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Friday, June 25, 2010

Washington Wine Report: Winemaker Dinner at Waterfront Seafood Grill

SEATTLE -- You couldn't possibly shoehorn anything more into the action-packed agenda for the WBC-or-Bust bus tour. Toledo Wines and Vines is proud to be one of 12 bloggers selected from a pool of national entrants to earn a seat on the bus -- but it takes the endurance of a rock star to keep up with the many VIP events.

Perhaps the highlight of Wednesday's events was the winemaker dinner at the Waterfront Seafood Grill in Seattle. The setting: superb, the food: sumptuous, and the wine spectacular.

The five-course meal included Roasted Snails in lemon garlic butter, Seared Scallops, Columbia River Sturgeon with bacon relish and Angus Beef short ribs in red wine and horseradish. Dessert was panna cota with bing cherry, chocolate, star anise and black pepper.

I was fortunate to sit next to Bill Owen of O.S. Winery. Bill has travelled extensively in Germany and is proud of his 2009 Riesling, which is unique because he has intentionally kept the alcohol levels low. The Riesling was a great match with the snail. This trip was my first exposure to Sparkman Cellars of Woodinville. I deem them awesome. The Lumiere Chardonnay 2008 was a beautiful, bright, complex Chard.

The second course brought on Andrew Will 2008 Two Blondes. This is an earthy, shy red blend. The O.S. Winery 2008 Cabernet Franc was enjoyable and was followed by the elegant Fall Line 2006 Cab Sauvignon.

Sturgeon is a fish with some heartiness, and it was matched with three superior reds: Fall Line 2006 Artz (blend of Cab Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon), Cadence 2007 Bel Canto (a reserve blend) and the Nota Bene 2007 Una Notte. The Una Notte is a Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre blend mostly from the Stone Tree Vineyards. This is a gem from a small family owned winery in Seattle.

The short ribs were palate pleasing and the wines were the equivalent of a fireworks grand finale: Andrew Will 2007 Ciel du Cheval, Sparkman 2008 Darkness Syrah, Cadence 2007 Tapteil and Nota Bene 2006 Syrah. The Darkness is an opulent, fruit forward, full throttle wine. Both Sparkman wines were winners tonight and the Una Notte from Nota Bene also made a lasting impression at an amazing culinary evening.

And so the sun set, one of our bloggers plunged into a fountain and we all headed for some well deserved rest.
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