August is Washington State Wine Month which provides a great opportunity for me to learn more about the wines from this area. Washington State is on my short list of places to visit for wine tasting. A few years back, I had some litigation in Washington which required several trips to the state and I could never fit in any wine tasting much to my dismay. I was relegated to buying wine at various wine shops (yes there are worse things) to take home to try. But I’m getting closer.
Washington State is the second largest wine producing state in the U.S. and has close to 1,000 wineries in fourteen AVAs. Over forty different wine grape varieties are grown in the state with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Riesling being the most produced.
As part of recognizing the month long celebration, the folks at The Wining Hour are focusing on Washington wines as part of their weekly #WiningHourChat which happens on Twitter every Tuesday at 9pm EST. So I’ve just been taking their lead and drinking the varietal that happens to be their focus for the week.
So #WICCG? First up was Washington Cabernet Sauvignon. I had a bottle of 2011 Col Solare happily sitting in my wine cellar for a while. This was the perfect opportunity to open it. And yes, this is a tough bottle to photograph so I had to get all fancy.
Col Solare is a partnership between Washington State’s Chateau Ste. Michelle and Tuscany’s Marchesi Antinori. Certainly no slouches there! The winery, which is located in the Red Mountain AVA, focuses on Cabernet-based wine. This particular wine was a blend of 77% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Merlot, 8% Cabernet Franc, and 4% Malbec. I really liked this wine and was very surprised at how smooth it was. I was definitely expecting it to be quite tannic, but the tannins were smooth and well integrated. And the wine showed delicious dark cherry and licorice notes. I want to get my hands on more of this. Cheers!