Monday, September 20, 2010

Medicine Creek Winery: First stop of three

Photo by James Myers: Top: Jim and Liz Myers; Bottom: Tara Fuller and @kirklandwinegal

Eastern Washington is known for great local wines but lately, Western Washington wines are all the rage.  This past weekend, my friend and local wine enthusiast, @kirklandwinegal and I set out to visit a few of the West's best.

Just after noon we kick-off our wine tour at a small family-owned "boutique" winery located on a farm in historic Nisqually Valley near Olympia.  As it turned out, Medicine Creek Winery was a perfect start of an amazing day!  

Right away we knew we were in for a treat!  Winery co-owner and winemaker Jim Myers, accompanied by his dog Jack, greeted us with a big smile and wave before we even had a chance to get out of the car!  He explained they had just returned from Richland, Wash. and were a little behind schedule but that we would find his wife inside the barn setting up the tasting room.

Yup, that's right, he said barn.  Except this barn is unlike any other!  Here, you will find a tasting room, wine processing area, barrel room and dance floor. The barn's previous use as a pumpkin farm destination for Autumn-loving locals is now revamped to inspire a 1800s vintage New Orleans brothel; it's so authentic you truly feel you've stepped back in time!

True to his word, we found Liz Myers in the tasting room where she too apologized for not being more prepared.  But other than bottles of reds that didn't have time to fully breathe, we were none the wiser.  Mrs. Myers talked with us like we were long-lost friends catching up.  She told us about the wines we tasted, the history behind the barn and their thrill of winning not one but four medals from international wine competitions; quite an accomplishment for this 2-year-old winery!

About an hour later, we stepped back into 2010 with a bottle of our favorite.  I couldn't resist their two medal winner, 2006 Stage Coach Red for $33; its blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot earned Gold at 2010 Riverside International Wine Competition (RIWC) and Silver from the United State's most prestigious international wine competition, San Francisco 2010 International Wine Competition (SFIWC).  @Kirklandwinegal bought a bottle of SFIWC Bronze medal winner, 2006 Cabernet Franc; a complex wine that's described as both delicate and fruitful with notes of cherry, raspberry currant and cranberry and darker notes of cedar and leather. At $37.50, this is Medicine Creek's most expensive bottle.

Although a tad too tart for my liking, their 2006 Syrah for $33 won Bronze at RIWC. 

Photo by, Tara Fuller:  Tasting Bar

Photo by, Tara Fuller: Area off to right of Tasting Bar

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