I consider myself a Taste Washington veteran. I believe this is my ninth year of attending this event. I can truly say it gets better ever year. The two day format that was instituted last year was again very successful. With over 200 wineries and 65 restaurants, a game plan is a must. My game plan is to not only visit my favorites, but also hit a few new ones as well.
Avennia - This one was at the top of my list to try. I had read so much great press about this winery and it's wines...I was not disappointed. Everything they were tasting was great, but I especially loved the Gravura red blend.
8 Bells Winery - This urban winery has a 2010 Red Willow Syrah that was one of my top three tastes of the day. Classic Red Willow, all from a 2006 planting. They also produce a clonal Red Willow Syrah with 8 different clones that I am anxious to try.
Lauren Ashton Cellars - I enjoyed talking to the winemaker, Kit Singh, who was very engaging and informative about his history and his wines. The Cuvee Meline, a Sauv Blanc/Semillion blend, was absolutely lovely. I paired amazingly well with the spicy pepper spread next door.
Pomum Cellars - I have tried and loved Javier Alfonso's Idilico label, so I was excited to try his Pomum wines. Alfonso poured me the Tinto, a Tempranio/Garnacha/Graciano blend. He definitely has a knack with these varietals. The acid is tempered, but not too much so the luscious flavors of dark berry and tobacco can shine through. Very nice.
A few other random notes - I like the chef stage at the one end of the room, I think it makes for less congestion. I love the variety of foods, from high end restaurants to food trucks. However; restaurants, please I beg you do not make food that requires utensils. I usually will pass it up. One bite, on a toast or a something neat and clean. Thank you! I noticed no cars this year, which is a good thing, but a large amount of space was dedicated to a beer sponsor. Um, don't they have their own convention/festival/tasting events?
As usual, I enjoyed myself immensely. I loved connecting with favorite winemakers and discovering new ones. Special thanks to the Washington State Wine Commission and Visit Seattle for putting on another outstanding event.