Thursday, September 23, 2010

Eastern Washington Wine Country – Prosser, Benton City and Paterson Washington

Thursday September 16, 2010 - Good day of tasting wine.

Tomorrow our friends from Seattle will be joining us for their first Washington Wine Country tasting tour. We will be their tour guides for this long weekend. Having arrived a day ahead to pave the way, we stopped for Meat and Cheese Antipasto Plate*** at Willow Crest, tasted wine at Apex Cellars said hi to Denise who we meet in June at the Tuscany Rustic Italian Bistro Apex wine dinner, hosted by Master Sommelier Angelo Tavernaro. Our next stop was Milbrandt Vineyars, Gamache Vintners, and Olsens Estates. After tasting wine it was time for a little food, so off to Whitstran Brewing Co***. Later in the day we stopped Johnnys Pizza Stone and Pub*** for a great pizza, nice to meet you Angele...

Willow Crest Meat and Cheese Antipasto Plate

Johnny’s Pizza Stone and Pub

Friday September 17, 2010 - Our Washington State wine tasting begins in earnest.

Our friends arrived around noon and we had lunch at Wine O’Clock, tasted wines from Bunnell Family Cellars, Olsen Estates, Airfield Estates, Willow Crest, Coyote Canyon and Apex Cellars. For dinner we ate at Picazo 7Seventeen, historical downtown Prosser. Good Times…

Wine O’Clock

Lunch at Wine O’Clock

Artisan Pizza
Artisan Pizza*** pear, bacon, green onion, olive oil and age white cheddar

Goat Cheese Appetizer
Goat Cheese Appetizer*** goat cheese and sliced croutons, lavender infused honey, garden melon
Meat and Cheese Antipasto Plate
Meat and Cheese Antipasto Plate***
Flights of Bunnell Family Cellars
2008 Grenache*** herbs, violets

2007 Mourvedre** pepper

2007 Petite Sirah** currents, blackberrys

2007 Lia**** berries, spices, soft tannins

2007 A Pic*** toast, plums, spice

2007 Vif*** spicy, ripe plum

Next stop Olsen Estates It was good to see Linda. We also said good bye and good luck to one of the staff who was going in to the Navy this week.

Olsen Estates

2008 Olsen Estates Blanc des Coteaux** melon

Olsen Estates 2007 Chardonnay*** big, bright and lively

Olsen Estates 2007 Rouge des Coteaux*** ripe berries, leather

Olsen Estates 2007 Merlot*** barrel aged for 16 months in 75% new French oak

Olsen Estates 2006 Syrah*** aromas of dark fruit

Olsen Estates 2008 Merlot** minerals, berries

Olsen Estates 2008 Edyth Mae Vineyard Syrah*** dark cherries, currants, fine tannins

Airfield Estates Prosser Washington
Next door is Airfield Estates. If it wasn’t for buying wine it could be walked. A few visits ago there were folks carrying cases of wine back to their hotel. They were still smiling…
Airfield Estates
2008 Merlot*** black cherries, coca, long finish

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon*** pencil lead, currents

2008 Malbec*** spices, lavender

2008 Aviator*** oak, smoke, violets

Around the corner is Willow Crest

Willow Crest

Willow Crest
2007 Merlot*** fruit forward

2006 Syrah*** jammy, dark berries

2007 Grenache** light fruit

2007 Mourvedre**** clover, anise

2008 Cab Franc**** not released, spice, pepper

2007 Syrah*** pepper, allspice

Jerry, Janet, Cam and Irish at Willow Crest Photographer unknown

Our next stop is The Loft, but first we check out the private park across the street.
Yellow Rose Nursery Park

The Loft Prosser Washington

Coyote Canyon
Coyote Canyon
2004 Sangiovese*** rich, jammy

2008 Primitivo**** warm, spice

2008 Tres Cruces*** fruit, cinnamon

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon*** spice, pepper, tannins

2005 Bozak Reserve** port nose, over ripe fruit

Apex Cellars

Apex Cellars
2008 Ascent Red Blend*** light cedar, spice

2007 Bridgman Cabernet Sauvignon** sweet berries

2006 Merlot** vanilla, light smoke


Dinner time at Picazo 7Seventeen

Picazo 7Seventeen
Pear Sopa
Sopa del Dia*** pear, creamy
Duck Flat Bread
Flat Bread*** duck, spinach, shallots

Clams Picatta
Clams Picatta** steamed Manilla Clams with artichokes and capers, in a white wine, lemon butter sauce

Seafood Pasta Paella

 Seafood Pasta Paella**** saffron rice with clams, mussels, shrimp, fish and calamari

Firecracker Prawn Fettuccini
Firecracker Prawn Fettuccini*** prawns sautéed with garlic, and harissa chill paste

Chicken Breast Pasta
Chicken Breast Pasta*** Roasted chicken breast, orecchiette pasta, grapes and walnuts with creamy curry sauce

Saturday September 18, 2010 - Great day of tasting
Made our way to the Red Mountain AVA. First tasting was at Terra Blanca Winery, then lunch at Col Solare. Next we tasted wines from Tapleil Wines, and then on to Hightower Cellars were they were crushing Merlot!!!!!! From Hightower we stopped at Hedges Family Estates were the wine maker Pete Hedges was on hand. Fidelitas was our next stop. Our last stop was at Kiona Vineyard Winery, soom of the oldest vines on Red Mountain. Dinner this evening was at Tuscany Rustic Italian Bistro, always good to see Susanne, Jessie and Malone again.


Terra Blanca Winery
Terra Blanca Winery Photo by Cam S.

Terra Blanca Winery Photo by Cam S.
2007 Viognier**

2007 Reserve Roussanne*** big flavor

2008 Arch Terrace Sauvignon Blanc** grassy, grapefruity

2007 Arch Terrace Chardonnay**

2007 Block 5 Chardonnay**

2006 Arch Terrace Merlot** currents

2005 Estate Reserve Merlot** smooth finish

2005 ONYX** dark, with fruit

2006 ONYX** cherry

2006 Arch Terrace Cabernet Sauvignon** fruit, cherries

2005 Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon*** dark cherries, light ceder

2004 Winemakers Barrel Select Syrah** laid back, peach

2004 Estate Reserve Block 8 Syrah** big nose, leather

Time for lunch at Col Solare… Food provided by: Picazo 7Seventeen

Col Solare Photo by Cam S.

Bison Carpaccio
Bison Carpaccio**** garnished with Mache’ and Cyprus Salt

Penne Con Oro Del ‘Puma
Penne Con Oro Del ‘Puma**** truffle oil and bacon

Anatra*** duck breast, caramelized onion, cambozole cheese and basil

Salmoni*** cold cured salmon

Flights of Col Solare – 2002,2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006

Col Solare Red Mountain
From Col Solare a short drive to were Sunset Road ends we find Tapleil Vineyards. We meet the owners and winemakers Larry and Jane Pearson. Jane is an artist who has painted several of their wine labels, she has been doing so since 2005. You can also find many olive oils and other treats in their tasting room. Don’t forget to say hi to Argus.

Artist Jane Pearson of Tapleil Vineyards Photo by Cam S.
2007 Syrah*** spice, full bodied nice tannins

2004 Cabernet Sauvignon*** pepper on the nose, dark cherries

2007 Cabernet Sauvignon*** good mouthfeel, dark fruit

Tapleil Vineyards


Next door is Hightower Cellars were Tim and Kelly Hightower and a Friend was de-stemming their 2010 Merlot. What a treat to see this and taste the merlot grape
Hightower Cellars Kelly Hightower 2010 Merlot

Hightower Cellars Hightower and Friend

Hightower Cellars Tim Hightower and Friend 2010 Merlot

2007 Murray Cuvee*** smooth, light bodied

2008 Murray Syrah** red berries, pepper

2007 Pepper Bridge Red Wine** plums, peppercorns

2006 Merlot** cherries, light pepper

2008 Out of Line*** big first taste

2006 Cabernet Sauvignon*** cherry, cidar

2006 Red Mountain Red Wine*** good structure, mellowness

Down the road to Hedges Family Estates were wine maker Peter Hedges was in the tasting room.

Hedges Family Estates

Hedges Family Estates

Hedges Family Estates Pete Hedges
2007 Merlot La Bourgeoisie*** spice, white pepper

2008 CMS Red*** black cherry, balance

2007 Hedges Family Estate, Red Mountain*** cocoa, earth, dried herbs

2002 Hedges Family Estate Two Vineyard Reserve**** cloves, cinnamon, firm tannins

A short drive to Fidelitas


2007 Columbia Valley Merlot*** currants, berries

2008 Cabernet Sauvignon*** currant, plum

2008 Merlot*** ripe black fruit

2006 OPTU**** black currant, blackcherry, oak

Are last stop of the day is Kiona Vineyard Winery. They say have some of the oldest vines on Red Mountain.

Kiona Vineyard Winery
2006 Lemberger** spicy, blackberries, fun

2004 Cabernet/Merlot*** fruit, soft tannins

2001 Vivacious Vicky Nice Legs Merlot**** dark fruit,luscious

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon** light, with tannins

2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Red Mountain Estate*** plums

2003 Syrah, Red Mountain Estate**** minerals, spice

2007 Sangiovese Red Mountain**

2006 Zinfandel Red Mountain** dark, spice

Dinner this evening was at Tuscany Rustic Italian Bistro, good to see Susanne, Jessie and Malone again. With no reservations they were able to make the wait pleasurable.

Antipasto Tray
Antipasto Tray** meats, cheeses and olives with baguette

Chop Chop Ensalata
Chop Chop Ensalata*** romain, pepperoni, salami, chicken, Kalamata olives

Salmon Florentine
Salmon Florentine*** salmon, spinach, sundried tomatoes, creamy blue cheese sauce over lemon pasta

Veal Scaloppini
Veal Scaloppini*** veal cutlets, sage, garlic over pasta, red potato and vegetable

Myzithra Pasta
Myzithra Pasta** spaghetti, tomatoes, garlic, green onion, brown butter, myzithra cheese

Sunday September 19, 2010 – What a day.

Our first stop of the day was Columbia Crest. No, they do not have any of their Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley Reserve 2005 Wine Spectator number one wine of the year. They do however have their 2000 through 2004 for sale. We had a wonderful picnic at Columbia Crest. We were able to use the large table in their estate, thank you Linda. Three hours later we founder are way back to Prosser. Tasted wine at Heaven’s Cave Cellars and ended our day at Alexandria Nicole Cellars, thanks Theron.
We ended the day eating in. You will be amazed what you can prepare with a microwave and an electric frying pan!

Off to Columbia Crest Paterson Washington a short 30 min. drive from Prosser. 

Columbia Crest

Columbia Crest

Columbia Crest Shop
 First a little wine tasting then picnic time…

Columbia Crest Wine Tasting, Thanks Linda
 2007 Stonetree Vineyard Zinfandel*** ripe berries, violets, rich raspberries

2007 Columbia Valley Merlot** blackberry, fine texture

2006 Four Feathers Vineyard Block 08 Merlot** spice, silky

2005 Beverly Vineyard Cabernet Franc*** rose petals, spice, seductive, complex

2006 Walter Clore Private Reserve Red**** spice, earth, dark berries, long finish

2007 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon*** plums, tannins

Picnic Time! Thanks Linda for the use of the large table…

picnic time

Cam, Irash, Janet and Jerry Photographer unknown

Back to Prosser almost three hours later. Our stop Heaven’s Cave Cellars.

Heaven’s Cave Cellars
2007 Inspiration Merlot** black cherries, tannins

2005 Angel’s Blend*** fruity, toasted oak

2007 The Innkeeper Cabernet Sauvignon** raspberry, light cherries

2007 The Dweller Syrah*** spicy, black pepper


Next door to Alexandria Nicole Cellars hidden door. Its good to be a club member.

Alexandria Nicole Cellars Back Room
2008 Merlot*** black cherries, spice, oak

2007 Jet Black Syrah*** berries, herbs,

2008 Quarry Butte*** dried herbs, ripe berries

2007 A2 Cabernet Sauvignon*** cherry, plum, anise, earth

2007 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon**** plums, raspberries, cherries, nice tannins

2007 Tempranillo*** spice, leather


Dinner in our hotel room. You will be amazed what you can prepare with a microwave and an electric frying pan!

Marinated Flat Iron steak
Marinated Flat Iron steak, from the local grocery store, with twice back potato, goat cheese and deli bacon, oh yes butter.

2008 Columbia Crest Coyote Canyon Vineyard Syrah
2008 Columbia Crest Coyote Canyon Vineyard Syrah**** spice, orange peel, roasted coffee bean. This was also used in the marinate

So ends a wonderful wine tasting adventure. Everyone we meet were knowledgeable, friendly and fun. Cam, Irish, Janet and I thank every one of you…

Food always tastes best with friends and wine!


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