Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Walter Dacon Winery All About Following Your Passion!

Image by Doug Walker
 Last week I spent a few fantastic days in Olympia, Washington with about 150 of my closest friends and biggest competitors. As you might know, I’m a wine writer by night, but for my day job I make a living as a professional photographer. Last week was our annual state print competition and educational conference.
For me, my life as a professional photographer is about living my passions. As a recovering social worker I’ve found that my work in photography makes me more than happy. It is something that I absolutely love doing. I wake up excited every day knowing I love what I do for a living, and I go to sleep every night with a smile on my face.
While in Olympia I got to spend time with Doug Walker, another super-talented commercial photographer who is also as passionate about life and work as I am. We shared a few stories and a few bottles. One in particular that he wanted me to try was a 2008 Walter Dacon C’est Syrah Magnifique.
I promise to tell you what I think of the wine, but first I want to tell you what I’ve learned about the winery after having tasted the wine.
Walter Dacon is the creation of Lloyd and Ann Anderson, who got into making homemade wine back in 2000. People would tell them that they loved the wine, and after falling deep and passionately in romance with winemaking decided it was time to make their romance real. They went back to UC Davis and studied everything that you can learn about winemaking.

In 2003 the Andersons were granted a license by the Federal Government and the state to start producing wine professionally under the name Walter Dacon, Lloyd’s grandfather’s name. By 2005 they received their first 90+ point Wine Spectator score and the rest has been history!

The winery’s tasting room is located in Shelton, out on the Olympic Peninsula. I haven’t visited the place, but am told that the tasting room is both fun and gorgeous.

Now for the wine. As I mentioned, Doug presented me with a bottle of Walter Dacon’s 2008 C’est Syrah Magnifique. This wine is 100% Syrah juice sourced from Boushey (31%), Ranch at the end of the road vineyard (31%), Discovery (31%), and Destiny Ridge (7%). A great blend of some of Eastern Washington’s best Syrah.

The wine was a beautiful dark purple in the glass, and had a nose of blueberry and cocoa. The fruit on the front of the palate was rich plum and blueberry, leading to caramel and cocoa on the mid palate. The finish was lingering with a nice balance of tannin and acidity. Definitely a great bottle of wine to be enjoyed both with a nice steak, as well as on its own with friends.  If you question my judgement you should read the recent Wine Spectator write up about it. 

The Andersons produced 317 cases of this wine, so I expect it will be just enough for all of you to get a bottle. However, you might want to hurry now that I've written this article, and WS has written theirs. 

You can reach their winery at to find out more about their other Rhone specialties and even make a purchase. As they say it on their web page they want you to “Experience the Rhone”. For those of you who love Rhone wines, you won’t be disappointed.

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