Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Abeja Beekeeper's Blend

First of all, I apologize for sharing my thoughts about a wine that may not be widely available, though I am fairly sure later vintages of this wine will be just as wonderful as the bottle I tasted.

The other night I had an opportunity to share a bottle of 2002 Abeja's Beekeeper's Blend with some friends. Abeja is located in the rolling foothills of the Blue Mountains, about four miles east from downtown Walla Walla. The century-old farmstead sits on 22 acres and is now home to the winery as well as restored and well-appointed out-buildings (carriage house, summer kitchen, chicken house and bunk house), which have been combined into a bed and breakfast.

John Abbott, the winemaker, is a familiar name and face to those in the valley who frequented Canoe Ridge Vineyard Winery. I remember John for his wine tasting notes. He would pair food and music to go with his wine. As an example, say maybe fish tacos with Merlot and Van Halen with David Lee Roth (because Sammy Hagar goes better with fish tacos and tequila).

Rumor is that John's wines are moving fast out of the Abeja's old mule and horse barn door, so if you want them, you better speak up soon. His Beekeeper's Blend is easier to find than his Cabernet, Syrah, Chardonnay and Viognier. My notes for the 2002 Beekeeper's Blend describe the wine as velvety on the tongue with rich berries, soft tannins and a long (very long) caramel finish. This Bordeaux-style blend is just $18 a bottle -- a real bargain for such a beautiful wine.

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