Added Note: Lost River Winery 2003 Merlot received a silver medal at the Tri-Cities Wine Festival on November 12, 2005.
Lost River Winery burst onto the Washington wine scene last year when its 2002 Columbia Valley Merlot earned best of show honors at the Tri-Cities Wine Festival in Pasco.
The winery is another of those that has ties to the Bellingham area. Winemaker John Morgan was an engineer for Whatcom County while his wife, Barbara House, was an emergency room nurse at St. Luke’s and St. Joseph’s Hospital. The two moved to Mazama in 2001 and began winemaking full time, where they were joined by House’s son Liam Doyle, who is the Director of Marketing and Sales.
Current releases include the 2003 Columbia Valley Merlot (about $21). This is a very heady Merlot that begs to be paired with a pork, duck or beef entrée. The wine begins with a lovely nose of crème brulee, followed by flavors of dark, bittersweet chocolate and licorice. The finish is soft with traces of oak, the result of 16 months of aging in French barrels.
Also currently available is the 2004 Columbia Valley Rainshadow (about $14), a blend of 60 percent Sauvignon Blanc and 40 percent Semillon. The wine displays flavors of citrus and pear with a finish nicely balanced between the anticipated acidity and mild creaminess.
Lost River wines are available locally for purchase at The Vines wine shop, Fairhaven Market and Community Food Co-op and can also be ordered at Nimbus Restaurant. A tasting room is scheduled to open in Winthrop near the end of this year. More information: Phone (509) 996-2888 or www.lostriverwinery.com.