Friday, February 23, 2007

Trout Fishing - Hook up with Deep River Red Wine

What are Flying Trout Wines all about? I noticed some action going on last month while they were moving into their new tasting room. I had been curious, but all my questions were answered once I tasted the wine.

One of my biggest questions was about the "blending" of two complete different wine areas. Now it all makes sense. A student at Whitman College, Ashley Trout started her career in winemaking at the very bottom -- a cellar rat -- but her natural talent proved formidable and soon she found herself as assistant winemaker at Reininger Cellars. Then a serious rock climbing accident kept her from working crush, but not wanting to wait another year for crush in Walla Walla, she headed to Argentina for their crush. There she met the woman destined to become Ashley's assistant winemaker, Claudia Maldonado Cuevas. Now it makes perfect sense how Mendoza, Argentina, became meshed with, of all places, Walla Walla, Washington!

Flying Trout Wines will be involved in annual winemaking ventures in Mendoza from February until May and in Walla Walla during the remainder of the year. Ashley and Claudia will work with grapes that have proven themselves in local soils, including Syrah in Walla Walla and Malbec in Mendoza. In the future, they look to broaden their repertoire by making wines that are still relatively new to our area such as Counoise, Malbec, Sangiovese and Torrontes. Torrontes is a white grape of Argentina that we have not yet seen in our valley. (We have seen a little Counoise, though, from Morrison Lane Vineyards.) Malbec and Sangiovese are more familiar. Flying Trout Wines will remain small, with a goal of producing at least 2,000 cases a year in Mendoza and 2,000 cases a year in Walla Walla.

But the crucial question: How did the wine taste? I didn't know what to expect from Ashley's new blend, to be honest, but I was blown away! At this time, only the 2004 "Deep River Red" available. It is an interesting blend that I had to ponder a while, but, sure enough, it works! It contains 41% Cabernet Sauvignon, 41% Syrah, 11% Merlot and 7% Cabernet Franc. With a combination like that, it's no surprise there's a lot going on with this wine. I enjoyed just sipping it, but I can also definitely see how it would pair nicely with a variety of foods.

First of all, I couldn't get over the nose: Very aromatic - like cherry pie baking, yet very smoky, too, like a cigar humidor. A sip from the glass and I picked up lots of cocoa, coffee, cherries and black brambleberries. This isn't a light wine, but very beefy and rustic. Yet velvety, too, with strong tannins and a lingering finish.

Flying Trout’s tasting room is open by appointment, or you buy wine from their website. You can also find the Deep River Red at Vintage Cellars wine bar in Walla Walla.


Anonymous said...

I love having an aunt who knows so much about wine!! I will have to venture out of my Napa Valley and Sonoma vineyards and try the Walla Walla grape.

Anonymous said...

Out on West Pine, we also had a
blend in the fridge...
It was called Mogen David 20 20.
Or as our Winemeister would sometimes call it, Mad Dog 40. HeeHeee

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