The Hedonistic Taster | № 17 | The Walls – Walla Walla, WA.

The Hedonistic Taster | № 17 | The Walls – Walla Walla, WA.

The Hedonistic Taster |  № 17  | The Walls – Walla, Walla, WA.

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne ML


“Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.” – Henri Jayer

Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster, a binNotes | redThread™ trade sampling of gorgeous, small-lot artisan pours in an intimate tasting format.

The title derives from the term ‘hedonistic tasting,’ coined by legendary Burgundian vigneron Henri Jayer.


Today’s Tasting:

The Walls | Walla Walla, WA.

You can find my exclusive conversation with The Walls winemaker Ali Mayfield here.

The Walls 2015 Martin’s Gold Chardonnay.

Wine: The Walls Martin’s Gold Chardonnay

Vintage: 2015

Alcohol:  13.3 %

Suggested Retail: $36

Specs:  “Originally brought to America by Paul Masson, Martin Ray planted French Chardonnay in the Santa Cruz Mountains in the 1940’s and revolutionized American winemaking. We make Martin’s Gold from the first plantings of this “Mt. Eden clone” in Washington State. This wine offers a bolder and more New World profile than other chardonnay from The Walls, yet still made in a restrained and balanced Old World style that Ali’s wines are known for.”


Robe: Transparent lemon robe.

Nose:  Vanilla, waxy white florals, light toast notes.

Palate: Oak, citrus, pear, almond bouche; light body, balanced acids and tannins, slight reverb on the finish. Impeccable fruit, beautiful structure. 

Suggested Pairings: A wine for lightly oaked Chardonnay aficionados. Especially compliments creamy cheeses or classically sauced main courses.


The Walls 2015 McAndrews Chardonnay.

Wine: The Walls McAndrew Chardonnay | Columbia Gorge

Vintage: 2015

Alcohol:   13.3%

Suggested Retail: $36

Specs:  “Doc” McAndrew was a highly educated and respected surgeon in Seattle. He was also “a dreamer and a doer” who brought to life the first planting of Chardonnay in the Columbia Gorge region of southwest Washington in 1972. Doc’s pioneering foresight gave birth to vineyards that are the perfect pairing of site and varietal — few will deny his was among the best fruit in the country. This Chardonnay comes from cuttings from Doc’s original plants and is made in a crisp, fresh style using the nest concrete tanks we imported from Burgundy. We offer it both in his memory and with his “if you can dream it, do it” spirit.


Robe: Pale straw robe.

Nose:  Citron, white rocks, white stone fruits notes.

Palate: Macôn-like golden apple, lemon zest, mineral bouche; light body, vivacious acids, filigree finish.

Suggested Pairings: A lyrical accompaniment to a myriad of seafood dishes, especially crab, sole, and shellfish.


The Walls 2014 Stanley Groovy Red Blend.

Wine: The Walls Stanley Groovy Red Blend | Red Mountain

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol:   13.6 %

Suggested Retail: $38

Specs:  “You may not have heard of Stanley Groovy, and that’s OK. We’ll tell you he’s a strange — but delightful — guy, much more complex than he lets on, despite his “regular guy” exterior. Inside, he’s groovy — just like the wine in this bottle. Trying to describe this wine is like trying to describe the inside of the fine artist’s mind; you may say you get it but really, no one gets it. And this is why what’s in this bottle will remain in generalities – simple on the outside, complex and groovy on the inside. We will say it is an intriguing blend of red Iberian varietals from Red Mountain, one of Washington’s most prominent AVAs, and is just as suitable for cellaring as it is for immediate enjoyment. Once you taste it, you’ll never confuse it with any other wine.”


Robe: Opaque ruby robe.

Nose:  Blackberry, green pepper, oregano, tobacco notes.

Palate: A well-constructed, integrated, age-worthy, medium+ body wine with plush tannins and a thoughtful, lengthy finish. 

Suggested Pairings: A supple anchor to any meal featuring roasted beef, game, or duck.

You can find my exclusive conversation with The Walls winemaker Ali Mayfield here.

You can find more of The Hedonistic Taster here.

Copyrighted 2017 L.M. Archer | binNotes | redThread™. All Rights Reserved

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