….

I enjoy wines from all over the world. There is no favorite wine region in my world, because I can find wines from any region that are lovely. To me a solid, good wine… is a solid, good wine no matter the location. However, March is Washington Wine month and being a proud Washingtonian, I feel the need to focus attention to Washington wines.

Even though I purchase wines from all over the world, it’s important to support our growing wine region in Washington. I am extremely impressed with many of the wines coming out of Washington. We are not to be overlooked. We are producing some powerful, favorable, and elegant wines. With that being said, today the focus is on “Carolyn’s favorite wineries of the moment.”

Winery #1

Fall Line Wineryhttp://www.falllinewinery.com/

Winery Tastings are by appointment only

I have fallen in love with Fall Line’s wines, especially their Bordeaux blends. They are smooth, earthy, and fresh. The two varietals I highly recommend are Boushey Vineyard Red Blend – out of YakimaValley (39% Cabernet franc, 34% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon). The 2009 received 91 points from the Wine Advocate. The Boushey is an easy drinking wine that infuses the flavors of cassis, herbs, current, earth and plum on the palate. It seems like a lot of flavors, but it all blends perfectly together. The winery suggests cellaring it for a couple more years, but this wine is enjoyable right now as well.

The other elegant, yet rugged Bordeaux blend is their Red Willow Vineyard Red Blend (64% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet franc). Out of the two blends, this would have to be my number one. It is a medium-bodied wine that is tight at first taste. But after a few swirls, it opens up beautifully. It could benefit from another 2-4 years of cellaring, but I find it even enjoyable to drink now. It has the flavors of smoke, black current, spices and cherry. Its tannins are slightly chewy (For the new wine novice, I will explain tannins in another blog. But basically they give a wine structure and texture). This wine also made the ‘100 Best Wines of Washington—The 2012 List,’ Seattle Met magazine, September 2012.

Both these wine are a little pricey. But worth the splurge. The Red Willow sells at The Grape Choice (http://thegrapechoice.com/) for $34.99 and the Boushey sells for around $30.00 on their website. Both wines can be found easily in many local wine shops throughout Washington.

**You can taste their wines in the Seattle area on Saturday, March 16, 3:00 to 5:00 p.m at West Seattle Cellars http://www.westseattlecellars.com

Winery # 2

Domanico Cellars

2008 Le Monstre

2008 Le Monstre

Ballard Winery and Tasting Room

825 NW 49th Street, Seattle, WA

Open for tastings Friday, 5:00-9:00PM and Saturday, 12:00-6:00PM

Or by appointment during other days of the week


I stumbled upon Domanico Cellars about 2 years ago. I don’t remember how I heard of them, but once I found this winery in Ballard, I had to check them out. Talk about a find of lifetime. Domanico Cellars is a small family owned and operated winery in the heart of Ballard (and opening soon, a tasting room in Prosser , WA- where their vineyard is located).

Jason Domanico is one of the most friendly, humble wine makers I have ever met. The second you walk into the winery, he makes you feel as if you are part of his wine family. Probably because his whole family is involved with the wine making process (Jason, his wife Jill and daughter Anna) so he has a family minded business sense. We have visited the winery many times on a Friday evening with our children and a box of pizza. The kids enjoy pizza (and if Jason’s daughter is around, a play mate) and we delight in his wonderful wine line-up.

It’s hard for me to pick a favorite wine, because they are unique, charming and straight to the point. My recommendation would be to visit this winery and taste them all. The line up is usually (but in the world of wine, things can change):

1. 2010 Lewis Family Vineyard Riesling $15 – a dry, yet refreshing Riesling that would be a perfect pairing with seafood.

2. 2008 Le Flirt $21a blend of Merlot, Malbec and Cab Franc. It’s a spicy (flirty) blend!!

3. 2008 Mesa Rojo $21- A Cab, Cab Franc and Malbec blend that is an easy drinking, every day wine to drink with your dinner.

4. 2008 Le Monstre $21 -a predominately Cabernet Sauvignon (with 25% Cab Franc) wine. This is a dark, rich wine that could hold for up to 10 years.

5. 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon $32 – I tried this wine for the first time about a month ago and fell in love. It is a smooth, rich, dark Cab that should be decanted for an hour or so. A must try!

But don’t take my word on Domanico Cellars, try it for yourself. Tastings are free and wines by the glass are only $5 (The reserve is $8). Pack the kids,the dog and head down on a Saturday evening. You will be happy to find this wine slice of heaven.

If you live in WA, make sure to support our local economy… and purchase a Washington wine (or two). If you live outside the Evergreen state, I challenge you to put down your California, French and Italian wine. Go to your local wine merchant and ask for a Washington wine. You will be pleasantly surprised – I promise!

PS – you can always order these wines through the winery’s website – unless you live in a state where they continue to have this funny law where wine cannot be shipped to you (and if that is the case, you should move).