I’ve finally returned to WBW. My goodness, how time flies. I partipated at the beginning of WFW up to tasting #12. It seems like yesterday but my last WFW post was almost 2 years ago! But I’m back. I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to drink a Washington State wine.
I’d like to thank Catie – the Wild Walla Walla Wine Woman at ~Through The Walla Walla Grape Vine ~ for hosting this month’s tasting.
Washington State is an exciting place for wines. Our latitude at 46 degrees is close to the classic French wine regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy. Being farther north than California, our vineyards get 2 hours more sunlight. Washington is split by the Cascade mountain range into two regions. The eastern region, where most of the grapes are grown, is much drier. The soil is arid and calcerous – perfect for adding mineral overtones. It is actually a desert – a very fertile desert. The mighty Columbia River cuts a path through this region and creates numerous microclimates. The Champoux, Red Mountain, Horse Heaven Hills, Wahluke Slope, Walla Walla and Rattlesnake Hills are all areas that produce unique wines. Washington State is also the 2nd largest premium wine producer in the Unites States.
I’m not going to get any bonus points because I did not choose a Walla Walla wine. My selection is a Januik 2004 Columbia River Cabernet Sauvignon. Price drove my decision. I wanted something less than $30.00.
Januik Winery is owned by Mike Januik. He has been involved in wine making in Washington State since he graduated from UC Davis in 1984. In 1990, he became Head Winemaker at Chateau Ste Michelle, the largest winery in Washington State and helped make it into the world class winery. He also had a chance to work with wine makers from France and Italy including Piero Antinori resulting in Col Solare. Today in addition to running his own winery, he also is a consultant at Novelty Hill Winery and Stillwater Creek. His winery is near by in Woodinville which is becoming a great place to visit when you are in the Seattle area.
I really enjoyed the Januik Cabernet Sauvignon , my selection for WFW #34. It has good tannins so it could be cellared for a few year. It is not overly fruity and has enough alcohol and minerals to make it food friendly. The tasting notes mention cassis, blackberry, cocoa and vanilla.
It went wonderfully with the lamb chops that I happened to have in the freezer. I bought them last year at the Edmonds Farmers Market. I love that I can buy sustainable raised meat at our local farmers markets or pick it up locally as Thundering Hooves is doing this year. The chops were very tasty and went really well with the Cab. Hubby doesn’t eat meat so I got him a swordfish fillet from Shoreline Central Market. Add a saffron rice pilaf and some fresh tomatoes and Garofalo buffalo mozzarella from Costco and you have a great early summer meal.
I am so fortunate to live in Washington State and have access to some great wines. There are also great wineries to visit. There are luxury options such as Cave B Inn which we stayed at in April or the Inn at Abeja in Walla Walla. Come back in mid-July to see how our long weekend in Walla Walla turns out.