Wilridge is becoming a perennial best-bet Merlot out of Washington. This is a deep, aromatic wine, with hints of rose petals, herbs and allspice. Highlights are the fine tannins, blackberry fruit and the shapely body and finish. Lush enough, but plenty of backbone, too. What Merlot should be.
Nebbiolo has not distinguished itself in Washington, but here is the wine that could change all that. From the esteemed Klipsun vineyard, it is a pretty, pinot-colored wine scented with tea, tobacco, pie cherry and hints of leather. Clean and aromatic, with sweet fruit and an amazingly long, spicy finish, it is a light wine, but quite serious and flavorful. Alas…
This is a soft, sensual Merlot, with lovely strawberry/cherry fruit and hints of herb. Complex, layered, elegant and subtle, it is a delightful showcase for the cherry-pie pleasures of Walla Walla fruit.
Klipsun fruit is known for its firm tannins, iron and mineral elements, dark fruit and sturdy ageworthiness. Here a touch of the barnyard in the bouquet brings it ever closer to Bordeaux. It’s a complex wine, which, despite its youth, shows a wonderful range of flavors, from black cherry to coffee to steel and smoke. The iron and acids and tannin are there to age…
Viognier is a clear success story for Wilridge. This is not a flashy wine, and it goes down easily. It’s deeply concentrated, with a rich core of peach, apricot and lemon drop flavors.
Spicy and peppery, this comes on with a lot of youthful pizzazz. I like the way it hits the palate full force, with a blast of raspberry fruit, a streak of leather and a dusting of black pepper. There’s the typical citrusy lift of Washington Syrah, and a sense that this wine is meant to be appreciated right now, in the full bloom of youth.
This may be one of the most austere Viogniers I’ve ever found from Washington; it’s bone dry and just a bit over 13% alcohol. That makes it a good and versatile wine for mealtime. It’s light, hints at beeswax and citrus, with a soft mouthfeel and a curious mix of toasted almond, banana andbutter cookies in the finish.
The Sugarloaf vineyard, a new site in the western Yakima Valley, is the grape source. This has a substantial mouthfeel, a mix of toast and cracker, berry and plum, with a kick of spice in the nose and the finish.