Sunday, September 16, 2018

Uriah Spring Valley Vineyards Walla Walla Red Blend

Uriah Spring Valley Vineyards Walla Walla Red Blend

Following our trip to Woodinville, Washington to taste Washington State wines in our Seattle Culinary and Washington Wine Tour, wines we took this Spring Valley Vineyard Washington State Columbia Valley Red Blend to our favorite Italian Trattoria BYOB for Saturday night dinner.  We hold close to a dozen vintages of this label and for tonight's dinner I pulled this 2004 vintage release, the oldest, to cycle our collection accordingly.

We know this wine well having tasted numerous vintages over the years so it was good taste it again after our tasting numerous other labels from the region recently. We gained further appreciation for the quality of Columbia Valley red wines and the state of the art there in producing wines comparable to the top labels from Bordeaux and Napa Valley.

This is a single vineyard designated wine, with 100% of the fruit from the Spring Valley Vineyard. Like many of the other wines we tasted from the region, including the wine from our nieces in-laws that we wrote about in our recent posts, Spring Valley wines are family owned and operated. The  land that has been farmed by the Corkrum family for five generations and this vineyard was planted in 1993. We wrote about our delight with our wine discovery and a family connection to a multi-generation family owned and operated Walla Walla producer in our blogpost Den Hoed Andreas Walula Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon.

This is from the Columbia Valley, Walla Walla appellations. Like many of the other wines we tasted in our Columbia Valley tasting, this forty acre vineyard is planted in Bordeaux varietals, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Malbec, and Syrah.

The terroir has been determine and has proven to be an excellent environment for growing Bordeaux varietal grapes. The elevation lies between 1,200 and 1,500 feet, on south-southwest facing hills where the vines are planted to follow the north-south slope of the hills in vertical rows to provide the vines optimal sunshine, cold air, drainage, and takes advantage of the reflective nature of the surrounding hills.

As I wrote, these wines rival the wines from Bordeaux and Napa Valley but are available at a fraction of the price for comparable wines, providing great QPR - Quality Price Ratios. This gap will most assuredly close as they gain more attention and notoriety in the years ahead. 

This is a serious wine, a red blend in the Bordeaux Right Bank style, meaning it is a blend of Bordeaux varietals predominantly of Merlot. The blend is 60% Merlot, 31% Cabernet Franc, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 4% Petit Verdot. It was aged 16 months in 95% French oak and 5% American oak barrels.

Serge Laville, the winemaker wrote in his release notes: "Aromas of ripe blackberry, plum and harvested wheat introduce a complex palate with flavors of currant, cherry and hints of liquorice and leather. Powerful and firm tannins resonate on the long, elegant finish.

In my tasting note from 2009 I stated this needed more time. In my last tasting note in 2017 I said, 'Its time!" Tonight, this wine has matured and improved with further aging and was better still, consistent with my recent tasting back in May of this year when I wrote below.

"Much better, smoother and more approachable than last tasting five years ago when I said it needs more time. Its time! Dark garnet colored, medium full bodied, smooth polished forward aromatic black currant and black berry fruits give way to hint of nicely integrated oak turning to tones of minerality, black cherry and dark mocha chocolate with hints of anise and tobacco."

We drank half the bottle with dinner last night, and it was even better today with grilled tenderloin for our Sunday afternoon dinner! Its showing elegance and finesse and smooth polished texture with velvety tannins on the long finish. This is definitely as its apex in its fourteenth year!

RM 93 points.