Washington State Wines:: Millbrandt Vineyards Musts

by Rita Cook

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday August 20, 2009

Who says good wine only grows in California? As Rita Cook discovered, there is variety of top wine in Washington State, and among the best of Washington's vineyards is Millbrandt Vineyards, who planted their first grapes in 1997 in Eastern Washington. Now with almost 16,600 acres and a number of vineyards in the Columbia Valley, several of Millbrandt Vineyard's bottles are high on the "must" list. Here's a quick look at three of EDGE's favorites - the 2007 Riesling, 2007 Pinot Gris and 2005 Merlot.

2007 Riesling

One can’t go wrong with the 2007 Riesling. After all, rieslings are fast becoming one of the hottest varietals in the United States right now. The grapes from the 2007 Millbrandt Vineyard Riesling come from the Evegreen Vineyard and were planted in 1998. The blend also includes a small addition of grapes from both the Pheasant and Wahluke Slope vineyard, which add a touch of apricot notes to the palate. Expect a rich, lush taste with this 2007 Riesling, which along with apricot, features peach before finishing dry. This versatile white can be paired with seafood, chicken or turkey and is also a choice aperitif.

2007 Pinot Gris

The grapes used for the Millbrandt Vineyards 2007 Pinot Gris come from the 452-acre Evergreen Vineyard area, where young soil lies on top of an ancient basalt bed. In this thriving environment the Pinot Gris variety thrives, developing a complex, subtle flavor that never overpowers. There is no exotic fruit or wood in this pinot, the taste is a nuanced mingling of Granny Smith apples and Anjou pears that are fresh and clean to the nose and palate. Expect a bright, yet delicate finish.

2005 Merlot

Washington State and Merlot almost go hand-in-hand these days, particularly when it comes to wine from the Columbia Valley region. The 2005 Merlot from Millbrandt Vineyards is no exception and offers ripe blackberry, spice, tobacco, plum, cherry and coffee for the perfectly voluptuous taste that wine connoisseurs associate with the best of Merlot. With Millbrandt’s slight addition of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Verdot, the finish comes across with just a dash of oak and the slightest dollop of cedar.

Rita Cook lives in both Dallas and Los Angeles and has published over 1000 articles during her career as well as several books. Her specialities include travel, auto writing, entertainment, beauty and fashion. During an earlier incarnation Rita was also an independent film producer as well.