Woodinville Wine Cellars (www.woodinvillewinecellars.com) has a beautiful location in downtown Woodinville, which is perfect for wine tasting both indoors and outdoors on a nice day. As you approach the building, you immediately notice that this is a tasting room, a showroom, and a full production winery. Inside you will find wine barrels, a tasting bar and tile floors decorated in a red and gold color scheme. You will also notice some awesome stoves, imported from France, as this is also home to Art Culinaire, the exclusive distributor of Lacanche Ranges (http://www.frenchranges.com).
We were greeted by Joscelyn Jackson, who poured us five wines. The first was their 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, which had tastes of grapefruit. We then tried the 2009 Little Bear Creek, which is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc. It received 90 points from the Wine Enthusiast. Next we tried the 2009 Syrah with grapes from Stillwater Creek which is known for quality grapes. We both thought this Syrah would be our favorite, but we still had two wines to go.
We then tried the 2008 Indomitable – this is the wine that recently won the Golden Grape award in the Cabernet Sauvignon category that we wrote about in an earlier column. It is aged 21 months in 100 percent new French Oak and won’t be lasting long as only 220 cases were produced which is common for many of the smaller wineries. It is a fruit forward wine with aromas of blueberry and dark chocolate. As it turned out, there is a reason for the Golden Grape award and this wine quickly became our new favorite for the day.
We rounded out the tasting with the 2009 GSM, which stands for Grenache-Syrah-Mourvedre. This wine is deep purple in color and has tastes of blackberry, cherries and a dusting of cocoa. At only 100 cases, it won’t last long either.
Joscelyn also gave us a quick tour of the production facilities where we ran into the winemaker, Sean Boyd. Sean left home at age 20 to learn the craft of winemaking. His travels led him all over the world to leading viticulture areas such as Australia, Portugal, Spain and New Zealand where he worked for several prominent wineries. Sean joined the Woodinville Wine Cellars family in 2002 and has been making an impact on Woodinville wines ever since.
The coolest thing about Woodinville Wine Cellars is their family-centric vision to “bring your family back to the dinner table” as stated by founder Stan Barrett. In the culture of rural France, wine is essential to everyday living — with food being the adventure. While in France, friends would often exclaim, “eating is the main event, not something we do prior to an event.” This is why Woodinville Wine Cellars combines their fine wines with Lacanche Ranges in one location.
Woodinville Wine Cellars has one of the best atmospheres around for a small winery.