Well, it finally came – Mother’s Day weekend. For Jon and me, that means Spring Release. Some of you might imagine that is some sort of break time for the kids, but since Jon and I don’t have any, we think in terms of a break time for the adults. And all that is just a convoluted way of saying that the local wineries released new wines this weekend. Jon’s mom came up to visit on Saturday with Jon’s second cousin Anne, who I have never met and Jon hasn’t seen in about 10 years, and we went on a mini-tasting tour.
We took Linda to Glacial Lake Missoula Winery last spring on Mother’s Day weekend, and she was an immediate convert (it isn’t hard to do). Last fall, we got to taste GLM’s enrobed Marsanne, which is a Marsanne white wine varietal wine with the skins from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape added in to provide a red color and some robustness in flavor. When we barrel tasted, we could already tell that it would be amazing. So, we have been waiting ever since. And we thought the wait was over!
So we started the day at Mt. Baker Vineyard. Mt. Baker is the oldest winery in the county, and they do a lot of different wines. They are all decent, but there are a few standouts. They have a new Riesling out, with is a semi-sweet and very nice. The red that I like the most is the Malbec. It is quite smooth, with a jammy, berry flavor.
On our way back in from Mt. Baker, we saw the sign for Willow Tree Vineyard, a new winery that opened in April. Their debut wines are a Chardonnay, a Viognier, a Carmenere and a Syrah. Their whites are both good and true to how a Chardonnay and a Viognier should taste. I’m just not the biggest fan of Chardonnay and Viognier. The Carmenere is very good. Carmenere is a grape grown widely in Chile, and it is referred to there as the lost grape, because for years they had it planted all over but thought it was Merlot. Once the Chileans realized that it was a different varietal, they really capitalized on the distinction. In the US, Carmenere is still mostly a blending grape, but I think it is excellent as a standalone varietal wine, and it is nice to see when it is offered.
The Syrah at Willow Tree is a big heavy, jammy wine, with a strong fruit taste. Jon really liked it, but I thought it was a bit much for me. They will be releasing a rose soon called Blue Heaven, which is a semi-sweet Riesling mixed with Blueberry wine, and we got to taste it before its release. Wow. I can’t wait until that one comes out!
After Willow Tree we headed up to Glacial Lake. They have their 2007 Deluge out now, which is a bit different than prior years because Tom added Malbec to this vintage. It was delicious. And the Harbor Light is new too, and as always, it is a standout. But the bad news is that the label for the Marsanne didn’t get approved, so we still can’t get it! As soon as the label gets its approval, we’ll be able to pick up our bottles. And meanwhile, we wait, and dream…