Riddled with many wonderful wineries, Walla Walla is one of those places where one couldn’t swing a cat without hitting an award-winning wine maker. Annette Bergevin, co-owner of Bergevin Lane Vineyards, is one of those winemakers. Bergevin’s focused attention and nose-to-the-grindstone management of the winery and estate vineyard — and her relationship with vineyard growers — assures oenophiles an exceptional assortment of grape centric libations. The grounds include a tasting room, an on-site laboratory, 22 stainless steel tanks, three temperature controlled and humidified barrel rooms which produce 11,000 cases of wine a year. In 2012, Bergevin was honored at Washington State University during the Feast of the Arts dinner with a distinguished alumnus award.
The 2010 “Wild Child” is a mouthwatering Merlot, beautifully balanced with stone fruit, chocolate and tobacco notes. This is a wonderful wine by itself, or paired with grilled hamburger, sun-dried tomato tapenade, or a nice Reblochon cheese gratin with crusty bread. Hints of allspice and tarragon give way to subtle cinnamon notes. Merlot from Stone Tree Vineyard in Wahluke Slope spent 18 months in oak barrels where it took full advantage of its accommodations. Only 500 cases of this gem were produced, and at about $28 a bottle, inventory will be depleted in no time.
The 2011 She-Devil Syrah is one of those wines that refuses to be ignored. One lingers over each flavorful sip, absorbed in the deep rich berry and chocolate flavors. Accustomed to being the center of attention, She-Devil would rather not share the spotlight; but if she must, she will tolerate a light salad dressed in olive oil and Asiago cheese. Try it and discover how delicate flavors reminiscent of deep rich espresso and ripe juicy currants emerge. This 100% Syrah is a bargain at $24 a bottle, and — be warned — it won’t last long.
The 2012 Love Struck Viognier is one of the year’s white wine best buys at $22 a bottle. The combination of tropical and stone fruits pairs well with a creamy clam chowder or mussels in a light curry cream sauce. Love Struck accentuates the nut, pineapple, peach and pear flavors. Of course, this wine is a terrific sipping wine, but oh, how it comes alive with just a little snack.
Fermented in small oak barrels, the 2012 Dreamweaver Rousanne is like sucking on a fruity butterscotch candy without the sweetness! The delicate soft and stone fruit notes come together with the vanilla of the oak to create an explosion of flavors. Preserve the delicate features of this remarkable wine, sip it in a sunny garden and leave the cheese plate alone. Annette made only 112 cases of this wine, and at $24 they will not last long!
The 2010 Calico Red, on the other hand, was produced in much larger quantities and it harbors rich raspberry and bing cherry aromas. At $13.99 a bottle, it is an unassuming little wine packed with rich smoky flavors reminiscent of decadently dark chocolate and vanilla bean pods. Sip a glass as your “everyday” red wine, or pair it with a marinara dressed pasta dish, spaghetti, ravioli — doesn’t matter — it’s all good.
Bergevin Lane Vineyards is definitely one of Washington’s wineries to watch: one may confidently anticipate a colorful and tasty future for Annette. rich smoky flavors reminiscent of decadently dark chocolate and vanilla bean pods. Sip a glass as your “everyday” red wine, or pair it with a marinara dressed pasta dish, spaghetti, ravioli — doesn’t matter — it’s all good.
1215 W. Poplar St., Walla Walla