Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Taste Washington 2015

A little over month has passed since Taste Washington and I am still basking in the afterglow.  Once again it lived up to it's reputation as "The nation's largest single-region wine and food event".  This event has grown over the years and kicked off with the Red and White Party Thursday night, Taste Washington on the Farm and The New Vintage Friday and culminating with the seminars and Grand Tasting on Saturday and Sunday.  Someday, I hope to make a weekend of it and attend all these great events.  Alas, I was only able to attend the Grand Tasting on Saturday.  I made the most of it!

My first observation as I entered was "Yes! Finally an adequate sized glass for tasting!".  Thank you so much for this!  Things were off to a great start.  My plan as always is to try out new wineries.  So beforehand I take the event program and mark them ahead of time so I have a plan of attack. Here are a couple that blew me away:

Palencia Wine Co - Victor Palencia is no stranger to the world of Washington wine. At a young age he would follow his father and brothers into the vineyards around Prosser.  The first wine to christen my glass was his 2014 Pinot Noir Rose'.  This is sourced from a couple different vineyards in the Ancient Lakes AVA.  This area is know for it's rich minerality and it certainly delivered that in this rose'.  It has an amazing floral nose and great acidity.  It screams "summer" and I made sure I secured a few bottles to enjoy on my deck.

J & J Vintners - Jeremy Petty (one of the "J"s in J & J) poured for us their 4 Boys Blend, a Cabernet Sauvignon dominate blend.  This was nice, smooth, easy drinking wine at a great price point.  Next up, he poured their yet to be released 2012 Les Collines Syrah.  This was easily one of the best wines of the day for me.  Amazing depth and layers of flavors, from brambly fruit all way through to the earthy finish.  This wine just received 93 points in Wine Spectator, so congrats to them!

The amazing food is always a highlight and it's even better when it pairs with wine. The Waterstreet Cafe and Bar was serving a smoked oyster pate with pickled red onion.  It was divine and paired so well with the Saviah Cellars Tempranillo next door.  Another standout food bite was the smoked black cod with miso-sweet soy glaze and roasted shiitake mushrooms from Rays Boathouse and Cafe.  But, no matter how many bites I sample I always save room for dessert!

Thank you Taste Washington for another stellar time.  I cannot wait until next year!

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