Chris Upchurch, Executive Winemaker at DeLille Cellars & Upchurch Vineyards
In Washington state, the names Chris Upchurch and DeLille Cellars rarely need an introduction. Chris is a wine-making legend and if you are new to his wines, you are in for a premium tasting experience. In this episode, he shares the stories about his part in founding the distinguished DeLille Cellars, his family’s sustainable vineyard and Upchurch label and his thoughts about the history and future of Washington’s wine industry.
Taste Washington 2018
Taste WA is the most EPIC wine event in the state and we only had time to attend the two-day Grand Tasting—VIP, of course. How did we survive with 230 wineries in attendance? Focus! Our mission was to taste wines and get to know wineries we were not as familiar with … and eat all the food. We highlight our favorites so check out the list below to explore these Washington beauties yourself.
Wines we loved at Taste WA 2018
Alexandria Nicole Cellars
2015 Jet Black Syrah
We hope Washington State gets its butt in gear and allows more wine on tap because this one was ON TAP. We also enjoy the bottled version.
Ambassador Wines of Washington
2104 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon | 2014 Estate Syrah
Both are from Red Mountain and the Syrah is (winery notes): Blackberry, cranberry, dried blueberry, Christmas spice, and a bit of worn leather and fresh vanilla. Just a touch of smoke, game and a slight touch of maple. A lot of rich fruit on the palate, which pairs nicely with a smoky, sweet spice. Full bodied with a perfectly structured finish.
2015 Native Hand Syrah | 2014 Four Birds Red Bordeaux Blend | 2014 Scotsman Syrah
2016 Sauvignon Blanc | 2102 Cabernet Sauvignon | 2013 Petit Barone Red Bordeaux Blend
The Sauvignon Blanc and Cab Sauv are both 90 pt wines. The Petit Barone is a great wine for the cost and we talk about it in Episode 4.
2014 Cabernet Franc
Barrister is located in Spokane and we still love their Cabernet Franc, as discussed in Episode 3.
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
This is one of the first vintages from Basel Cellars’ new winemaker, Dirk Brink. We are digging his style so look out for more coming this Fall.
2016 Merlot & Cabernet Franc
This winery, owned by Nina Buty, has us pretty excited. This one is jammy and elegant.
2014 Bel Canto Red Bordeaux Blend
50% Cabernet Franc 38% Merlot, 12% Petit Verdot
Drink now or cellar for up to 15 years. We still have the first vintage in the cellar!
Cave B Estate Winery
2014 Caveman Red
This was the wine that first got Dave excited about Washington wine, so it was a pleasure to try the new vintage and realize that they’re still making a sub-twenty dollar wine that is this satisfying.
Cooper Wine Company
This is a waiting list-kind-of-wine. It will be worth it. And while you are waiting, check out the other amazing wines.
Cote de Ciel
The 2014 season saw record breaking heat and created ideal conditions for this wine. Long and elegant finish, this one.
Elephant Seven Winery
2017 Blue Mountain Vineyard Viognier | 2016 Grenache | 2014 Yellow Bird Sarah
We love these guys who get their inspiration from the Elephant 6 Music Collective. Check out the detailed tasting banter on Episode 6 Bonus.
2011 Logan Malbec | 2011 Isabella Red Blend
The Logan Malbec is incredible and that the NEWEST release is a 2011. Good things come to those who wait.
2014 Cabernet Sauvignon
Get your Gård on and check out the detailed tasting banter on Episode 7 Bonus.
2014 Old Goat Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
One of our favorite labels and wine of Taste WA 2018. It’s really, really good.
Jones of Washington
2016 Estate Sauvignon Blanc
Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc and a consistent line-up from winemaker, Victor Palencia. Solid quality at great prices.
2016 Red Rhone Blend | 2015 Heritage Red Bordeaux Blend
Great wine from a highly regarded vineyard. The Red Rhone Blend is amazing.
Martedi’s Sangiovese is one of the very best examples of this varietal in WA, if we do say so ourselves.
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon
MERF wines have good distribution at chain wine and spirits stores, grocery outlets and restaurants. We’ve enjoyed the Chardonnay as well!
Visit MERF Wines
2015 Chapel Block Syrah | 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon | 2015 Rose Mystica Cabernet Franc
Solid line-up and some of our favorite branding and design.
Palencia Wine Company
2017 Monarcha Winery Pinot Noir | 2013 El Viñador Cabernet Sauvignon
Strong line-up Mr Palencia! The El Viñador is bold with black cherry and chocolate and beautiful tannins.
2015 “Foundation” Cabernet Franc
Solid line-up but Cab Franc was a stand out. Complex flavors, bold and smooth tannins.
2015 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
Stand out wine of the Taste WA 2018. (93-95 points) Wines are member’s only so if you don’t currently have a membership or looking to add another, this would be an incredible one to choose.
2017 Rose of Nebbiolo | 2014 Estate Red Rhone Blend | 2015 Estate Red Bordeaux Blend
We’re really excited about Upsidedown as one of the wineries to watch for 2018. Buy their wine and giveback on every bottle sold!