By now you probably know my hubby works with potato farmers, sometimes multiple generations as he has been in the industry for a while. Change is perpetual, so when we drove by the back of a small strip mall going through Pasco he pointed out the big sign advertising ‘Gordon Estates Wine Bar‘ he told me he knew the Gordon Brothers because they grow potatoes. I guess they liked the idea of grapes and wine from the early days of Washington’s wine industry as they began planting vinifera grapes in 1980. There are about 100 acres of red and white grapes in the northern area of Walla Walla County, along the Snake River as it enters the Columbia River. They are the oldest Estate Winery in Washington State!
It took us a while to make time to stop in to see this tasting room, although conveniently just off of the highway, it isn’t where we exit for anything in general. Purposeful planing brought us there on a relatively quiet weekday. Parking in the lot of the half empty mall we marveled at the lack of businesses there and the sad state of the economy to bring a once thriving commercial block within a booming housing area so far down. Proceeding to the corner of the ‘L’ shaped building we went through the double sets of doors entering a space reminiscent of pictures (someday I will get there in person to validate) I have seen of Tuscan Villas. Charm and quiet affluence to counter balance the reality of the outside world: textured paint on the walls, wrought-iron style wall sconces and candelabra, as well as decorative wrought-iron gates.
There are a lot of wines on the wine lists, a classic that includes the Kamiak label (from grapes grown in the Palouse Falls area and not necessarily estate fruit) among the Gordon wines and the Reserve list of 2009-2012 reds considered special, and the 2012 Late Harvest Gewürztraminer. I had the realization that I had worked with one of the wine makers for the Kamiak label when I was with Seven Hills Winery. It is a very small world!
Some highlights of the wines we enjoyed:
- 2013 Reserve Chardonnay – 13.4% ABV, a Chardonnay my hubby truly enjoyed with its smooth, buttery texture and I loved the juicy lemon finish
- 2012 Block 3 Merlot – 13.8% ABV, tobacco and red currant nose, raspberry and spice on the palate with smooth tannins and a subtly lingering finish
- 2012 Tradition – 13.8% ABV 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Syrah, cocoa powder and pie cherries to open both the nose and palate with a brisk tannic finish, probably the most abrasive tannins of them all, but they play well with the flavors
- 2009 Tempranillo – 13.4% ABV 80% Tempranillo, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, is a campfire with hints of pepper on the nose, a bowl of mixed berries and more pepper on the palate and a smoky, dreamy finish… my favorite
It was a great visit, we were glad we made the time; there is another wine bar in Woodinville if that is more convenient to get to. I believe the Kamiak brand is well-distributed, let me know if you find it locally. Cheers!