What’s Hot in WA?
Highlights from 8 winery visits in Washington
The fourth winery founded in Prosser, Chinook marked their 30th vintage in 2013 but you probably wouldn’t guess it. Still a very small operation producing but a few thousand cases a year, Chinook remains a hands on winery with a predominantly local audience. These are not wines of ambition but of purity, balance and elegance. Reminiscent of fine regional wines from Europe, they are built as much on their acids as their tannin and certainly do not suffer from overt winemaking, excessive extraction, or any of the other influences that have changes wines since 1983. If you are looking for purity and elegance in your wines, not to mention great value, Chinook should be on your short list of wines to try.
started in ss, 60% in new wood for two months,
Fruity and fresh on the nose with almond and grape skin character. On entry here is a whisper of tannin here followed by fresh and lively flavors of candied citrus, mineral, green apple and candied lime character. Good length, not elegant but full and exuberant with a really firm and dusty character. This speaks of soil fairly clearly and is not your typical full bodied fruity Chardonnay. It would be fascinating to see how this ages. 89pts
Tobacco, smoke, and herb stem aromas wrap around very fresh crushed raspberry fruit on the nose. This so clean, fresh and lusty on entry, it’s a small scaled wine in many ways, revealing the delicate side of Cabernet Franc with great clarity. Hints of minerality emerge on the palate along with subtle licorice framing notes that help to focus the slightly spicy strawberry fruit, which all leads to a refreshing, long, and pure fruit driven finish. There is nothing here that shouldn’t be here. Unfettered and eminently drinkable, this would be fabulous with a slight chill all summer long. 89pts