So, as I was looking through my past Thanksgiving articles I realized that they’ve all been about pairing wine with turkey. If you don’t know what to pair the turkey with, just buy the most expensive white wine you can find. Buy a bunch of it. If your guests don’t like your choice in wine hit them over the head with the bottle or a turkey leg. Whichever is handiest. That should pretty well cover the turkey pairing issue.
Now, on to what I want to talk about. After all, this article really is about me. Isn’t it?
I was thinking that in honor of Thanksgiving I would write this week on all the great wines that we have right here in our region. Wines that are top rated, and readily available for our consumption. Wines made right here in the Northwest, for Northwesterners. These are wines that you can walk right into the local stores and wine shops to purchase.
I’m not the only one to think that these wines are great. I’m going to reference scores posted by Wine Spectator that are 90 points or above. If you don’t agree with Wine Spectator I think they take your birthday away or something.
The first vintner that I want to recognize is our own home-grown giant Columbia Crest, and their sister Chateau Ste Michelle. The 2005 Columbia Crest Valley Reserve Merlot and the 2008 Ste. Michelle Indian Valley Cabernet Sauvignon have scores of 90. Their cousin wineries of Northstar, Erath, Spring Valley, and Col Solare also have fantastic ratings. Northstar’s 2006 Merlot earned a score of 91. The Erath 2006 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir earned a 91. Spring Valley had a score of 92 for their 2007 Uriah, and a 93 went to the Col Solare 2005 vintage.
Cougar Crest, from Walla Walla has earned a 90 or better score on three of their current vintages. Their 2006 Cabernet Franc and Aniversary Cuvee, as well as their 2005 Merlot all did very well in judging.
Amavi also has three current vintages scoring at 90 points each. Their 2006 Walla Walla Syrah, their 2007 Walla Walla Syrah, and their 2007 Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon.
Another Walla Walla vintner that consistently offers up great wines is John Abbott at Abeja. His 2007 vintages of Chardonnay and Merlot offer up absolutely fantastic flavors worthy of great accolades.
L’Ecole No 41 continues to take the wine industry to school year after year with their wines. Currently they have five vintages on the market that have Wine Specator scores above 90. Their 2007 Apogee and Walla Walla Cabernet Sauvignon both scored 92s this year. Their Seven Hills Merlot and Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon both scored 91, and their 2006 Seven Hills Vineyard Syrah holds its own with a score of 90.
My friend Rich Funk at Saviah earned a very respectable 93 with his 2006 vintage of Une Vallee. This wine is truly amazing, and priced very, very well for the quality. Also, Chuck at Reininger proved his winemaking talents when he scored a respectable 92 on his 2007 Walla Walla Syrah.
This is not a complete list of amazing local wines. I really encourage you to go to our local wine shops and ask for the complete list.