While wandering around downtown Walla Walla trying to decide where to visit next, we found Tero Estates on the first floor of the Marcus Whitman hotel. Tero was one of the recommendations that we received from Va Piano, so we were confident that we would find some good wines there.
Tero Estates’ vineyard is Windrow Vineyard, which is Walla Walla’s oldest commercially planted vineyard; it was planted in 1981. From 1983 to 2000 Windrow Vineyards grapes were used by Leonetti Cellars. The vineyards was purchased by the current owners in 2007, and they have been making wine since. They also sell grapes to Seven Hills Winery, Walla Walla Vintners, Waters and Glen Corrie. In 2010, they hired Ashley Trout as consulting winemaker, who was making Flying Trout wines. Flying Trout wines is Ashley Trout’s personal venture; she travels half the year to Mendoza, Argentina and makes wine there. She specializes in Torrontés and Malbec under the Flying Trout label.
We began our tasting with the Flying Trout Torrontés. I hadn’t heard of Torrontés before, and upon looking it up, discovered that is a white Argentine wine grape variety, producing fresh, aromatic wines with moderate acidity, smooth texture and mouthfeel as well as distinctive peach and apricot aromas on the nose (thanks Wikipedia!). Sounds fantastic!
The Flying Trout 2011 Torrontés is a crisp white with flavors of honey and pineapple, and a hint of floral on the nose. I really liked it. Next we tasted the Windrow Field Blend, a Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Cabernet Franc and Merlot; instead of being barrel aged, it was cask aged. I was not a fan of this one though.
We quickly moved on to the Windrow Cabernet Franc, which was smoky and spicy with flavors of stewed plums. It was a big, bold masculine wine. The 2010 Flying Trout Malbec was its feminine counterpart – a lovely Malbec made with fruit from the Gamache Vineyard. We finished off our tasting with the 2009 Tero Estates Petite Verdot, a solid wine with a big balanced flavor.
Our server was friendly and provided a lot of information about the wines – she made the tasting a very pleasurable experience. And the icing on the cake – was really icing on the cake! REALLY! They had chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting! They had been delivered by a friend of our server and they were delicious.
All in all a fabulous visit!