The Northwest Wine Academy, at South Seattle Community College, is celebrating summer by with the release party for four white wines this weekend Friday 4-7 and Saturday 12-4.
- Unoaked Chardonnay
- Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
- Ave Regina – Late Harvest Viognier
Come sample the wines, nosh on treats prepared by the Culinary Arts students and meet the faculty and student wine makers. In addition to the four new releases, the NW Wine Academy will also be pouring their delicious 2007 Cabernet Franc for the red wine lover. Check out the new and much improved labels and stock up for your summer wine drinking. It is also a great opportunity to find out why most of the writers of this blog are NW Wine Academy students!
Being a learning institution, the Northwest Wine Academy has the opportunity to experiment with the grapes that commercial wineries may not. A favorite experiment is to take divide Chardonnay grapes from a single vineyard. Some of the grapes never seen any oak while the other half are barrel fermented to give the wine additional body and flavors. This year the Chardonnay grapes came from Wyckoff Vineyards.
The 2009 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay is a pale lemon color. The nose is buttered pear, apricot and almond. Medium bodied and smooth, this Washington Chardonnay has nice acidity. The acidity brightens it more than many Chardonnays with oak influence, making it food friendly and great for warmer weather. This dry Chardonnay has a pleasing pear and melon finish that lingers. $15
The Unoaked Chardonnay is pale yellow, paler than its oak kissed cousin. The nose is fresh orchard fruits like Bartlett pear and green apple. On the palate this Chardonnay is tart green apple, crisp and bracing. The finish is shorter than the barrel fermented but the tail end has some nice pear. $15
The Cabernet Franc is often a favorite at NW Wine Academy and a frequent award winner. The previously released 2007 Cabernet Franc is big on dusky, black fruit, lots of cassis and marionberry on the nose. A touch of green pepper and herbs accentuate the fruit on the palate. Soft but solid tannins support this smooth drinking Washington Cabernet Franc. You will have a hard time finding a better Cab Franc at this price! $15
The Rousanne-Viognier is a 50-50 blend. I have tasted these blends that have ranged from bone dry to dessert sweet. This white wine blend is on the dry end of the spectrum. The nose is delicate with floral and fruit. I get peach and pear with a bit of gravely minerality as well. On the front of the sip there is big acid and lime that softens as white peach and banana flavors emerge. Stacey and I were discussing this as being a great salad wine because of its high acidity. I want to make an arugula salad with grilled nectarines and a honey lime dressing to pair with this wine. The grapes for this wine were donated by Alder Ridge Vineyard of Horse Heaven Hills $20
Ave Regina is a late harvest Viognier. Almost water pale, this dessert wine is a bit different than what you might expect from a late harvest Viognier. The nose on the Ave Regina is subtle, with more of a spring orchard nose than tropical fruits that you might anticipate. Where it lacks in intensity in aroma, it makes up in intensity in flavor. Honeyed apricots and sweet honeydew coat your tongue followed with clove and cinnamon on the finish. Although undeniably a sweet wine, it is not overwhelmingly sweet. This Washington dessert wine will go with your lighter and more delicate desserts that would be eclipsed by an ice wine or a Port $20
Can’t make it to the release party?
The Northwest Wine Academy will be pouring some of their award winning wines at the Seattle Wine Awards Grand Tasting on Sunday, June 13th.
Can’t make it this weekend?
NW Wine Academy Wines are available for purchase at the school on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed during the quarter break June 21-25). From July 16 through Sept. 3, the retail store will close at 1 p.m. on Fridays. The NW Wine Academy is located in the Wine and Welding building at South Seattle Community College.