Columbia Gorge wine tasting...

Steve K | Feb 21, 200802:15 PM

We took a quick power tasting day during the Wine and Chocolate "festival". Tasting notes follow:

Waving Tree
06 Sangiovese and 05 Grenache really stood out on this trip $15.00 and $25.00 respectively. 05 Barbera $15 and Nebbiolo $40 are also well made wines. 05 Syrah (lots of good press and medal winner) wasn’t showing as well on this trip, could just be going through a dumb stage $15. Terrance’s Syrahs, including this one have been excellent in the past. Fun place to go. Down to earth friendly folks, the antithesis of a high brow winery, refreshing. Don’t want to take up a lot of space describing the wines, just pointing out what stood out for us.

Cascade Cliffs
06 Barbera $25 excellent, also good acid and ph numbers. Knowledgeable person pouring the wine. 06 Symphony $18 very pleasant, dry (yes, it really is dry ). They also had a Nebbiolo, I think $25 or maybe $30. Much lighter in style and substance than Waving Tree. Just didn’t compare in quality to the Waving Tree.

Cor Cellars
Young person on cell phone pouring the wines. Not much exciting winery or wine wise except a good 06 sav blanc.

We had a great time there. They sprang for some very impressive chocolates and cheeses. The 06 Syrah $22 really stood out. They also had a French style 07 Rose’ not yet released but we were able to barrel sample. Looking forward to purchasing some at $14.

Solstice Café, Bingen WA (This is food - don't tell Chowhounds)
Noisy and fun. Some of the best crust you’ll ever experience on a pizza. ( the special pizza oven might have a little to do with it). The blue cheese, caramelized onion and pear pizza was even better than it sounds.

Cathedral Ridge
Big operation, many wines, friendly staff. Were were hoping for something to really stand out but there was nothing of distinction.

Phelps Creek
Fairly knowledgeable, friendly staff. Good wines. One really stood out as a good value, the 06 Brimstone $16.50, a cab/syrah/merlot blend.
Pheasant Valley
Pouring staff with “talking points”. We do not care for this approach to tasting. Some novices might find it helpful. They had an 05 Pinot noir $25 that was very good. Also good were 06 Zin $22, 06 Tempranillo $28, n/v River City Red $19 and an 05 Syrah $24.

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