No Joke – Taste Washington Hits it Out of the Park

We’re still recovering from our food and wine coma, having attended Taste Washington over the weekend.  We’ve been several times before, as Christina worked with a wine association and used to help host media events during the show.  But this time we were attending in the media capacity to taste and review.

As food and wine experiences go, we knew the wines would be solid, but what really blew us away was the quality of the food offerings.  The participating restaurants really brought their “A game”, making the event more than worth the price of admission.  There was an oyster bar, tuna and beef nibbles at every turn, amazing cheeses and killer food trucks.  We reviewed more than 60 wines, which is a feat, when you consider the time needed to take notes on each wine, as well as to say hello to good friends and try to ferret out new discoveries (and to eat, did we mention the great food??).

Grower Dick Boushey and Christina Watt.  We headed out to taste with Dick, but he's so popular, we didn't make it far!
Grower Dick Boushey and Christina Watt. We headed out to taste with Dick, but he’s so popular, we didn’t make it far together!

People often refer to the Washington Wine scene as being in its adolescent stage of growth.  We have certainly seen the wines and the infrastructure grow in leaps and bounds over the last decade.  We continue to be impressed with the quality of the wines and the passion of the winemakers in this region and we are relieved to see that the pricing is still reasonable.  It was interesting to note that we also met several folks from California that had decided to “move on up” to Washington to try their hand making juice in the Wild West.

Over the course of the next month or so, we’ll highlight some fun new finds and tell you what to expect from our perennial favorites with their latest releases.  Next year, don’t take our word for it, come out and enjoy the event for yourself.  As Steve Warner, the President of the Washington Wine Commission said, the goal is to make it truly a Taste of Washington.  We’d say they more than succeeded!

Cellar Gem: 2007 Doubleback – Cabernet Sauvignon

This weekend we’ll be reviewing wines from Taste Washington, the annual show where winemakers from all over the state pour their vintages for enthusiasts, media and the trade.  To get in the spirit, we decided to crack open a bottle of Washington wine that we haven’t had for a while, and settled on the 2007 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon.  This is the debut vintage of Doubleback from Drew & Maura Bledsoe, with Chris Figgins as the winemaker.  It has been a couple of years since we have had the 2007 Doubleback, so I wanted to see where it was as far as the evolutionary track.  Drew “drew” a lot of flack in the beginning for being an athlete making wine, and I’ve been impressed all along with his passion and insistence on quality.  I’m pleased to report that the 2007 lives up to his high expectations so far.

2007 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon.
2007 Doubleback Cabernet Sauvignon.

2007 Doubleback – Cabernet Sauvignon – Still very dark red/black in color.  On the nose, dark sweet blackberries and a little bit of tobacco with just the slightest hint of green pepper at the beginning, which blew off.  In the mouth, very dark, ripe fruits (blackberries, bing cherries and black currants), combine with some black tar (in a good way), and a little tobacco.  This wine has really excellent acidity and only 14.4% alcohol listed on the bottle, which is not particularly high these days nor is it noticeable at all.  There are some extremely fine, ripe tannins that kick in on the beautifully long very dark fruit and tar/tobacco finish.  I love the deep, dark-black fruit and tar combination that finishes with a little tobacco.  Very few wines from the US have this combination, usually you find it more in Bordeaux.  This is an absolutely beautiful wine that has a long future ahead of it.  If you have several bottles of this in the cellar, it is worth opening one now, but it will only get more complex with time.  I think this wine will continue to improve for another 5-10 years and then it will stay on the maturity plateau for another ten years after that.  There is no rush to drink the 2007 Doubleback, but it is very tasty right now.  (96 pts.)

I look forward to seeing where the 2007 Doubleback goes from here.  I’m also looking forward to making new wine discoveries this weekend – and sharing them with our readers!

Cellar Gems are reviews of wines aged in our cellar.