Washington Wine of the Week – Selections for Summer, 2019

For the week of July 14, 2019: Vartanyan Estate Winery 2015 Dessert Wine – This one-of-a-kind wine starts with Riesling grapes that have been fortified and allowed to age in oak barrels for three years. The result is some pretty amazing stuff: it’s sherry-like, with a big 20% alcohol level that’s nicely balanced by the grape’s natural acidity along with dried apricot, fig, and toasted walnut flavors on a long, lingering finish. A fine effort from winemaker Margarita Vartanyan, who thinks outside the box and comes up with a wine that’s guaranteed to stir up your next wine-related conversation.

For the week of July 7, 2019: GLM Wine Company 2017 Rock Flour Sauvignon Blanc – From a source you’ve probably never heard of – Open Gates Vineyard in Wenatchee – comes this thought-provoking white wine from Blaine winemaker Tom Davis. There’s a myriad of aromatics and flavors to this wine…field flowers, clover, alfalfa, spearmint, and allspice to name a few; but the overwhelming character is one of freshness and uniqueness. That makes this wine, with a tiny quantity of only 55 cases produced, worth trying and contemplating sooner rather than later.

Peter Osvaldik. left, with Giuseppe Mauro

For the week of June 30. 2019: Dynasty Cellars 2018 DC Rose’ – Bellingham winemaker Peter Osvaldik takes a rather unique approach in crafting his Rose’ wines; He starts with a base of 95% Riesling and then literally squeezes in 5% Malbec (along with a hint of Moscato for aromatics). The result is a sassy, tasty pink wine with vibrant flavors of kiwi, strawberry, green melon, and pie cherry. The finish carries just a hint of sweetness and crisp, mouth-watering acidity. An outstanding selection to serve ice-cold when the weather gets warmer and wine is your beverage of choice.

For the week of June 23, 2019: Barnard Griffin Winery 2017 Syrah – Looking for an easy-to-drink, everyday red wine that won’t cost a lot and yet delivers on flavor and character? This excellent selection from Richland’s Barnard Griffin will check all those boxes and may make you wonder how a wine this reasonably priced (around $13 to $15) can taste so good. Dark plum, blueberry, brambly blackberry and touches of cinnamon-spice fill the glass, while a nice splash of acidity and a soft, yet slightly structured finish make this a perfect wine to pair with grilled meats during the summer barbecue season.

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