Every year at the Wine Blogger’s Conference, we partake in Live Wine Blogging. Basically, winemakers move from table to table, telling us about their wine in 5 minutes or less. We get to make a snap judgement and blog about it. It’s sort of like speed dating for wine and it’s equally as exhausting.
This year the Live Blogging sessions were split into two: Whites & Rosés on Friday and Reds on Saturday. Because we had so little time to learn, ask questions, and type, the notes aren’t the best. They should, however, give you a general idea of how we felt about the wine.
Wine #1: Pithy Little Wine Company, Sangiovese Rosé with 2% Syrah
Jeff and Felicia, San Luis Obispo, CA, with grapes from all over the state. Nice melon and spice characteristics. Blood orange was mentioned as possible characteristic as well. Finishes quick but has the acid on the finish. Watermelony, summery, some spice on the finish. Flat rate wine shipping.
Wine #2: Ortman Family Wines 2007 Edna Valley Chardonnay
Pasadena / Paso Robles
Family owned winery. Well-balanced chardonnay with a little butteriness. 25% New French Oak, 20-40% malolactic fermentation. A little too much oak for Michelle’s taste. 1500 cases.
Wine #3: Pepperwood Grove California Chardonnay in a box, non vintage
Pepperwood Grove is a familiar label by Sebastiani that added box wines just a few months ago. It’s not too oaky, which was surprising. 88% chardonnay, 10% chenin blanc, splash of viognier. Clarksburg and Interior valley grapes and 6 months oak staving.
Cost is ~$19 for 3L.
Wine #4: Desert Wind Winery 2009 Viognier
Viognier is my favorite grape and this one was a standout during the speed tasting. In fact, I decided I really enjoy Washington state Viognier in general. This was flowery, fruit loopy (as it should be) and light, with spices on the finish. Slightly oily mouthfeel (in a good way). ~$15
Wine #5: Long Shadows Poets Leap Riesling, 2009 Columbia Valley
German winemaker comes to walla walla to get grapes and sticks around. Full of slate, with a little bit of sweetness. Acidic.
Wine #6: Octavin Big House White in a box
Familiar brand – also available by the bottle. ~21.99 for the box. Fairly enjoyable. A crazy mix of grapes: 51% Malvasia Bianca, 14% Muscat Canelli, 13% Viognier, 10% Gruner Veltliner, 5% Pinot Gris, and 4% Riesling. Kevin judged this assuming it was a Chardonnay and gave it a low score. However, since it’s not a Chardonnay, I actually gave it a decent rating. I tend to prefer boxed reds, and this is the first boxed white I’ve tried that I think I could sit around and enjoy periodically. Is it an award winner? No. But it’s fun for a hot day after you’ve mowed the yard.
Wine #7: Maryhill Winery 2008 Viognier
Winery in Walla Walla.
Oaky and creamy at first, cotton candy on the finish. Used 1 barrel of neutral oak to bring in oak flavoring.
Wine #8: Hogue 2008 Genesis Chardonnay, Washington
Hogue was the 19th winery in Washington state – now there are a lot more. Unoaked chardonnay. From sunny side in Yakima valley. 13.9% ABV. Chablis style with nice, crisp flavors. Good light summer wine. $16.00/bottle, but look for specials. Nationally available.
Wine #9: Buty Winery 2008 White Blend: muscadelle, semillon, sauvignon blanc
I tend to shy away from muscadelle – it’s just not one of my favorite grapes. That said, this wasn’t bad. Used oak. High acid. Goal is to be distinctive in Washington. $23 retail.
Wine #10: Dusted Valley Ramblin’ Rosé
This was my second favorite wine of the speed tasting (after the Desert Wind Viognier). The wine is made up of 52% mourvedre, 29% counoise, 16% syrah, and 2%viognier. 273 cases produced. Spends 16 hours on skins. No malolactic fermentation – all stainless to get life and crispness. . ~$18 retail. This is all younger fruit farmed specifically for use in the rosé. Has a lot of heft.
Wine #11: DeLille Cellars 2008 Chaleur Estate Blanc: blend of 62% Sauvignon Blanc, 38% Semillon
White Bordouex style inspired wines. Old world traditionalist in the new world. Whole berry press grapes. Will be racked in barrels. Acid does help balance the wood but too oaky for Michelle. 60% new french oak. $34.
Wine #12: Duck Pond Cellars 2008 Pinot Gris
Vanilla and spice, Stainless steel and 2% barrel fermentation. Made dry to keep alcohol content low. Nice standard Pinot Gris. Fresh flavors and light acid. ~$15
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