Whidbey has a number of off the beaten path wines to choose from. They make some of their whites from grapes grown right on the Puget Sound island where the winery is located; others are made with grapes sourced from the Yakima Valley area. I figured I'd choose a bottle of red and a bottle of white to start with. Though I've enjoyed Washington state Merlot, Whidbey's offerings seemed like a fun chance to try something a little different, so I had:
2009 Whidbey Island Winery Sangiovese Rattlesnake Hills: I got rose and forest floor on the nose. Brick red color. I first noticed its substantial, almost meaty character, yet it was still well-balanced with taste of cherry and tobacco. It opened up nicely in the glass, more fruit coming forth, nice finish. I'd say this was a bit more polished than its typical Italian counterpart. A g good quality wine. This went well with this Simple Mac and Chicken Casserole; curiosity got the better of me and I couldn't wait for a more classic Sangiovese pairing like spaghetti and meatballs! Rattlesnake Hills is an AVA in the Yakima Valley, where they apparently have land available for sail if you've always wanted to get into the wine biz yourself.