As has been noted a couple times on this blog, I’m in the Great Northwest this week. I arrived in Portland today and drove up to Seattle. I’m excited about my work reasons to be here, but also about visiting the Willamette Valley Wednesday and Thursday and tasting so many great Pinot Noirs.

But business comes first and is the purpose of the trip. But that doesn’t mean it’s not without wine. Washington State wine has consistently gained accolades over the last decade and the wineries are making a wide range of varietals.

Tonight I dined at Tom Douglas’ Palace Kitchen in downtown Seattle – a place worthy of any Iron Chef. I had half a chicken that was roasted on their Applewood grill. It was served with Yukon mashed potatoes, lacinito kale, and garnished with rubarb and hazelnuts. Crazy huh? It was incredibly delicious.

There was no Pinot available by the glass, which was my first choice, so I thought I’d be adventurous. I ordered Di Stefano 2007 Semillon with dinner. The wine had a big floral characteristic on the nose with an almost buttery texture. It’s actually a blend with more than 80% Semillon and the rest Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauv Blanc gives the wine some acidity on the finish.

I liked the wine alone but it was not a good pairing with the chicken. It comes from the Columbia Valley in Washington and would be a great summer wine and definitely something new for most to try.

Before going to dinner I stopped by a small deli to pick up a couple of things and grabbed an $11.95 bottle of Columbia Winery’s Syrah. What caught my eye was the shelf note that Washington’s first Syrah was made by this winery.

The wine has a nice dark berry tastes and smooth through mid palate. I thought there was some vanilla to the taste. It has pretty strong tannins for an inexpensive wine.

I would recommend trying Columbia Winery Syrah. This was a better value in my book than the white. This was well structured and a pretty good representation of what Syrah should taste like for the price.

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