Before we began harvesting grapes and potatoes this year, my partner in wine and myself decided to visit a new tasting room in downtown Walla Walla: Henry Earl Estates. It is spacious, two stories with seating on both floors and room for live entertainment on the ground floor, with early nineteen hundreds decor. As it is in one of Walla Walla’s old buildings the theme fits the space well. We shared a tasting flight of a couple of whites and a few reds while chatting with both of the guys working the bar. It turns out one of them is beginning the EV program at WWCC this year and the other one is contemplating taking it. We enjoyed the wines and the conversation and took home a couple of bottles, one of which wasn’t open for tasting but highly recommended.
Fast forward to Monday evening and enough time to savor a glass of wine while sitting on the back patio awaiting the last Supermoon of the year; the recommended bottle is the one we opened. Red Mountain AVA sourced Merlot from a cool vintage, Victor Palencia (phenomenal wine maker for Shaw Estates including Henry Earl & Russel Creek, Jones Family Wines and Palencia Wines including Monarch and Palencia labels), and our gamble on the bottle last month didn’t seem too much of a risk – both are well-known to us. The moon was semi-shrouded in clouds, but bright and lovely, the wine was dark with old leather and Marion berries on the nose, also lovely. Each sip was cinnamon, clove, plum and blackberry with a finish of tart raspberries. As I write, Tuesday night, we are sipping from this same bottle which has less pronounced leather on the nose, but more on the palate, more subtle spices but still loads of berries on the nose and palate. This was a good call.