The weekend of May 5-7 was Spring Release Weekend in the Walla Walla Valley. I had already tasted many of the wines being poured that weekend, so my focus was on wineries that are open only for special events. Here's a recap of the weekend.
On the morning of Friday the 5th, I went out on Mill Creek Road to Abeja, an iconic winery and inn. There, with husband and wife winemakers, Amy Alvarez-Wampfler and David Wampfler, a tasty Mourvèdre Rose (see below) and the 2016 Viognier and 2014 Cabernet (both to be reviewed in the June issue) were poured. On the way back, I stopped at àMaurice for two gorgeous 2016 Viogniers (July) and at Walla Walla Vintners for a knockout 2014 Sagemoor Cabernet (also July). In the afternoon, I went to The Walls to taste the new Spring releases, including the 2016 "Cruel Summer" Rosé (see below).
Saturday morning was kicked off with a visit to JJ and Kelly Menozzi's Aluvé winery to taste a lovely 2016 Sangiovese Rosé (see below) and the inaugural estate vineyard 2015 Chardonnay and 2014 Cabenet (July issue). Then I went on to the Leonetti Spring Release event where I tasted the new 2015 Merlot, 2014 Sangiovese and 2014 Cabernet (to be in the June issue). In the afternoon, I went to Aryn Morell's full line up of his own wines (Alleromb and Morell-Peña) and those from other wineries where he is consulting winemaker (Ardor, Gard, Tenor, Matthews, Mulan Road and Morell-Lawrence). A report will be in the July issue of the Review of Washington Wines.
Sunday morning, I stopped at Rasa Vineyards to the south on Powerline Road where the 2015 Grenache, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot were previewed, along with the 2014 "For the Love of the Game" Cabernet Sauvignon, all to be reviewed in July.
More Rosé Wines
During Spring Release, and before and after, I tasted some more Rosé wines in addition to those listed in the April 24 Blog (scroll down below).
2016 Aluvé Sangiovese Rosé, Walla Walla Valley ($22) - This is a real charmer, with a light pink color and lovely aromas and flavors of strawberries, cherries and melon. Destemmed and crushed prior to press, it shows nice extraction and depth of flavor. 18.5/20 points. To be reviewed in July.
2016 Forgeron Cellars Rosé of Sangiovese, Walla Walla Valley ($20) - Another charmer, this shows a light pink color and appealing aromas and flavors of strawberry, cherry and watermelon, with fresh fruits dancing on the palate, followed by a dry finish. 18+/20 points. To be reviewed July.
2016 The Walls "Cruel Summer" Rosé Wine, Columbia Gorge ($22) - With an added "secret ingredient" inspired by the Rosés of Southwest France, this shows a salmon color and seductive, floral and fruit aromas and alluring, nicely extracted flavors. 18.5/20 points. A full review to be in the June issue.
2016 Abeja "Beekeeper's" Mourvèdre Rosé, Walla Walla Valley ($28)- Salmon colored, this shows intriguing aromas of raspberry, cherry, rhubarb and pomegranate, with scents of cherry, orange blossoms and hibiscus, and notes of grape skin, tangerine, pomegranate seeds and Provençal herbs and spices on the finish. For those preferring a drier style of Rosé. 18.5/20 points.
2016 Amavi Cellars Rosé, Walla Walla Valley ($24) - Produced from 100% Cabernet Franc, this shows a pale salmon color and engaging aromas of strawberry, cherry, rhubarb and tangerine with fresh, lively flavors and rain-misted gravel. 18.5/20 points. To be in the June issue.
2016 Mansion Creek Cellars "Vino Rosado" Rose Wine, Walla Walla Valley ($21) - This in an unique blend of Sangiovese and Pinot Noir with a bit of Souzão. It shows a light peach-pink color and intriguing aromas of cherries, melon, nectarine, with fresh, lively flavors, followed by a bright, juicy yet dry finish. 18.5/20 points. Full review to be in July.