Magazine article Sunset

Wine Tripping

Magazine article Sunset

Wine Tripping

Article excerpt

Where to go and what to drink once you get there, based On your tastes BY SARA SCHNEIDER

IF YOU LIKE Obscure whites GO TO Puget Sound

Flamboyant-white [overscan expand their wine vocabulary beyond Riesling in Washington's Puget Sound. The chilly maritime weather is nurturing the great acidity and fresh aromatics of grapes you've never heard of.

Mount Baker 2007 Siegerrebe (Puget Sound; Í12J. A riot of litchi, lemongrass, hay, peach, red pear, almond blossom, and spice. Tastings from $4; 4234 Mt. Baker Hwy., 12 miles east 0/ Bel ling h am; mountbaker vineyards.com or 360/532-2300.

San Juan Vineyards 2009 Madeleine Angevine (Puget Sound; $12). Bright, honeyed peach, apricot, and pear with kumquat on the finish. Tastings from $1; 3136 Roche Harbor Rd. and 65 Spring St., Jriday Harbor; san juanvineyards.com or 360/378-3463.

Whidbey Island Winery 2009 Siegerrebe (Puget Sound; $76). Earthy Asian pear dipped in honey, with just the right touch of sweetness. $3 tasting; 5237 Langley Rd., langley; 1vhidbeyisland1vinery.com or 360/ 221-2040.

IF YOU LIKE Lean, crisp Chards GO TO Willamette

For fans of Chardon nay decked out in minerality instead of tons of oak, check out this Oregon valley for its crisp, cool-weather-driven Chards - little-known gems.

IF YOU LIKE Malbecs GO TO Walla Walla

Argentina might have claimed this gutsy grape first, but Eastern Washington is producing beautiful Malbecs, with intense fruit and restrained muscle.

A Maurice 2007 Malbec (Columbia Valley; $35). Warm-spiced blueberry, plum, and black cherry with black pepper and cocoa, wrapped in velvety tannins. Open Sat or by appointment; 178 Vineyard Lane, Walla Walla; amaurice.com or 503/522-5444.

Beast 2007 Phinny Hill Vineyard Malbec by Buty (Horse Heaven Hills; $30). Gravelly blueberry and black cherry laced with mint, espresso, and chocolate. $5 tasting; 535 £. Cessna Ave., Walla Walla; butyivinery.com or 503/527-0301.

IF YOU LIKE Napa-style Cabs GO TO Happy Canyon

The next new hot address for cult Cabs-and-cousins blends is Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara. The warmest wine-growing pocket in the county, HC can get them big and ripe.

Barrack 2006 "Ten-Goal' (Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara; $60). A Cab blend; cassis, blackberry, and plum with rose, pepper, mocha, and big tannins. …

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