Home > Washington, wine ratings, wine stores, Wine Tasting, wine travel > Few Last Words About Washington Wines

Few Last Words About Washington Wines

November 5, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

All the good things come to an end – so did my trip to Washington and the series of the blog posts about Woodinville wineries (if you missed the series, here is the link to the first, “MWWC-award-winning” 🙂 post – you can explore it from there).

What is my main outcome of that trip? First, at the “duh”  level – great wines are made in the state of Washington. Yes, yes, I understand how pathetic this revelation is. However, outside of Chateau Ste. Michele, Columbia Crest and may be  Cayuse and Quilceda Creek, how many Washington wineries can you name if put on the spot? Meanwhile, the wines I tasted in Woodinville, where literally one better than another. When it comes to the focused winery visits and large tastings, I do have a bit of experience – 7 wineries, about 40 wines, and not a single wine wine I really didn’t care for? That is a serious result in my book. Couple that with most of the wines reasonable priced in the $25 – $50 range, and the picture gets even better. Spectacular Bordeaux blends with such elegance and finesse – these Washington wines definitely worth seeking out. Well, today you would have to mostly travel to the area if you want to experience the wines – but this is the only problem you might have with the wines. Bottom line – I was very happy with my discovery of Woodinville and its wineries, and in the words of the Terminator, “I’ll be back”.

So you think we are done here? Nope. I still have a few more Washington wines to mention – thanks to Vino Volo. I wrote about Vino Volo a number of times in the past – the company manages wine bars in [mostly] various airports around US and Canada. While good wine at the airport is the most welcome development of the past 5 or so years of the flying experience, my favorite part about Vino Volo is that whenever possible, the bars offer tasting flights of local wines – you should expect to find Texas wines in Austin, California wines in San Francisco and of course, Washington wines in Seattle!

I had about 2 hours before my flight back to New York, and when I saw the Vino Volo sign, that was a happy “Yes!” moment. A number ofthe Washington wine flights were offered, but when I saw the one with Leonetti Cellars Cabernet, I had to go for it – I only heard the name before and they considered to be an excellent producer, so I was definitely curious.

Washington Cabernet Flioght at Vino Volo in seattle

The flight consisted of 3 different Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Washington.

Washington Cabernet description at Vino Volo

Here are my notes:

2010 Pepper Bridge Cabernet Sauvignon Estate, Walla Walla Valley – Raspberries and blackberries on the nose. On the palate, great depth, cassis, blackberries, pencil shavings, medium to full body, sweet tannins, elegant. Drinkability: 7+/8-

2011 Abeja Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley – herbal nose with sage and lavender, touch of cassis. On the palate – dark chocolate, earthiness, nice mineral profile, good acidity, elegant. Drinkability: 8-

2011 Leonetti Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon Walla Walla Valley – Rich and concentrated nose, with the hint of forest floor, herbs, eucalyptus and great complexity. On the palate – round, spectacular, herbal profile with nutty aftertaste, more eucalyptus, long finish. Drinkability: 8+

Well, now it is the time to conclude the series for real. What can I tell you? If you are looking for the great wine experiences, put state of Washington, and Woodinville in particular, on the top of your  list. For those of you who can experience the Woodinville wines and wineries at any time – lucky you. For the rest of us? Well, at least we know where to find them. Cheers!

  1. November 6, 2014 at 2:54 am

    Nice piece 🙂 A couple of questions for you:

    1) how much would a wine flight like that above generally cost?

    2) did you note the alcohol levels on those wines?


    • talkavino
      November 6, 2014 at 7:11 am

      Most of the flights at Vino Volo are priced in $15-$20 range. Higher end flights would be a few dollars more. This particular flight I had was $24 – which I think is a fair value considering the level of the wines included.

      Regarding alcohol level – no, I don’t have that information as I don’t get to hold the bottles – I only have the information listed on the tasting sheets. I might ask them to look at the labels next time…

  2. November 8, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    I imagine I have a significant advantage, but I know lots of WA wineries! 🙂 And I love the Abeja wines – the ones that I have had have all been very good. I’m going to have to check out the Vino Volo – I haven’t been there!

    • talkavino
      November 9, 2014 at 6:09 am

      Of course, you are strategically located 🙂 Vino Volo does help to cope with airport boredom for sure!

  3. November 9, 2014 at 6:07 am

    Vino Volo sounds like a great concept – I only know of a few airports in Europe which have a wine bar.
    Great descriptions of the wines. I’d particularly would like to try the Abeja Cabernet – So much wine to try if I revisit the US.


    • talkavino
      November 9, 2014 at 6:10 am

      Thanks, Julian. All in all, very impressive wines one after another. Yes, you will have to do some drinking when you will come to US 🙂

  4. November 13, 2014 at 12:06 am

    I too have an unfair advantage in knowing Washington wines, it is with some shame I admit my decidedly ‘Washington palate’. Although I do attempt to acquire and try wines from other places as frequently as possible.
    All three of the above wines are actually Walla Walla wineries; certainly a great way to taste them without purchasing a bottle of each. Glad you enjoyed so many of Washington’s wines.

    • talkavino
      November 15, 2014 at 9:43 am

      Quite honestly, my knowledge of “Washington makes great wines” was largely theoretical – I could mention some examples, but only because I read about them, without any “hand-on” experience. This time around I got really immersed into the wonderful Washington wines, and that increased my enthusiasm about them dramatically.

  1. November 9, 2014 at 11:41 pm

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