I went to a “Meet the Makers” Visit Seattle event at Filson’s flagship NYC store in Union Square and soaked in the idyllic and nostalgic Pacific Northwest vibe. One of the highlights, of course, was the selection of Washington State wines available to sample. And I have to say, I was fairly gobsmacked by many intriguing and delicious bottles.
Here are some highlights.
6 Washington State Wines to Covet and Drink
Orr Wines Old Vine Chenin Blanc (2016)
Save the Washington Chenin! There’s very little left, and a lot of it is old-vine goodness. Kudos to winemakers like Erica Orr, creating Loire-esque wines with the grape.
Two Vintners O.G. (2017)
Morgan Lee must have been the first person to make an orange wine in Washington State. If you know who beat him to it, LMK. This is the 6th (!) vintage of this wine. Oh, O.G.=Orange Gewurztraminer. The color comes from the grape skins spending extra-special time with the juice. This is killer!
Smockshop Band Pinot Noir (2016)
Whoa, a stunner! (The label and the wine.) This winery is new to me, part of cult-y Hiyu Wine Farm. This Pinot comes from a single vineyard in the Columbia Gorge AVA. There is simply no more exciting region for wine in Washington State than the Gorge.
Savage Grace Côt (2016)
I’ve been a fan of Michael Savage’s wines for a while now. They have an appealing light touch. Nowhere is this more apparent than in this Malbec. He calls it Côt as a nod to how the grape is referred to (and the style of the wine) in the Loire Valley: elegant, not jammy.
Gramercy Cellars Forgotten Hills Syrah (2015)
Reynvaan Family Vineyards Syrah Stonessence (2015)
In contrast with the Gramercy Cellars, the Reynvaan is a meaty, smoky, gamey affair. The first whiff you take places the fruit from the extremely distinct “Rocks” area of Walla Wallla Valley. (Which is actually in Oregon, but that’s another story.)
Also thanks to these folks representing the city and state:
The reps from the Space Needle providing an update on the, well, major updates there. Chihuly Garden and Glass for the tiny, precious piece of glass I have purposed for salt-keeping. Hama Hama for the amazing oysters. Chef Jeff from No Anchor for the creative veg and salmon bites. Boo and Christophe from Hedges Family Estate, an always entertaining duo. (Check out their biodynamic Cabernet in magnums.)
Finally, Washington State Wine for all the eye-opening bottles.