Part 17, Washington State: visiting one of North America's leading wine
Back in 1980, when Jeff and Bill Gordon established the Gordon
Brothers winery (it changed its name in 2012 to Gordon Estate, some
time after Bill had retired), the Washington state wine scene was a
lot smaller. There were only 19 wineries in the state, and now there
are several hundred.
The first wine, a Chardonnay, was released in 2005.
It's a good sized property, with 100 acres of vines overlooking the
An aside: back in 1992, because of dam construction, there were just
5000 salmon in the river, and they were endangered, but since then
they've begun using an open net barge to get the fish past the dams.
It has worked spectacularly.
Jeff is very positive about two red varieties in particular.
'Washington State has a really good climate for Merlot and Syrah,'
he claims. 'In the past year we have sold a vintage and a half of
Merlot. Merlot is really coming back in Washington.' Production here
is 25 000 cases.
Gordon Estate Chardonnay 2014 Washington State
Half barrel fermented. Rounded and a bit nutty with appley pear
fruit and some subtle toast notes. Lovely texture here with nice
citrus and pineapple characters. 89/100
Gordon Estate Reserve Chardonnay 2013 Washington State
100% barrel fermented. Toasty and spicy with lively citrus,
peach and spice notes, as well as some fig. Very bold and intense.
Gordon Estate Rosé 2014 Washington State
from Malbec, this is a pale pink in colour. Lively and bright with
nice fresh, juicy, jellyfish strawberry fruit and a citrus edge.
Gordon Estate Merlot 2013 Washington State
Smooth, ripe, attractively textured berry fruits with a bit of
creaminess. Nice smooth spicy finish. Fine grained tannins. 88/100
Gordon Estate Block 3 Merlot 2013 Washington State
Smooth and ripe with attractively textured berry fruits and
a bit of creaminess. Nice smooth spicy finish here. Has fine-grained
Gordon Estate Block 3 Merlot 2012 Washington State
Supple, textured and broad with richness but also good
balance. Fine grained, spicy, gravelly tannic structure with some
subtle earthy notes. 89/100
Gordon Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 Washington State
Ripe, sweet and supple with a hint of green. Very berryish
and juicy with nicely focused fruit. Rounded and supple with a bit
of grip. 88/100
Gordon Estate Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 Washington
Slightly open appley nose with ripe, green-tinged
blackcurrant fruit. Supple and berryish with nice dense fruit and
good structure. 86/100
Gordon Estate Syrah 2013 Washington State
Supple, juicy and berryish with sweet black cherry and plum fruit.
Just a hint of olive and pepper adding interest. 90/100
Gordon Estate Tradition 2012 Washington State
Syrah and Cabernet, 50/50. Juicy and ripe with nice direct red
fruits and some blackcurrant. Fresh and supple with a direct fruity
Gordon Estate Ice Wine 2014 Washington State
Gewurztraminer, 9.7% alcohol. 250 g/l residual sugar. Grapey and
aromatic with lively sweet, intense peach, honey and ripe apple
WASHINGTON STATE WINES
du Cheval Vineyard
with Kevin Pogue
tasted as indicated
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