Just got back from annual trip to Walla Walla, WA for Spring Release with Randy, Mike, Erin, Jay and Margaret and a nice surprise, Kevin and Maria! Hit up about 15 wineries between Saturday and Sunday – including the lovely usual stops of Northstar, Va Piano, Longshadow, Ensemble, Patit Creek, Woodward Canyon, Zerba, L’Ecole,  A’Maurice, K Vintners, Dunham, Reminger …. oh the list goes on.

Straight up – I’m a Syrah person. Can barely tell you the difference between a good and excellent cab but know the  difference between a bad one and a good one. Merlot and I sometimes get along. Have learned the past few years that Zin can be excellent. Grapes aren’t stomped by foot; they’re crushed by machine and it’s a gloriously messy job that I look forward to every year. It guaruntees me a bottle of each harvest, i like to think. 🙂

As for this year’s tastes – nothing major stood out. A nice Zin at Patit Creek and revisited a 2004 Merlot of theirs, of which I purchased a bottle. Longshadows 2006 Syrah – Sequel – was so-so and I actually regret buying a bottle of it. The whites were surprisingly fun and drinkable – nothing too sweet for me and great prices too. I guess the theme of the trip was jammy fun wines – nothing serious stood out among the major players of WA wineries (Cab, Merlot and Syrah). Learned that the 95% Syrah/5% Granchae were good blends that stood out to me and would go back for more. On the other hand, I’d take one taste of a Cab and make a face; Jay and Randy would screan, “what? are you crazy? this is excellent!!!”

See – so much to learn. And better stick with the syrah.

As for my Wine Rules:

Merlot must be at least four years old before I’ll let it touch my lips.

Cab must be at least 5-7 years old before drinkable with food – OR  I just trust Randy’s judgment usually with Cab and let him choose.

Syrah typically has a jammy nose and first initial taste; should follow up with a deep pepper finish. Qupe is usually a good one to go with.

The only pink wine one should drink is Rose’ .