College Cellars is the educational winery of the Walla Walla Community College's Center for Enology and Viticulture, founded in 2000 by Stan Clarke and Myles Anderson. The current administration is composed of Tim Donahue, Enology Instructor and Winemaker, Joel Perez, Director of Viticulture Manager, Danielle Swan-Froese, EV Program Coordinator, and Sabrina Lueck, Assistant Enologist. The instructors and students work at winemaking in projects on individual wines. The grapes come from the winery's estate vineyards (Clarke, Anderson) or from donated grapes. Many of College Cellars' graduates are now working at wineries around the world. Here is a listing of College Cellars' current vintages that have been or will be reviewed in the Review of Washington Wines. All are great values.
2014 Barbera, Walla Walla Valley, Anderson Vineyard ($18) - 18+/20 points - April 2016
2014 Tempranillo, Walla Walla Valley, Anderson Vineyard ($20) - 18+/20 points - April
2014 Carmenère, Walla Walla Valley, Clarke Vineyard ($20) - 18+/20 points - April
2015 Viognier, Walla Walla Valley ($16) -18/20 points - August 2016
2015 Chardonnay, Walla Walla Valley ($20) 18+/20 points - August
2015 Semillon, Walla Walla Valley, Clarke Vineyard ($14) - 18/20 points - January 2017
2014 Cabernet Franc, Walla Walla Valley, Clarke Vineyard ($20) - 18/20 points - January
2014 Petit Verdot, Walla Walla Valley, Clarke Vineyard ($24) - 18.5/20 points - January
2016 Rosé of Pinot Gris, Columbia Valley, Reed Vineyard ($16) - One of the first of the season rosés, made from Pinot Gris grapes that were given extended hang time, resulting in a copper hued color and distinctive flavors. 18/20 points. A full review to be in the March issue.
2015 Riesling, Walla Walla Valley, Loess Vineyard ($15) - 18/20 points - To be reviewed March
2014 Malbec, Walla Walla Valley, Clarke Vineyard ($20) - 18.5/20 points - March
2014 Merlot, Walla Walla Valley, Clarke Vineyard ($22) -18.5/20 points - March
The following two wines are in limited supply and are reviewed here.
2016 Muscat Ottonel, Walla Walla Valley, Red Boar Vineyard ($16) - Sourced from chef Greg Schnorr's vineyard, this is a fun wine. Slightly effervescent (with a cider cap), it possesses pear, peach and citrus aromas with scents of honeysuckle and spiced incense. The slightly sweet flavors (6% residual sugar) are balanced by bright acidity. 18+/20 points.
2014 Syrah, Walla Walla Valley, Blue Mountain Vineyard ($28) - This was made as a special project and only 25 cases were produced. It shows a deep ruby color and enticing aromas of wild raspberries, mountain blueberries, and black currants, with scents of wild roses, mulberry, lavender, olive, violets and spiced incense. On the palate, the flavors are generous, yet focused, with notes of licorice, dark cocoa, French roast and loess minerals. The saturation continues on the back with sensations of pressed berries, roasted nuts, toffee, framboise and cassis liqueurs, and charcoal, followed by a savory ripe tannin finish. This wine delivers a lot of satisfaction which gives it a plus. 18.5+/20 points.