Welcome to binNotes | a wine blog.

by. L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML

Washington State Wine Awards 2015 | Top 3 Takeaways

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“A fruit is a vegetable with looks and money. Plus, if you let fruit rot, it turns into wine, something Brussels sprouts never do.” – P. J. O’Rourke 

Greetings, dear readers! Ever wonder about what goes on at those fancy wine award events?

binNotes attended the 13th annual Washington State Wine Awards on January 26th in Seattle’s stunning Benaroya Hall. The event honors those in the wine, restaurant, retail/distribution and tourism/promotion industry professionals that best boost Washington State wines and wine region.

binNotes’ top three (3) takeaways from the 2015 WSWA and trade show:

1. White is the New Orange Black

Steely whites stole my heart this year, including some exciting unoaked chardonnays that forego malolactic fermentation. Secondary malolactic fermentation softens chardonnay, giving it that familiar, creamy texture. But snappy, malo-free whites like Airfield Estates 2013 Unoaked Chardonnay tap dance on the palate like a zesty Sauvignon Blanc. Quite refreshing, and highly affordable.

Other binNotes fave whites include:

Alexandria Nicole Cellars 2013 Shepherds Mark White Rhone Blend. A blend of Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier. Pale straw robe, light body, crisp finish.  A perennial delight.

Avennia 2013 Oliane Sauvignon Blanc. Pale lemon robe, light/medium body, clean finish. Elegant stunner.

Dunham Cellars 2013 Lewis Vineyard Riesling. Translucent robe, light body, dry finish. Lemony- snickets, lip-puckering lusciousness.

Owen Roe 2013 Chardonnay | DuBrul Vineyard. Light yellow robe, light/medium body, bright finish. Nice acids on this – another chardonnay masquerading as a Sauvignon Blanc.

2. The Fruit Abides

I love Burgundy because of the stories the wines tell, tales built upon aeons of nuance – countless variations in terroir comprising the mosaic that is Burgundy. Washington State wines tell a story, too. That story? The fruit abides.

Regardless the varietal, the vineyard, the wine maker, it all comes down to the freshness of the fruit. And Washington state schools other wine region in freshness. Maybe it’s grape-growing eastern Washington’s ‘high desert’ effect: Dramatic diurnal shifts between warm days to bring along the sugars, and cool nights to keep acids bright. Maybe it’s the soils: basalt bedrock, Missoula floods glacial tills, caliche (arid mineral-rich soil), with a little volcanic ash for good measure. No wonder that Washington State racks up more accomplishments in forty years than other wine regions have in centuries. The fruit abides.

3. And the Winner is…

Look for a list of the 2015 winners here. A special shout-out to fellow Burgundy lover Chris Horn of Purple Cafe & Wine Bar| Bellevue, Sommelier of the Year.


Care to share? Leave your comments below…thanks for stopping by.

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Thank you:

Washington State Wine Commission

Copyrighted binNotes 2015. All Rights Reserved. 

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