Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Barrel 2009

Holiday Barrel Weekend was a fabulous way to finish the 2009 year. We kicked off the celebration with our Bridge Club party on Friday. It was a night of food, wine, and visiting with friends, a thank you to all of our club members for their support during the past year. We opened some treats from the library, our vineyard designate blends, Pepper Bridge and Seven Hills from various past vintages. Its always nice to taste wines that aren't available. We were lucky enough to talk Chef Andrae Bopp into cooking up some excellent hors d'oeuvres to pair with the wines. Andrae is the Cellar Master for our neighbor, Dusted Valley Vintners, but he is also a fabulous chef that can be persuaded into catering on occasion. For entertainment we had the chance to enjoy The Mike Wagoner Band singing holiday tunes and some classic tracks. All and all a great party. We got lucky this year and had nice weather for the entire Barrel Weekend, no snow, no ice, no freezing fog. It made tasting around the valley much easier for all the visitors. Saturday we hosted guests in the winery and treated them to barrel samples of 2008 Reserve and 2008 Pepper Bridge Vineyard, both wines will not be bottled until next July and won't be released until 2011. Even so young, the wines were rich and fruity and delicious, so they will only get better over the next 2 years. The big news of the weekend was the unveiling of our 2007 Merlot. 2007 is shaping up to be one of the best vintages that we have had in Walla Walla to date. The growing season was just about perfect with a warm summer and a cool fall, with nighttime temperatures during harvest getting downright chilly. Warm days and cool nights at the end of the growing season set more color and aroma and acidity in the grapes. The resulting wines from 2007 are complex and full bodied, with lots of earth tones and great natural acidity. The 2007 Merlot is the first wine of the vintage to be released and it is fantastic. It is perhaps the most full bodied Merlot that Jean-Fran├žois has made, perfect for cold winter nights. We thank all the guests that joined us for Holiday Barrel Weekend and we appreciate our Bridge Club members coming to visit. You made the weekend fun. Cheers!

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