What we’re drinking: Two Walla Walla wineriesAugust 29th, 2012 by brynn grimley
On a trip to Walla Walla, I stumbled upon a tasting room. (Not hard to do in that town).
It was Sunday morning and my wine-drinking buddies were off shopping for some Christmas gewgaws. While waiting for their return, I popped into the corner tasting room that said Tero and Flying Trout Wines on the door. Not having tasted these wines, I needed to do some quick research.
What a pleasant way to past the time, learning about these two wineries and tasting their wines. I even pontificated about Argentina’s Torrontés grape.
Flying Trout Wines is a self described “Bi-Hemispherical Winery” making wine in both the Walla Walla and Mendoza, Argentina. The focus at both wineries is on Malbec with a little bit of Torrontés, a Sauvignon-like grape.
Winemaker Ashley Trout is originally from the other Washington. She came to Walla Walla to attend college and two weeks later got a job in a winery. She owns Flying Trout Wines and is consulting winemaker for Tero Estates in Walla Walla.
Malbec is this darkly colored grape that was traditionally blended with Cab, Merlot, Cab Franc and Petite Verdot to make red Bordeaux. After a killer frost in the fifties, Malbec migrated to a warmer climate in southwest France called Cahors. And then to sunny Argentina and eventually Eastern Washington.
This thin-skinned grape likes it hot and sunny, so the move to more southerly climates makes for a rich, glass staining dark red wine. As a single unblended varietal, it really shines.
I brought a bottle of the 2009 Konnowac Vineyard Old Vines Malbec and laid it in the cellar for a short time. In the late 1980s, the state’s first Malbec was planted at the Konnowac Vineyard in Yakima Valley. Not as old as Argentinean Malbec vines, but grape growing and wine making in this state is relatively young compared to other wine regions.
It made a memorable dinner, old friends, old vines and a grilled leg of lamb.
The description from the winery says it best:
“Gripping, dark tar, Bing cherries, plum, suede and boysenberry with a finish of musky rose. The most “Cahors-esque” Malbec we’ve made. Balanced tannins with a structured, long, finish.”