Below is Part II of a report from the Walla Walla Valley including wines from Mackey Vineyards, Tero Estates and Flying Trout, SYZYGY, Trust Cellars, and Bunchgrass Winery. Read Part I here.
was founded by brothers Roger and Phillip Mackey. The winery has two
estate vineyards. The first is Mackey Vineyard, located in the
southeastern section of the Walla Walla Valley in a canyon on the south
fork of the Walla Walla River. Fruit from this vineyard goes into the
winery’s Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon reviewed below. The second is
Frenchtown Vineyard near Lowden. Mackey also uses fruit from DuBrul,
Sagemoor (Bacchus and Dionysus), Les Collines and other vineyards. The
winery has a tasting room in downtown Walla Walla. Billo Naravane of Rasa Vineyards serves as consulting winemaker.
Mackey Vineyards Off-Dry Riesling Columbia Valley 2011 $15
aromatic wine with abundant pear and apple aromas along with a touch of
lime. The palate is off-dry with tart green apple flavors and
mouthwatering acidity. 100% Riesling. Bacchus and Dionysus vineyards.
11.8% alcohol. 11.6g/L Residual Sugar. 8.3g/L TA. 161 cases produced.
aromatically appealing wine with blackberry, black olive juice,
mineral, violets, and game. The palate is silky and supple with
blackberry and savory flavors and fine grained tannins. Mackey (76.7%),
Les Collines (16.7%), and Bacchus (6.6%) vineyards. Aged 22 months in
French oak (40% new). 14.4% alcohol. 123 cases produced.
up from the glass with abundant aromas of raspberries, red currant, and
milk chocolate. The palate has chewy red fruit flavors and plump, ripe
tannins. A thoroughly delicious expression of Washington Merlot. 100%
Merlot. DuBrul and Dionysus vineyards. Aged 23 months in French oak (70%
new). 14.8% alcohol. 165 cases produced.
after the Mackey’s grandfather Roger Adams Converse, this is a
moderately aromatic wine with roasted coffee bean, red currant, pencil
lead, cherries, and light herbal notes. The palate is well structured
while still retaining a great sense of elegance and vibrancy that is
consistently found in the winery’s style. 61% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39%
Merlot. Dionysus (56.4%), Kiona (26.3%), and DuBrul (17.3%) vineyards.
Aged 22 months in French oak (60% new). 14.9% alcohol. 122 cases
are nestled into the southern section of the Walla Walla Valley
surrounded by the outrageously scenic Windrow Vineyard. Tero’s latest
releases below include a Super Tuscan blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet
Sauvignon as well as a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Mountain
Vineyard. Meanwhile winemaker Ashley Trout of Flying Trout, who serves
as assistant winemaker at Tero, offers up a single vineyard Malbec from
Windrow Vineyard. In addition to the winery facility, both wineries also
share a common tasting room attached to the Whitman Hotel in downtown
ruby. A moderately aromatic wine with cranberries, raspberries,
chocolate, and herbal notes. The palate is full of tart, mouthwatering
cranberry and chocolate flavors with a lingering finish. 54% Sangiovese,
46% Cabernet Sauvignon. Mission Hills, Andrews, and Blue Mountain
vineyards. Aged 20 months in French oak (30% new). 14.8% alcohol. 216 cases produced.
ruby. Locked up tightly right now, this wine opens to reveal mineral
notes, black cherry, and tart cranberries. The palate packs a wallop
with ripe cherry flavors and chewy tannins – no wimpy wines here! 100%
Cabernet Sauvignon. Red Mountain Vineyard.
An aromatic wine full of blueberry pie, plum, and spice. The palate is
tart and filled with lip smacking fruit flavors and a firm structure.
is named after a term for the alignment of three celestial bodies.
Winemaker Zach Brettler has shown a knack over the years for producing
high quality, well-priced Walla Walla Valley Syrah and the 2008 vintage
release is no exception. Equally intriguing is the winery’s rare, single
vineyard Syrah from Conner Lee Vineyard – a wine club designated
SYZYGY Red Wine Columbia Valley 2008 $24
A lightly aromatic wine with a light meaty streak, blueberry, plum,
chocolate, and light herbal notes. The palate is tart with the Syrah and
the Malbec really popping right now with abundant blueberry and plum
flavors and chalky tannins. 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Syrah, 17%
Malbec, and 13% Merlot. Conner Lee, Wallula, and Stone Valley vineyards.
14.9% alcohol. Sample provided by winery.
in color with purple at the rim. A moderately aromatic wine with high
toned notes of violets, blueberries, game, and milk chocolate. The
palate is perfumed and plush with blue fruit flavors and soft, grainy
tannins. Les Collines, Morrison Lane, and Seven Hills vineyards. Aged 19
months in neutral French oak. 15.2% alcohol. 430 cases produced. Sample
provided by winery.
dark, glass staining wine with a purple rim. Aromatically locked up at
present with high toned aromas of blue fruit, licorice, and chocolate.
The palate is medium-plus bodied full of brambly fruit and coffee bean
flavors with chalky tannins. 100% Syrah. 14.8% alcohol.
made its mark by offering soft, understated wines with limited use of
new French oak. The winery’s current releases continue this trend. The
standout here is the 2009 Walla Walla Valley Syrah, which offers an
elegant, restrained interpretation of the grape.
Trust Cellars Syrah Walla Walla Valley 2009 $28
A moderately aromatic wine with abundant raspberries, violets, and
light smoked meat. The palate is perfumed with floral notes and
chocolate flavors accented by soft tannins. 100% Syrah. Aged 16 months
in French oak (20% new).
A moderately aromatic wine with bright raspberry aromas, smoked meat
and cherries. The palate is light bodied, full of tart fruit flavors.
100% Syrah. Aged 16 months in French oak (25% new).
An aromatic wine with abundant red cherries, high toned herbal notes,
and ground cranberries. The palate is soft and light bodied with an
elegant styling. 83% Cabernet Sauvignon, 12% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc.
Aged 16 months in French oak (40% new).
was founded by Roger Cockerline in 1997. Over the years, the winery has
focused on extremely limited production wines – and it continues to
with an annual production of merely 600 cases. Two of Cockerline’s
friends, Tom Olander and Barb Commare, recently began carrying the torch
at the winery. The 2006 to 2008 vintage wines were made by William
VonMetzger of Walla Walla Vintners. Starting with the 2009 vintage, Tom
Olander has assumed the position of winemaker.
is the inaugural vintage of this white from Bunchgrass winery which is
half Semillon and half Sauvignon Blanc. It’s moderately aromatic with
citrus and spice aromas. The palate is tart and full of abundant
grapefruit and other citrus flavors with a drawn out feel. 50% Semillon,
50% Sauvignon Blanc. Fermented and aged in oak and stainless steel. 22
two thirds Cabernet Franc and one third Malbec with a splash of Malbec –
with abundant toasty spices, coffee bean, and light herbal notes. The
palate is silky and soft with cherry and chocolate flavors with a
textured mouthfeel. 66% Cabernet Franc, 33% Merlot, and 1% Malbec.
Dwelley, Pepper Bridge, Seven Hills, and Frazier Bluff vineyards. Aged
22 months in French oak (40% new). 14.4% alcohol. 68 cases produced.
Medium ruby. A moderately aromatic wine with abundant blueberry, plum
and peppery spice. The palate is full bodied, loaded with rich fruit
flavors with a chocolaty finish. 100% Malbec. Frazier Bluff Vineyard.
Aged 22 months in French oak (25% new). 14.5% alcohol. 44 cases
Medium ruby. A moderately aromatic wine with abundant toasty oak
spices, floral notes, herbal notes, and cherry. The palate is silky and
soft with abundant chocolate and cherry flavors capped off by a long
finish. 67% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Cabernet Franc, and 6% Petit Verdot.
14.5% alcohol. 200 cases produced.
An aromatic wine with abundant ripe cherry aromas along with herbal
notes, raspberries, milk chocolate, and toasty oak spices. The palate is
full of ripe fruit flavors and plush tannins. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Windrow (80%) and Tokar vineyards. 14.3% alcohol.
Please note, my rating system was revised at the beginning of 2012 as follows. Read additional details here.
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Just curious, how did the Tero 2009 cab compare to the 2007 Tero cab from Windrow (assuming you have tasted it)?
Nice report. Looking forward to Part III. I've liked nearly every SYZYGY wine I've tried, but those labels! They are so planetarium. Then again, I guess most don't have a problem putting a bottle with a cartoon frog or pig on their table.