Wine, cheese and chatter
Blog: Winemaker's Journal
April 27, 2011
I had a couple of friends over last night and opened a couple bottles of wine from Jones of Washington. The two well-crafted wines — a chardonnay and a cabernet — and a selection of aged cheeses and crackers made for an enjoyable evening of delicious tastes and chatter.
I traveled to Jones' wine processing plant in Mattawa last week for a story in an upcoming issue of Foothills magazine. Sales manager Allan Williams introduced me to Jones winemaker Victor Palencia and drove me around some of the expansive Jones family vineyards spread between Quincy and Mattawa.
Most of the grapes from 1,600 acres are made into wine for some of Washington's finest wineries, Palencia said. But a small portion of the best grapes are reserved for Jones' own line of wines, something that was evident at my little wine get-together.
The Jones 2009 Estate Chardonnay I sipped with my friends last night was fermented 50 percent in stainless steel tanks and 50 percent in Hungarian oak puncheons for 30 days before transfer into smaller oak barrels for another two months. Williams had told me no malolactic fermentation was used in the process. The result was a buttery and full-bodied wine with a hint of oak with sacrificing acid and lots of fruity pear and apple aromas.
The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon we drank was a nice example of a refined young Columbia Valley red, with plenty of cherry, cranberry, plum and clove flavors. Just a hint of oak.
Both wines were silver medal winners at California wine competitions.
What's nice is that both of these wines are served by the glass at reasonable prices — as well as several other great local wines — at many restaurants in Wenatchee, Leavenworth and Chelan. That's a great way to sample some of these wines before selecting a bottle.
Not that they're terribly expensive. Moderately priced wines — $12 to $15 — are now available from Jones of Washington, Saint Laurent, Ryan Patrick and Stemilt Creek. All are excellent, approachable wines perfect for that cheese and crackers event or a simple meal in celebration of spring's arrival.