A New Rose’ & People’s Choice Award Winner

Bayernmoor Cellars Team

At Taste Washington this year, over 300 wineries were showcased. My mission over the 2 day event was to check out all the wineries and find out who’s positioned to be super successful and who’s got a lot of work to do yet! I came away incredibly impressed with Bayernmoor, who is a undoubtedly a hot new winery to watch!

Part of the reason they are coming out of the gates strong is they hired a great winemaker, Brian Carter,  who has twice been named “Winemaker Of The Year” by Washington Magazine and is widely known for his European approach to winemaking and blending.

While I liked all of their line-up, my favorite was this delicious rose’ made from a blend of Grenache and Mourvedre sourced from Clifton Vineyard in the Wahluke Slope AVA. It is light and crisp and refreshing, with enough character to be interesting but not overbearing. Brian vinified this Provence style rose’ to almost complete dryness, with just enough fruit to tickle the tip of your tongue.

And having loved it at Taste Washington, I was curious how it would do at my 17th Annual Rose’ Revival event, which showcased rose’ from 40 wineries. The Bayernmoor Rose’ came in a 3 way tie for first place in the People’s Choice award, and the other 2 were from pretty prestigious, well known wineries and were much pricier. For only $15, this is a screaming deal that won’t last long!

Bayernmoor Winery

A Big Time Chardonnay For A Little Price!

2015 Coach House Chardonnay

I’m always on the look out for a good Chardonnay that is what Chardonnay lovers want – a good textured, creamy wine with a nice buttery soft texture without a ton of oak. And while you can find these for $35-50 pretty easily, it’s almost impossible to find a good one that’s under $20. Most in that price category are “unoaked” or lightly oaked – which is fine, but they tend to be light and crisp and lack that creamy texture people want.

I can’t tell you why we were able to get such a screaming deal on this delicious Chardonnay, but I can tell you it’s exactly what I was looking for. This wine from a tiny Washington producer is hand crafted and sourced from two vineyards in Yakima, then aged “sur lie” which means they leave the yeast sediment in the barrel while it’s aging to add layers of flavor.

And while 50% of this wine aged in new French Oak and the rest in previously used barrels, the wine gets its creaminess without being overly oaky at the same time.  Most wine at this price would be lucky if it was “oaked” with wood chips rather than new $1000 barrels.

Expect that buttery popcorn flavor with hints of pear and melon, and a subtle Meyer lemon finish with a good rich texture without going overboard. For this price I bought a case for myself at what was a one time winery direct deal!


Napa Goes Big On Washington Cabernet

By Sommelier David LeClaire

2015 Canvasback Cabernet – Red Mt.
90 Points – Wine Enthusiast
92 Points – James Suckling
92 Points – Wine Advocate
93 Points – Wine & Spirits

In 2011 after conducting extensive blind tastings between Napa Valley and Washington Cabernet Sauvignons, Duckhorn Vineyards was so excited about the quality and character of the wines from Washington State, and in particular the exceptional Cabernet Sauvignons from Red Mountain, they decided to invest in Washington.

Working with legendary Washington vineyard manager Dick Boushey, they began cultivating relationships with the growers who farm some of the appellation’s most esteemed vineyards, as well as planting their own vineyards. This was one of the first ever serious investments in Washington from a well respected Napa winery. As with all Duckhorn wines, they needed to name the wine after a duck, so they came up with Canvasback, a duck native to the Pacific Flyway. 

This wine has received some pretty lofty scores, with 4 esteemed publications all giving it 90+ points, as it has notable presence and depth with a creamy fine-grained texture and gorgeous flavors of black plum, marionberry, with notes of nutmeg and hazelnut. Yet it’s the restranied nature of this wine that had the critics impressed, as it drinks more like a French Bordeaux than a big juicy Washington Cab.

The balance comes in part to it’s Bordeaux style makeup, with 81% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 3% Malbec, 2% Cabernet Franc with 20 months in barrel 98% French oak barrels. Duckhorn is going all in on Washington Cabernet. And if you want to see what Napa is up to in Washington, give this a try!

Daily Wine News: Coping With Change

In Wine-Searcher, Vicki Denig looks at tactics winemakers worldwide can use to address climate change. “Dr Bruce Bordelon of the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Purdue University…notes that changing harvest parameters and working with alternative varieties are two very big steps that these regions can take to combat the effects of climate change… Bordelon also highlights the opportunity to develop new varieties, particularly hybrids, as a way of addressing climate change and disease resistance issues.”

Russia has tightened controls on Georgian wine imports over quality concerns, amid heightened political tension between the two countries, reports Chris Mercer in Decanter.

California wine sales hit $40.2 billion in 2018, up 3% from the previous year.

“Württemberg, located in the south-west of the country, is warm, making it an ideal place to grow red grapes. However, the world looks to Germany for white wines, and Württemberg’s specialty grape, Trollinger, has fallen out of favour,” writes Clemens Gerke, who explores how the German region is grappling with change in Meininger’s. (subscription req.)

Lettie Teague sets out to find the best Pinot Noirs under $20 in the Wall Street Journal. (subscription req.)

Laura Parker looks at how Australia’s Hunter Valley has evolved over the years in Forbes.

And in Wine Enthusiast, I share how a wine aroma kit helped me learn more about wine.