A few months ago my hubby and I were in Ellensburg at Gard Vintner’s tasting room, I told you they were represented locally but we were remise about getting into that space; we visited! Studio Two Zero Two is a gallery for a few local artists, 2-D and 3-D work dots the space in color and form as well as a tasting room for a myriad of wineries that are primarily made under the A Morell Wines umbrella. (Usually I get to see the art from the street as I peer into the closed business and they are always impressive.)
Pouring our wines was Brandon Kubrock, winemaker for Ardor Cellars. I met Brandon at the community college when he was there in his other capacity as the owner of Oak Traditions, a supplier of oak in the local wine industry. It was busy when we arrived, but we managed to have a fun conversation with him. Ardor wines were interspersed with pours of Alleromb, the wine of Aryn Morell, owner and head winemaker for A. Morell Wines where Gard is made.
While we were there a visitor in from Alaska that had been to Walla Walla before came up and asked me if I worked at another winery. They even knew which area of town they had seen me, but couldn’t be sure of the winery. She had a terrific memory and I confirmed I was the person she thought I was. It struck me as interesting that she would remember me so well, but not the winery; I am flattered.
Some highlights of the wines:
- Alleromb is Bordeaux style while Ardor is Rhone and Bordeaux in primarily neutral oak with no direct competition between the wines open for tasting.
- My partner in wine is so enamored of a buttery, oaky Chardonnay that the Alleromb 2013 Chardonnay that was in a 100% new oak puncheon for 16 months with lees stirred and full MLF, 14.6% ABV was his favorite before we were very far into the tasting! I enjoy that with food more than for sipping and it has been great with dinner.
- Ardor Cellars 2014 Mourvedre’ Rose’ – 13.9% ABV, excellent flavor, mouthfeel and beautiful color.
- Alleromb 2011 Malbec – 15.3% ABV, black cherry and spiced vanilla chai on the nose and palate with a sandy tannic finish.
- Alleromb 2012 La Gran Flor – 14.8% ABV, 60% Malbec, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon is a warm, rich, dark fruit and spice concoction that I could enjoy anytime.
As most of these wines won’t distribute past the northwest, if outside of Washington, you can see if either of these wineries ships to your location and order off of the website.