Tag Archive | wine weekend

2013 Genoa Cellars Flying Colors Red Blend

I got this wine a few years ago when my girlfriends and I went to the Whidbey Island Half Marathon.  We did a wine tasting in a little wine shop in Coupeville, WA, and I fell in love with this wine.  I finally opened it, and it did not disappoint.  It is a red blend, with bold flavors of blackberry and hints of tobacco and cocoa, with medium tannins.

Genoa Cellars is located in Woodinville, Washington, and they focus on Super-Tuscan-style wines made from Sangiovese blended with Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot.  They source their grapes from vineyards in the Wahluke Slope and Red Mountain regions in Eastern Washington.

I couldn’t find any information online for the 2013 vintage, but the Genoa Cellars 2015 Flying Colors Tuscan-style Red Blend won Double Gold in the Cascadia International Wine Competition. The blend for the 2013 vintage is 53% Sangiovese, 32% Syrah, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and 1% Petit Verdot.

At $29, it is a bit of a splurge, but if I don’t treat myself who will? Happy Monday!

Walla Walla 2017: Relaxation

Day 2 – Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday morning Lelani and I were both up early (I mean remember I had basically slept the entire day before!), so we took a walk around the neighborhood and just enjoyed the quiet morning.

Historic Sharpstein Manor, Walla Walla

 

Historic Home, now apartments

We got back, had the hotel breakfast, relaxed some on the hotel patios, and then the whole gang wandered over to Bacon and Eggs for cocktails.  When on vacation you might as well go heavy on the relaxing!  We all enjoyed cocktails – I had a Grapefruit Mimosa – YUM!  Then we did a bit of shopping (Walla Walla has some really cool little shops), and found a shop called Trove that Paula loved, because their logo is a Fleur de Lis.  She loves Fleur de Lis, and Trove had some really cute stuff!  We also went to the farmer’s market, and checked out all the fresh produce and craft items. I got a pair of earrings and a pendant made from recycled glass bottles. They are gorgeous! Sadly, I broke one of the earrings (turns out glass earrings don’t fare too well when dropped on concrete), but I have been using the second earring as another pendant for now. Next time I am there I will be sure to get another pair of earrings – or several!

My Grapefruit Mimosa at Bacon and Eggs

We also went to the Museum of Unnatural History. It is a tiny little place, created and run by a guy named Gerry Matthews with a very strange and creative imagination. He spent his career working in the film and commercial industry.  Most notably, he was the voice of Sugar Bear, the mascot for Sugar Crisp cereal – now known as Golden Crisp.  I am sure everybody my age remembers the voice!  He then retired to Walla Walla and created this museum, a play on the many Museums of Natural History… Let me just say, Wow. There was just so much bizarre going on in such a small space…  The exhibits are – well, there are just no words.  He was there when we visited and he was happy to answer questions or dialogue about his creations…  Lelani and Joel LOVED it! Paula HATED it! Brandon and I were fairly neutral. Let’s just say I won’t be decorating my home in any of his motifs.  It just goes to show that we all have different tastes, and different creative minds.  If you want to visit, it is free (he accepts donations), worth a visit, and clearly a labor of love, but it is only open Saturdays from 10-2 or by appointment.  If you do go, I guarantee you won’t leave without an opinion! Keep in mind, I limited my photos here to the PG-13 stuff, but there is A LOT more to see.

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Saturday afternoon we went to the Morrison Lane tasting room. Morrison Lane is a family run winery, owned and operated by my friend Shawn and his family.  Shawn has been the winemaker for several years now, and the wines are delicious; I especially enjoyed the Rosé, the Syrah, and the Carmenere.  The bottles have artwork depicting the Lewis Chessmen, a group of 12th century chess pieces that were discovered at the Lewis Bay in Scotland in 1831. I love the tie in to history with the labels! Both Shawn and his parents are kind and personable, and love speaking with guests about their wine; we sat around for a while chatting and revisiting some of the wines.

Saturday evening we went over to Shawn’s house for his 50th birthday.  A backyard BBQ with amazing food; chicken skewers with peanut sauce, Thai noodle salad, pasta salad and lots of local beer and wine. We sat around talking and enjoying the hot Eastern Washington evening.  There was laughter – a lot of laughter – of the “what happens in Walla Walla stays in Walla Walla” variety!

 

Va Piano… Go Softly…

After leaving Northstar Winery, we followed the recommendation of our server and headed back down the road we came in on for a stop at Va Piano Vineyards.  The name, for those of you who think it sounds unusual for a winery, comes from the Italian saying, “Chi va piano, va sano e va lontano.” He who goes slowly, goes safely and goes far.  As the story goes, the winemaker spent his senior year in college in Italy, where he fell in love with the Italian wine industry and decided to make a career out of it.  The vineyards were planted in 1999, the first vintage (2003) was released in 2005.

The tasting room is set on a hill with a beautiful view, and is styled after a Tuscan Villa.  It is a beautiful facility.  But Jon and I were  a little worried before we went in, because there was a white, stretch limo parked outside…  Oh dear, Bachelorette Party?  But it turned out to be just one couple in the limo, with a woman about my age being treated to a nice birthday wine tour weekend!  The atmosphere in the tasting room was light and fun, and the two other couples there were friendly and eager to interact.

Va Piano Vineyards Tasting Room

Va Piano Vineyards Tasting Room

Our tasting began with a 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, which was blended with a touch of Riesling.  This wine is excellent; very crisp with a green apple finish.  I think it is very similar to New Zealand Sauv. Blancs that I like so well.

Then we moved into the reds, with a Cabernet Sauvignon called Bruno’s Blend.  It had medium tannins, light oak, and flavors of raspberry.  Very good!

The next wine was a library release – a 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, that had much heavier tannins and oak that the earlier blend – it didn’t have much fruit left.  This wine was too much for me.

But their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon had much more fruit and acidity with flavors of black raspberry.  I thought it was very nice.

The tasting ended with their 2009 Syrah – all I wrote was “very good!”  I do remember that it is very similar to the 2006 Dobbes Family Estate Syrah that we bought down in Oregon on a tasting trip there.  That was one of the best Syrahs I have ever tried, so that says a lot about the Va Piano Syrah.

We left with the Sauvignon Blanc and the Syrah – not bad for a place we had never heard of!