Last week, Lynn and I were on the west side of the State (which is why there was no Review Blog posting). First, we drove from Walla Walla to Bellevue for lunch and then to Chuckanut Drive, south of Bellingham for two nights. We had two delicious seafood meals at the Chuckanut Manor and the Chuckanut Oyster Bar. On Thursday, we went back to Seattle. We tasted wines at Structure Cellars, Latta and Kerloo on Friday at the SODO Urban Works Wineries south of Spokane Street. Reviews will be in the November issue of the Review of Washington Wines.
The big event was Saturday, October 12 from 11 to 5, when Esquin Wine Merchants celebrated 50 years as a wine retailer. I was the founder back in 1969 and ran the store for 27 years until I sold it to Chuck Lefevre in 1997. I worked as a consultant for ten years after that, mainly writing the Esquin newsletter. It was an event that I couldn't miss. It was a really big celebration: all wines and spirits on sale, food, wine tastings, raffle prizes, the works. Chuck and his daughters Stephanie and Alisha (who now run the business) were on hand. And I got to meet former Esquin customers all the way back to the beginning (when the store was on First Avenue South and had an underground cellar). The wine tastings were first rate. Pasternak Imports poured some very fine Bordeaux: 2015 Chateau de Pez, St. Estephe, Ch. Bourgneuf, Pomerol, 2015 Reserve de la Comtesse and 2012 Ch. Pichon Lalande from Pauillac. I bought a few bottles of these wines. Another table had some impressive Italian wines including the 2014 Alba Rocco Barbaresco. I also found a 2014 Louis Martini Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, from a legendary winery. Long Shadows poured a new Sauvignon Blanc, along with the Feather Cabernet Sauvignon, Pedestal Merlot and Chester-Kidder Red Blend. Washington State was also represented by Woodward Canyon, L'Ecole No. 41 and others. A highlight was a tasting of Gaja wines, including the 2015 Barbaresco, 2015 Sito Moresco Langhe Red and 2016 Magari Bolgheri Red Blend. At the end of the event, I congratulated Chuck for continuing the Esquin tradition and he congratulated me for getting it started.
On Sunday, we went to Woodinville to visit the Warehouse and Artisan Districts wineries which are open weekends only. These included Kevin White, Savage Grace, Tinte Cellars, Three of Cups and Finn Hill. These will be reviewed in the November Review of Washington Wines. On Monday, we drove back to Walla Walla.