Not all tasting rooms are in Woodinville. Several wineries have set up camp in the downtown Seattle area. I recently visited The Estates Wine Room in Pioneer Square. It’s owned by Napa conglomerate Crimson Wine Group and features wines from three Northwest wineries: Double Canyon (Horse Heaven Hills), Seven Hills Winery (Walla Walla), and Archery Summit (Willamette Valley). They are also a direct importer for A. Bergère champagnes from France.
Achery Summit Vireton Rosé 2015
(Willamette Valley; $24)
Fresh and fabulously watermelon pink, this rosé of Pinot noir gives off aromas of cranberry and citrus. It struck a different note with my husband who was reminded of crispy rice sprinkled on wonton soup – to each his own. Back to my palate, juicy strawberry and kiwi cruise through with a lush orange blossom finish.
Double Canyon Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
(Horse Heaven Hills; $65)
Predominantly Cabernet (93%) and dark ruby in color, the nose has interesting notes of red bell pepper jelly, black cherry, and canned lychee fruit. On the palate, blackberry and cassis are joined by leather, cigar box, and plush tannins. This is a beautiful choice to pair with rich, fatty meat.
Seven Hills Vineyard Merlot 2013
(Walla Walla Valley; $45)
When done properly, Washington Merlot can be such a pleasure. Made from Walla Walla fruit by winemaker Casey McClellan, this velvety red wine has a bouquet of red and black fruit, wild bramble notes, and mocha. Black cherry on the palate, it finishes with leathery spice notes and assertive tannins. Give it time to open up before drinking it and you won’t be sorry.
BONUS: A.Bergere Brut Rosé Champagne
Someone once told me, if you don’t have Champagne in your fridge, you aren’t ready for life. This classically-styled Champagne (50/50 Pinot noir and Chardonnay) gives off yeasted brioche and strawberry notes and explodes on the palate in just the right ways. Pairs well with life.