MikeL's Guide to WA Wineries
Terra Blanca Wine Cellars - Wines Spring 1998

The Wines: (Spring 1998)
Coming soon
1996 Aria Columbia Valley
A blend of five different white varieties that is shaping up very nicely at this writing. Stay tuned for tasting notes just prior to bottling.

1996 Chardonnay Columbia Valley
A wine I am very excited about. If you like oak forget this wine. A wonderful example of Washington's Chardonnay potential, exhibiting rich flavors of pineapple, melon, grapefruit and a crisp texture. Grown in cooler Eastern Washington sites this Chardonnay has not been weighed down with excessive butter or oak. Instead the wines crisp acidity allows the full glory of the Chardonnay fruit to come through while still achieving full long flavors on the palate. A glorious food Chardonnay that will complement what your eating not overwhelm it.
1996 Late Harvest Riesling Columbia Valley
This wine displays no cloying characteristics that so often destroy late harvest wines. The wine exhibits bright vibrant flavors of floral, citrus and oranges with subtle mineral notes supported by crisp acidity that balances beautifully with the 8.1% residual sugar.

1996 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer Columbia Valley
Another very nice late harvest wine displaying that all important crisp acid profile that gives the wine a delicate finesse and brightness on the palate. For those of you familiar with Gewurztraminer the typical dominate flavor of lychee is a secondary player in this rendition. The wines bouquet exhibits a crisp, fresh mandarin orange nuance surrounded by more subtle lychee and rose complexities. On the palate the Mandarin characteristic remains while the secondary complexities fill out and lengthen the wine.

1997 Muscat Ottonel Columbia Valley
Muscat Ottonel is a totally separate variety from all the other Muscat named wines. Most notably utilized in Alsace this wine is spectacular when done well. Terra Blanca's 1997 Muscat Ottonel is very well done. Like its other late harvest cohorts in the Terra Blanca line-up this wine displays a vibrant acid backbone that helps the wine achieve a lively brightness on the palate. Citrus tangerine and subtle floral components dominate the bouquet. On the palate the acidity keeps the wine light and delicate with flavors of tangerine and citrus. A mineral note acts as a underlying support nuance tying the other subtleties into a well balanced complex wine.

1997 December Harvest Gewurztraminer Columbia Valley
As the name implies grapes for this wine were harvested in December of 1997. Winegrapes harvested so late in the season would be more aptly described as raisins. This wrinkled dried berry, amazingly, brings forth a viscous, amber colored nectar. The wine avoids being cloyingly sweet with the help of a generous acid backbone. The result a dessert wine with a deep rich nose of lychee nut, mangoes, pineapple and spice. On the palate the tropical nuances provide the center with the lychee nut and spice dancing on the periphery. The balancing acid, is the key, allowing this powerfully rich wine to avoid being sugary syrup. Instead the acid brightens the flavors giving them definition and character.

1997 Late Harvest Botrytised Semillon Columbia Valley
This wine achieves a level of quality rarely found in North American dessert wines. A viscous golden color the bouquet whispers honey, pears and apricots with hints of almond amidst subtle floral background nuances. On the palate the wine displays bright, dexterity, of honeyed pear and apricot flavors with a touch of almonds. Most importantly the wine does not succumb to the cloying sweetness that so often destroys late Harvest wines. A crisp acid backbone keeps the wine alive allowing it to achieve a sublime elegance.

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