Friday, July 10, 2009

Walla Walla Winery Series #1 (Tamarack)

I am beginning a new series based on my tasting notes from my last trip (July 5-7, 2008) to the Walla Walla valley. In each installment, I will limit my discussion to a single winery in order to highlight as many individual wines as possible and to provide you with an idea of what types of wines are being produced where. The tasting notes themselves are not always extremely detailed as the trip included 15 wines and 125 wines in three days. With that in mind, a lack of notes should not be interpreted as a negative review, simply that it was not able to distinctively stand out during a weekend of tasting spectacular wines.

In this first installment, I will be discussing Tamarack Cellars. This is my first time both visiting Tamarack as well as tasting their wines. And in case you were wondering, they are one of a number of wineries conveniently located out at the old airport just outside of town. Their tasting room is great and their staff provided a nice tasting experience.

* 2006 Chardonnay - good, but not distinctive
* 2006 Sangiovese - alright
* 2006 Firehouse Red - a blend of seven varietals, very tasty, best value!
* 2006 Merlot - really good
* 2006 Cab Franc - also good
* 2005 Cab - delicious
* 2004 Syrah - deep fruit and earthy on nose, nice, but not the best WaWa syrah
* 2005 Dubrul Vineyard Reserve (61 Cab/32 Merlot/7 Cab Franc) - especially great

Summary: All of their wines are quite good, so in the future, I will not hesitate to try anything coming out of Tamarack. If the wallet allows, the Dubrul Vineyard Reserve is lovely. But certainly, the best all-around (taste & value) goes to their Firehouse Red. Whether in a wine shop or at a restaurant, this table red wine is immensely versatile.

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