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Walla Walla Wine Country Part I

Spent our Labor Day weekend with friends in WA’s wine country, Walla Walla.
Walla Walla is about 4.5-hour drive away from the Seattle area.  There are many towns known for their agricultural production such as cherries, stone fruits, apples etc.
Particularly, the Johnson Orchards in Yakima had mouth-watering juicy stone fruits.  We had nectarines, white peaches, yellow peaches and pluots.  They were all super sweet.  Housed in a 1916 warehouse, it was a unique stop over.  We also purchased some fruit pies made on site for desserts!

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On our first afternoon, we visited Reininger, Cougar Crest, Seven Hills and Trio Vintners wineries.

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Reininger came highly recommended from different sources. We were fairly disappointed.
We tasted a Merlot, Syrah and Camenere; a Chardonnay, SoRho and Sangiovese;  and none of them were our taste.

I found the wines all had great aromas, and had very light body, which was expected from the varietal on the list.

The aftertaste of the wines were most unattractive to me. They were all very sour, astringent and bitter. Very high tannin, and not very pleasant.

Cougar Crest carried many wine spectator rated wines.

The ones we tasted were not rated and they were in general light body as well.

I ended up taking a gamble and purchased their Estate Syrah, which was fruity and had a fuller body.

Aftertaste was smoother and much more palatable.  I tasted potential on the Syrah, and hope it would taste better with age.

Next was Seven Hills. Finally we were able to try some great wines.

I loved their Pinot Gris and Riesling. Great fruity aromas of peaches and pears, flavors were great.  Clean and crisp.

I generally like sweeter white wine, the Riesling was definitely in my camp.

The Pinot Gris was lighter but still full of aromatic fruitiness. It was drier and had lighter flavor that was perfect for sipping any time.

We walked into Trio Vintners, which was our unexpected stop on our way to a Café.

This little tasting room had a very hippy feel. We tasted 5 or 6 wines, all reds and I enjoyed them all!

At the end I bought the 2 vintages of Grenache.  Drastically different. 2010 tasted very grapey and smokey; the 2009, bouquet of light red fruits.

There was even a drastic color difference between the 2 vintages. They explained that there were more rain in 2010 that had caused the flavor differences,

I also purchased the Mourvedre.  Never had 100% Mourvedre before.

The shop keeper said that it was mostly used in blends, but they wanted to make a 100% one to get wine drinkers familiar with the grape’s flavor.

It was spicy, fruity and floral at the same time.  Aromas and flavors were wonderful and it was smooth.

Then, one labeled Flash Point.  It was their Reserve Sangiovese.  It was deep and smooth with complex wonderful flavors.  Very easy to drink and palatable.

Lastly, their RIOT blend.  Lovely aromas and surprisingly sweet. They were very smooth and low in tannin. I believe they would age really well.

We mistakenly thought that Oilve Café sold olives which we were going buy for dinner.

Turned out it was a restaurant with some amazing desserts!
We got a lemon bar, chocolate brownie, cream cheese brownie and fruit tart to try.

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The lemon bar was lovely.  Tart and sweet balance with a short bread like bottom.
The fruit tart had a nice hard buttery crust.  The fruits were fresh and it had creamy custard.

I preferred more eggy custard flavor, and this one was more cream flavor.
Both the brownies were chocolate-based. Both brownie texture were more cakey than I prefer.

The flavors were good. I wish there were more cream cheese on the cream cheese brownie.

The brownie part had very light chocolate flavor. I wished the chocolate brownie had stronger, denser and bolder chocolate flavor.  It looked better than it tasted.

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2 comments on “Walla Walla Wine Country Part I

  1. So….what’ a “hippy feel” at Trio mean? Is that “hip” as in cool…or “hippy” as in peace necklace and flip-flops? At least the wine was good! :-)

    1. more hippy like long hair and peace necklace. Perhaps it was the male shopkeeper who indeed had long grey hair. Also the wine label names such as Flame and RIOT(rearrange TRIO)!

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