Archive for September 21, 2015

We Live For Wine

Even when we aren’t behind the counter at Madrona Wine Merchants, we are searching the world for wines – fortunately, they mostly come to us through distributors and through trade wine tastings. Occasionally we will slip out of the city to explore wine country. Here is what I found in Walla Walla.

First stop was Balboa. They aren’t in commercial distribution and the tasting fee was $5. My favorite on the tasting was their 2013 Sangiovese ($30)

There were a couple of wineries out in the sticks (like Balboa) that we carry – Sleight of Hand, Gifford Hirlinger, that weren’t open on a Wednesday. Had I actually planned this trip better I could have probably gotten them to open up for us.

Next up was Kontos Cellars in downtown Walla Walla. Please note the prices in the upper left hand corner – these are VERY TYPICAL for Walla Walla wines. I think its cartel pricing at work. And they are in distribution with one of our distributors, but the price point is a hard sell in our neighborhood. Favorite at this stop was their 2012 Malbec ($44).

The final winery was El Corazon – which the friend who I was visiting had called a week earlier to set up a private tasting. Not in distribution, and the same pricing structure as Balboa and Kontos, but definitely a different attitude. Hey, they even put out snacks for us! Toss up on my favorite between the2012 Pistelero, their Bordeaux Blend ($40) or the 2013 Swordfight, a Syrah/Mourvèdre Blend ($50)

And the décor of the place is a hoot!



And they do have an amusing policy of throwing out people who are assholes:

No cheap wines in Walla Walla, but it’s was all really good wine. Next time you are on a holiday, check out the local wineries – they are now in all fifty states (including Alaska and Hawaii). Expand your palate.

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