seattle-met.jpg

Seattle Met: Top 100 Washington Wines

Rated #6 of 710 wines... "Drink this if you can find it... this is one of the state's most limited wines... all of the exuberance of Washington's 2012 vintage with floral notes, orange peel, gravel, and blue fruit, showing exceptional polish and hyperextended finish."
—Sean Sullivan

Nanoproducer and Rocks District upstart Delmas show all of the exuberance of Washington's 2012 vintage with floral notes, orange peel, gravel, and blue fruit, showing exceptional polish and hyperextended finish.

Drink this if you can find it.

With a mere 60-case production, this is one of the state's most limited wines.—Sean Sullivan

 

THE RIDDLE OF THE ROCKS

"This corner of the Walla Walla Valley is poised to he one of the most important wine regions in the world. great news...for Oregon.

In the mid 1990s, vigneron Christophe Baron planted a vine-yard in a cobblestone-strewn field in the Walla Walla Valley, reminded of the puddingstones of Chi-teauneuf-du-Pape. Baron's wines at Cayuse Vineyards quickly rated  among the most coveted in the country, evidenced by a years-long waiting list. Their stratospheric scores helped establish Washington as premier winegrowing country.

Later this year, if all goes as planned, this 5.9-square-mile pocket will become the Walla Walla Valley's first subappella-tion, bearing the lengthy name of the Rocks District of Milton-Freewater. To say this area will become one of the most important wine regions in the country would be an understatement; it will surely be one of the most important wine regions in the world.

Wines from the Rocks District are unmistakable—those outrageous aro-matics and earthy, savory, mineral-laden flavors could come from nowhere else.

This potential new subappellation—an area within a federally approved wine-growing region called out by name on a label—gets its name from its unique soils, composed of fist-size, basalt cob-blestones deposited in ancient channels of the Walla Walla River. So even more recognition for those distinctive Rocks District wines would surely burnish Washington's reputation, right? Not exactly. Though wines from the Walla Walla Valley are generally associated with Washington, every single cobble-stone of the Rocks District lies on the Oregon side of the Walla Walla Valley.

By federal law, wines could only dis-play "The Rocks District" on the label if they're almost entirely made in Oregon, a considerable complication for Washington-based wineries. The grow-ers and wineries that support the appli-cation hope the government will grant some type of exception.

At the very least, Washington must now share a piece of what has histori-cally been an important part of its wine identity. But one of the world's finest wine regions will receive the recognition it rightfully deserves. Cheers to that."

—Sean Sullivan