WBC Panel Discussion: 7 Hills, Saviah, Sleight of Hand

“All ships ride with the tide” is the modus operandum in Walla Walla Valley and, it seems, in Washington as a whole. This is a story and theme repeatedly told in a myriad of variations and specifics.

Three Walla Walla wine makers are joining our busload of wine bloggers, nicknamed the Jackpot Bus, for a panel discussion and tasting in the barrel room’s nice cool interior.

Walla Walla wines have nice structure, aromatics, good with food, and according to more brighter palate, more food friendly. It’s a lot easier and cheaper to get a wine going here because land is inexpensive and makes excellent wine. But possibly the most important element is that people here are a community working together helping everyone succeed. It’s been an era of entrepreneurship.

Seven Hills winery’s 07 merlot: lots of minerals, mint, menthol, sweet brown spice of cinnamon and clove. Located conveninetly in downtown Walla Walla right by the Marcus Whitman hotel.

Trey Busch of Sleight of Hand wears a Pearl Jam cycling jersey? His card looks like a playing card.  Notice a trend? They don’t make any more than 300 cases of their fine wines. The wine poured for is is “The Archimage.” This is 100% Walla Walla Valley 54% merlot and 46% cab franc. More licorice, lots of structure, acidity, plenty of fruit.He admits he love cab franc and loves working with and thinks it has a ton of potential in Washington. He lived in Seattle until Eric Dunham from Dunham Cellars invited him to come work with him here. Trey’s tasting room is a few blocks from here in downtown. His wines are available in 10 states.

Finally, Saviah Cellars brings us a 56% cab merlot cab franc blend. They produce less than 10,000 cases overall and is available . 2008 was a cooler vintage and it’s a bit tight, needs a little more time in the bottle, but I still like it. This is the wine he hangs his hat on. There wasn’t a lot of excess fruit so he went for very small production. On Monday at 11am, he’s doing a vertical from 2000 to 2008 for  wine bloggers who are still around.

Well, cellars are full of concrete and barrels and not electrical outlets. So my laptop is going to sleep and to get recharged for the next session!

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