This year, Fall Release Weekend in the Walla Walla Valley was November 3-5. It was also the time of year when some of the most exclusive wineries introduced their new releases to list members. Also, many boutique wineries were pouring their hand crafted wines. Here's a run down of the wineries we visited over the weekend. A special report will be in the December issue of the Review of Washington Wines which goes on line November 24.
On Friday morning, we drove over to Abeja on Mill Creek Road where we tasted a world class 2016 Chardonnay, the 2015 Malbec and 2014 Heather Hill Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Then we went further east on Mill Creek to Aluvé where Kelly Menozzi poured a delicious 2016 Estate Chardonnay and a tasty 2015 Lewis Vineyard Sangiovese. Watch for the December issue for reviews of these wines.
In the afternoon, we went up Cottonwood Road to Reynvaan where we barrel tasted the 2016 Syrahs from a superlative vintage. A report will be in an upcoming Review Blog. Also poured was Matt and Lauren Reynvaan's special project, the MTR Productions 2012 "Memory Found" Syrah from The Rocks, to be reviewed in the December issue. Then we went on to Rótie Cellars where we tasted the stellar 2015 "little g" Grenache "Swordfight" Mourvèdre-Syrah, and 2014 "Homage" GSM blend, all scoring 19.5 points.
On Saturday morning, we went down Powerline Road to Rasa Vineyards to taste the winery's highly impressive new releases, all 19+ to 19.5/20 points. In the afternoon, we headed to The Walls where outstanding 2015s were poured along with the highly anticipated "Concrete Mama" (a nod to the Walla Walla Penitentiary) Syrah from the Rocks. Then we stopped at the Gesa Powerhouse Theater to taste Rasa Vineyards cellar master Noé Martinez's 2014 Xenolith "GSM" Red. In the evening, we went to the Corliss annual Fall Release event where the stellar 2012 Corliss Red and Cabernet Sauvignon were poured, both scoring 20/20 points.
Sunday afternoon, we went to College Cellars to sample the fresh new 2017 semi sparking Muscat and the promising 2016 Grenache and GSM reds, both potentially 19/20 points wines. To be reviewed in December.
There were so many outstanding wines at Fall Release along with other recent releases from Walla Walla that the December issue will be the biggest ever, with 64 wines reviewed, along with wines from Spokane from Barrister and Robert Karl plus the rest of the ones from Nota Bene in Seattle. Watch for it on November 24th!