2018 Walla Walla Wine Alliance Portland Tasting Event

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I was once again fortunate enough to be able to attend this event on 2/26/18.

The Walla Walla AVA is a kind of amazing place.  And the wines that represent the area are pretty amazing as well.  This year there were 38 wineries representing the AVA.  I was pleased to see quite a few “new to me” wineries in this group.

Adamant Cellars

  • 2014 Nalin – Bordeaux blend.  Great aromas, moderate acidity in the mid and a bit warm.

Balboa Winery

  • 2014 GSM – Herbal aromas and not much fruit.  Flavor is flat.

Baron’s Winery

  • 2016 Sauvignon Blanc  . . Rosebud Vineyard  – Floral aromas leaning forest floor.  Silky mid palate and mild acidity.  Crisp and fresh with a creamy lingering finish.


  • 2015 Semillion Blend – Great aromas, Floral and fruity.  Soft mid and really nicely balanced.
  • 2014 Conner Lee Vineyard Merlot / Cabernet Franc Blend – A burst of raspberry on the nose.  Silky mid.  The finish has a                 mild edge but is quite delicious.


  • 2017 Healy Rose’ – Syrah – The nose is captivating with the scent of roses and strawberries.  The flavor follows suit nicely as the aromas follow thru to the palate.  A soft and very refreshing delight. ***One of my faves today***
  • 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon– Mild nose and a bit herbal.  The mid palate begins smooth and immediately gets astringent.  I think this wine is just begging for some meat.

Dunham Cellars

  • 3 Legged Red – Inky dark, fruit basket on the nose . .Fantastic.  Silky mid palate and a nice long slightly edgy finish.
  • Trutina – A similar flavor profile to the 3 LEGGED RED but with greater depth of flavor and nose.  This wine spends 2 yrs in barrel and another 1 yr in bottle.  Another FANTASTIC choice and still a fave choice.


  • 2014 Red Blend – Cab Sauv / Merlot / Petit Verdot – Mild nose, super soft mid palate.  The first truly elegant wine I’ve tried today.

Five Star Cellars

  • 2013 Quinque Astrum – A gorgeous nose, the base is Sangiovese and is really wonderful.  A great finish.

Foundry Vineyards

  • 2014 Artisan Blend – Petit Verdot / Merlot / Cab Sauv – Gorgeous dark fruit nose.  Soft and silky mid palate.  Well balanced.

Kontos Cellars

  • 2014 Alatus Blend – Cab Sauv / Merlot / Malbec – Soft nose and a very silky mid.   A superb finish.
  • 2011 Brynnan – Cab Sauv / Merlot / Malbec / Syrah – Aged in new oak for 3 yrs. – A very similar profile to the Alatus though there is a slight edge to the finish.  A beautiful wine.
  • 2015 Malbec – Loads of dark fruit and moderately jammy.  The mid follows suit and it finishes nicely.

Lagana Cellars

  • 2014 Sagemoor Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc – A crisp and fruit forward nose with a creamy mid palate.  Fruit is milder on the palate than the nose.  Nice finish.

Locati Cellars

  • 2013 Innovation Red – Super Tuscan Blend – It has s soft, yet fruity nose.  The mid palate is nearly perfect.  The texture and fruit meld together into a symmetry.  ***Still a fave***

Seven Hills Winery

  • 2016 Sauvignon Blanc – Grapefruit and peaches on the nose. Crisp mid palate, clean and fresh texture.  Just about perfect.
  • 2014 Walla Walla Red Wine – Cab Sauv / Malbec / Petit Verdot – Good in general but goes quickly to an astringency I don’t care for.

Sleight of Hand

  • 2014 Archimage Red Blend – Cab Franc / Merlot – Gorgeous dark fruit on the nose.  Soft mid palate, good texture and fruit.  This one surprised me.  I thought it was headed one direction and it flipped.  Really quite good.
  • 2015 Psychedelic Syrah – Nice soft fruit on the nose. Silky mid palate and smoky thru to the finish. Sort of a one note wonder.  Though that note is good. . I had hoped for more structure and variance.

Spring Valley Vineyards

  • 2014 Uriah Red Blend – Merlot / Cab Franc / Malbec / Petit Verdot – Nice dark fruit up front  and a smoky mid palate that shows its silky texture.  And a great finish.
  • 2014 Frederick Red Blend – Same as above but the dominant grape is Cab Sauv.  Cab is very prominent.  Good dark fruit and more structure.  Finishes dry.

The Walls Vineyards

  • 2015 Grenache Blanc – Captivating floral and citrus nose.  But the flavors don’t live up to the promise the nose made.  Unfortunate.
  • 2015 The Ramparts Red Blend – Grenache / Mourvedre / Counoise – Good nose and a better mid palate.  Nice structure with a silky, juicy finish.

Vital Wines / Brook and Bull

  • 2016 Rose – GSM blend – Heavenly nose.  So much going on there.  Soft yet plenty of flavors and textures.  This would make a fantastic patio wine.
  • 2015 Gratitude – A 50/50 blend of Malbec and Syrah.  Big dark fruit on the nose.  Great texture and the flavors follow thru.  Smooth wonderful finish.
  • 2015 Malbec – Mild nose but good structure.  Lingering finish.  Fruit is muted on the palate and it really needs food.

Walla Walla Vintners

  • 2015 Sangiovese – Great fruit on the nose.  Soft mid palate and great fruit.  Excellent texture.

Woodward Canyon

  • 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon – Great nose, loaded with fruit.  Soft, silky mid with great texture.  Dry, but not drying.  Excellent food wine.

Quite  a few new entries this year and many of the staples of Walla Walla.  It truly is a pleasure to be able to embrace the viticulture of an entire region and to see the fruits of their labors develop and flourish.  Thank you Walla Walla Wine Alliance once again for this event.  It was wonderful.




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