Dutch John’s Wines recently opened its tasting room in Cashmere’s Mission District, joining Crayelle Cellars, Horan Estates Winery and Waterville Winery in making Cashmere the latest popular wine tasting destination. No fee is charged for tasting, and customers are allowed to taste all the wines on the wine list if they so choose.
The Dutch John’s Wines:
2010 Chardonnay (newly released Sept. 12, 2011) I was particularly pleased with the balance on this wine; acids and fruits meld beautifully, and neither is over-powered by the oak. Although the wine did not undergo secondary fermentation it still displays the silky viscosity of a finely aged Chardonnay, it does so with a light touch. Nothing heavy handed about this wine, including the price of $14.95/btl.
2006 Merlot This wine took home a Bronze Medal at the inaugural North Central Washington Wine Awards competition in August of 2011. The wine has already spent ample time in the bottle and is drinking beautifully right now, but it has sufficient tannic structure to withstand a few more years on the shelf in the cellar. Modestly priced at $15.95/btl, it represents a terrific value.
2007 Riverbend Syrah This vineyard provides fruit that is the backbone of some of the region’s best wines from some of NCW’s most highly acclaimed wineries. No wonder it garnered that Gold Medal at that inaugural North Central Washington Wine Awards. It is a beautifully crafted wine worthy of the award and twice the price of $17.95/btl. Don’t miss this one.
2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (newly released in January 2011) While this wine rates a high score from me, it also scored a Silver Medal from the inaugural North Central Washington Wine Awards, so you know I’m not the only one who thought it a worthy local wine. At a modest price of $16.95/btl, it ranks up among the better-valued cabs in the state, let alone in the area.
2006 Great Northern Blend This Gold Medal winner at the Riverside International Wine Competition stands toe to toe with any comparable Bordeaux blend in its price class in the state, and at a reasonable $19.95/btl, it’s sure to emerge a winner in any competition.
All these wines, plus the 2005 Great Northern Blend (another Gold Medal winner), and the very recently released Sara Syrah, are available for sampling and purchase if you wend your way to the Mission District center in Cashmere. Located between Liberty Orchards Aplets and Cotlets and Junkyard Gypsies on Mission Ave., this new wine center is easy to find and parking is plentiful.
When you’ve finished sampling the dry wines, you’re in for a special treat, as the tastings always end with a sample of their cherry and honey dessert wine, Melomel. This wine, released in February of 2011, is delightfully sweet with clean, bright flavors of cherries balanced by a touch of honey. Again, the modest price of $23.95 is sure to entice tasters to take one home.
I’ve been a long-time fan of Dutch John’s Wines; I know if you try them, you will be, too.