Check back often for news on harvest, winemaking, events and other fun wine-related things.
The 2023 Washington grape harvest began a few weeks ago. Our first pick will be Red Mountain Merlot. This varietal forms the base for the Storm Front Red Blend. The sugars are where we want them, but the flavors haven’t quite developed yet. With Goldilocks weather (not too hot, not too cold) predicted, we will let these juicy morsels hang on the vine a bit longer. However, forecasters predict slightly below normal temperatures and a modest increase in rainfall from Sept. 7-13, so we will need to watch the skies carefully.
Nothing else seems close to being fully ripe, so we’re probably a few weeks away from the next pick. Interestingly, the Chenin Blanc is ripening quickly. We usually harvest that in October. The Pinot Gris is still very green for early September. The Snipes Mountain Tempranillo has massive clusters and is tasting great. Watch our Facebook and Instagram for updates.
Remember to send your Eastern Washington friends and family in for wine tasting Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1:00-5:00 pm. If they are referred by a club member, they will receive that member's club discount!
Thank you to Savor Northwest for the great review of the new 2019 Squall Line Red Blend. This is our highest scoring wine to date with 97 points and a Double Gold Medal from the judges. Here's what they said:
"The red blend of Bordeaux varietals includes 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot and 1% Cabernet Franc. On the nose, it's complex and enticing with aromas of ripe dark fruit, baking spice, cedar and pipe tobacco. On the palate, it's rounded and juicy with flavors of plum with peppery spice and finely textured tannins carrying earthy notes and a finish alluding to graphite."
Squall Line can be picked up at the winery or ordered online for $33.00.
To celebrate WAugust, we are having a case sale on Three Forks Rose'. You can save an additional 10% (25% total) on 12 bottles of this summer sipper. Wine club members save an additional 10% on top of your regular club discount. Order online for pickup at the winery, or we can ship to you when the weather cools. This offer ends August 31 or when sold out.
We will soon have three new wines about to become your favorites. These wines will be available July 9 for Wine Club members and July 15 to everyone:
2022 Drizzle Pinot Gris: Our 10th vintage of Drizzle Pinot Gris (Gamache Vineyard, White Bluffs AVA) is a crisp but fruity white wine. It shows a light greyish gold color and intriguing aromas of Bosc pear, Crenshaw melon, Meyer lemon, pear tree blossoms, jasmine, and wet stone. The flavors are fresh and lively, with notes of grape and pear skins and saline minerals. The back picks up pear liqueur, melon rind and lemon zest, counterpointed by a faintly honeyed bright acid finish. Enjoy slightly chilled with Asian food, sushi, roasted chicken, turkey, or cheese and crackers. Pairs with summer sun, the “marine layer” and great company. 63 cases produced. Retail $20.00
2021 Mistral Grenache: Our 7th vintage of Mistral Grenache (Ciel du Cheval Vineyard, Red Mountain AVA) displays a light brick red color and rich aromas of strawberry, red currant, pomegranate, crushed roses, bright leaf tobacco, lavender, olives and incense. The flavors are medium bodied, with red fruits intermixed with licorice, cocoa, orange pekoe tea and Red Mountain dusty earth. On the back, the wine turns velvety with pressed berries, roasted nuts, framboise and cassis liqueurs, pomegranate seeds and soft charcoal, with a ripe moderate tannin finish. Pairs with goat cheese, lamb skewers, high wind warnings and sideways rain. 48 cases produced. Retail $33.00
2019 Squall Line Red Blend: Our 9th vintage of Squall Line is a bold red blend of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Malbec, 7% Petit Verdot, 4% Merlot, and 1% Cabernet Franc. The wine is an aromatic “Tour de Washington” with cherry, black currant, green bell pepper, baking spices and leather, with a hint of lilac flowers. On the palate, the dark fruit shines up front, with black cherry and ripe blackberry, followed by leather, tobacco, fresh black pepper, and chocolate, while the acidity and tannins dance among each other. The long finish brings out the refined tannins, leading into the lasting flavor of cherry and a dash of vanilla. Pairs well with roasted or grilled meat, good friends, and stormy nights. Double Gold Medal and 97 Points (Savor NW); Gold Medal and 92 Points (Seattle Wine Awards) 74 cases produced. Retail $33
We are open for wine tasting in North Bend on Saturday, June 3 from 1:00-5:00 pm. There is a $10 per person tasting fee (includes a souvenir wine glass), refundable with wine purchase. Our Richland location will open for tasting on Friday, June 16 from 1:00-5:00 pm. We will be open those hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Here's our tasting menu for the month.
2022 Sunbreak Old Vines Chenin Blanc, Snipes Mountain AVA, Upland Vineyard: Sunbreak shows a brilliant lemon-gold color and aromas of Asian pear-apple, white peach, honeydew melon, grapefruit, pear blossoms, honeysuckle, jasmine and lemon verbena. The flavors are deliciously juicy and vibrant, with notes of pear and grape skins, peach stone and gravelly minerals. The back picks up poire and pêche liqueurs, melon rind and grapefruit peel, followed by a crisp, faintly honeyed finish.
2022 Three Forks Rose' of Pinot Gris, White Bluffs AVA, Gamache Vineyard: This Rosé shows a light copper-pink color and enticing aromas of strawberry, Rainier cherry, watermelon and tangerine, with scents of cherry and orange blossoms, pink roses, verbena and pink incense. The flavors are fresh and vivid, with notes of light grape skin, cherry stones, and alluvial minerals. The back picks up fraise and kirsch liqueurs, and recurring tangerine peel, followed by a juicy, dry finish. From Gamache Vineyard, a Sustainable WA Certified Vineyard.
2021 Fly Rod Cellars Plastic Surgeon Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Erratic Oaks Vineyard: This 100% Oregon Pinot Noir offers pretty aromas of perfume, lavender, cherry, cinnamon and fresh cut grass. Flavors of cherry, raspberry, mushroom, olives, and green tea. The finish is juicy and long with medium tannins. The wine is regularly $33/bottle but is on sale for $30/bottle. Buy 6 bottles and pay $25/bottle. Buy 12 or more and pay $20/bottle. 94 POINTS AND GOLD MEDAL-Oregon Wine Awards
2020 Reserve Syrah, Yakima Valley AVA, Dineen Vineyard: This Single Barrel wine is 100% Syrah. Bright aromas of raspberry, chestnuts, eucalyptus, olive, NW forest floor and fig lead into flavors of dried cranberry, Bing cherry, pie cherry, raspberry, and cassis. The finish is long and juicy with hints of leather.
2020 Fly Rod Cellars Steve's Merlot, Red Mountain AVA: Our first varietal Merlot is a blend of two Red Mountain vineyards: Ciel du Cheval and Quintessence. Aromas of cherry and vanilla with flavors of plum, herbs and oak. 90 POINTS AND SILVER MEDAL-Washington State Wine Awards
2018 Squall Line Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley AVA: Sourced from three vineyards: Phinny Hill (60%) and Coyote Canyon (10%)--both Horse Heaven Hills--and Boushey (30%) in Yakima Valley. Deep ruby colored, this possesses classic varietal aromas of blackberry, cherry, plum, crushed black roses, tobacco, cedar, rosemary and wood smoke. The flavors, as well, are direct and true to variety, with dark fruits that are intermixed with licorice, dark chocolate, French roast and Horse Heaven scorched earth. The penetration continues on the back with roasted berries and nuts, mocha and pulverized charcoal, followed by a sweet-dry tannin finish. Pairs well with roasted or grilled meats, good friends and stormy nights.
The prestigious Washington and Oregon Wine Awards recently announced recipients for 2023. The four wines we entered did exceptionally well. The wines were judged single-blind, meaning the professional judges did not know the producer, but were told the type of wine they were judging. Here are our results:
94 points and Gold Medal: 2019 Fly Rod Cellars Plastic Surgeon Pinot Noir
92 points and Gold Medal: 2019 Squall Line Red Blend (to be released in summer 2023)
91 points and Gold Medal: 2019 Storm Front Red Blend (to be released in fall 2023)
90 points and Silver Medal: 2020 Fly Rod Cellars Steve's Merlot
Saturday, June 3 from 1:00-5:00 pm will be our last open day in North Bend. It's your final opportunity to taste, purchase and pick up previously ordered wine before it all gets moved to the drier and warmer side of the state.
Friday, June 16 will be our first day open in the new Richland location: 1339 Tapteal Drive, Suite 104, Richland, WA 99352. We plan to be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in the new space. Hours are 1:00-5:00 pm, but may change depending on demand. We are within 13 minutes of eight other wineries/tasting rooms and only 17 minutes from Red Mountain.
Here are two fun fundraising events in the community where we will be sampling three of our wines. Please join us!