When we learned there were two wineries open later into the evening on Friday we decided to check them out; with the same address, we figured they were in the same space: the Marketplace Wine Bar is the home of both EMVY Cellars and Bridge Press Cellars. It wasn’t a busy place, but they had some great live music playing.
In the corner space, the actual address of the Marketplace Wine Bar, we could see tanks and the vestiges of an event but it was the door further in on the block that opened into the actual wine bar. Bare brick walls, original wood floors, high tin ceilings with
the plumbing pipes visible and a long, large bar. The musicians had the front window space beside the door, facing into the bowling alley long room. We had Paul and Corey pouring behind the bar and another couple enjoying the sounds of Maxie Ray with us. As it turns out, Corey is originally a Walla Walla native and we met his mother at Spring Valley Vineyard! Another example of how small the world is.
We tasted through the available wines and chatted about the origins of both and how they partnered up to open the wine bar in 2013. Dabbling, continuing the challenge each vintage and realizing they are hooked on wine making; having access to the fruit from some of Walla Walla’s oldest vineyards didn’t hurt. EMVY launched in 2002 while Bridge Press was in 2005.
The wines we tasted:
- 2012 Bridge Press 600 – 40% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Malbec in 100% new French oak (named in honor of Bridge Press being Washington State’s 600th winery) 14% ABV is dark fruit, tobacco and spice.
- EMVY VEBA – non-vintage 59% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc, 2% Malbec in 100% new French oak made with consulting wine maker Charlie Hoppes, of Fidelitas is a smooth, easy drinking dry red blend at 14% ABV.
- 2011 EMVY Shield Syrah – 100% Syrah with rich, dark fruit and smoke
- 2010 Bridge Press Merlot – 87% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 3% Malbec in 50% new/50% 1-year-old French barrels presents with dark fruit dusted with cocoa powder and sand paper tannins.
- 2011 EMVY Red Mountain Merlot – from Tapteil Vineyards is ripe blackberry and Cassis with nutmeg on the nose with the fruit filling the palate and a lovely baking spice finish.
In the middle of our tasting Paul took us on a tour of the building. The Art Deco era building is still mostly original with retrofitted elevator and additional support structures in the cellar among other small changes. Wine making and hand bottling takes place in the corner space we viewed coming up to the building. The barrels are stored in the cellar, single stack high. Weddings, photo shoots and other events take place in the space as well, even with my photography skills you can see there is some fun potential there.