Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Washington Wine that Wows!

I've enjoyed the limited sampling of Washington state wines I have had, so I was interested to come across Jameson Fink's blog and learn more about wines the state has to offer. A little Twitter exchange about wines produced in the Puget Sound area connected me to Whidbey Island Winery, and the chance to try some of their wines.

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.

2009 Whidbey Island Winery Madeleine Angevine Puget Sound Wow! The Sangiovese was enjoyable, but this is one I really want to have again soon! Delicate light straw color in the glass. Hibiscus nose.  Crisp, lively taste...something really pops...pear? A lemon citrusy element too. Very refreshing! We enjoyed on a cold early March night with penne with pesto and grilled chicken from Whole Foods. This bottle would probably be even more appreciated on a hot summer night! I'm going to have to track down some more of this and pair it with some of my own food creations. The low alchohol content (11%) makes it good for food and warm weather sipping. By way of background, Madeleine Angevine is a white grape originally from the Loire. Washington state is the one spot in the U.S. mentioned in this Wikipedia entry on the grape.


Jameson Fink said...

Great review. Whidbey Island Winery, as you experience, not only makes unique white wines from grapes grown on the island, but they also do a great job with grapes they get from Eastern Washington.

David said...

Thanks Jameson! Yes, I liked both wines I tried; and will have to sample more.