Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Whites After Labor Day: Walla Walla Wines

Mother use to say that you should not wear white after Labor day.  A clear sign of bad manners use to be wearing white shoes before Easter or after Labor Day.  This fashion rule seemed to start in the American South, which was always a  little more formal than other regions of the United States.  The rule may have been started due to practicality, as white deflects the heat making for a good color to wear during the hot summer months.  But no matter the rule, when it comes to white wine it is totally appropriate to "wear it" after Labor Day.

It is true to say I am mostly a red wine drinker, but through the summer months I find myself reaching more for the white wines.  These chilled light and crisp wines quench the thirst that a red wine cannot do.  Long after the outdoor grills are stored away, you can still enjoy white wine with a large variety of foods that we typically think of eating during the cooler months, such as roast turkey, cheesy pasta dishes, fried chicken, fish or chicken stews and chowders. The crisp acids in the white wines helps to ease though and cleanse the richness of these comfort foods.

Here are some Walla Walla produced whites that I have had the pleasure to taste in the last couple of weeks and I definitely recommend to "wear" after Labor Day:

Forgeron Cellars Chardonnay - 2007:
Assertive apple and peach aromas lead to a mouthful of dense and creamy flavors. Layered and full bodied, yet fresh with pear, citrus and mineral notes outlining its fruity character.

L'Ecole No 41 “Walla Voila” Chenin Blanc - 2009:
This fresh, tart and fruity 100% Chenin Blanc shows Asian pear, perfumed honeysuckle and orange blossom aromas with flavors of apple, apricot, and grapefruit on a crisp mineral, lightly sweet finish.

Sleight of Hand Cellars "The Magician" Gewurztraminer - 2008:
Aged in stainless steel to focus the dramatic nature of the fruit. The resulting wine offers stunning aromatics, with a huge bouquet of fresh cut green apples and pears, honeysuckle, and ripe tropical fruit.

Seven Hills Winery Oregon Pinot Gris - 2009:
The wine is lemon-straw in color with aromas of ripe pear, mint and vanillin. There's just a hint of butterscotch from the oak. The wine is dry, but has a bright, sweet fruit palate made more interesting by a hint of spearmint by mouth. The finish is clean and warming.

Three Rivers Winery Columbia Valley Riesling - 2008:
Crafted in an off-dry style, this Columbia Valley Riesling is a very versatile wine with a variety of foods. Luscious notes of pineapple, starfruit, Asian pear and honeyed apple are perfectly balanced by crisp acidity.

L'Ecole No. 41 Columbia Valley Semillon - 2008:
Typically I do not drink a lot of Semillon, but with 11% of Sauvignon Blanc added to this crisp white  brings to the palate a bright wine with rich fruit and balanced acidity. Fragrances of citrus blossom and lemon, with melon, pear, lychee nut and key-lime flavors on a honeysuckle mineral-rich finish.

Plumb Cellars Estate Viognier - 2009:
Just released! It opens with a strong orange blossom that develops into lush peach and eventually pineapple.  As the aromas lift, they mingle with apple, apricot, hints of citrus, and honey. The rich creaminess creates a mouthfeel that frames the entire lengthy finish.

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