Attended a very nice free tasting of Walla Walla's Reininger Winery (follow @ReiningerWinery on Twitter) last night, hosted by Michael Alberty (follow @HeadStoryteller on Twitter) at Storyteller Wine Company in the John's Landing neighborhood of Portland. Wines were poured by Michael and Reininger's National Sales Manager, Justin Vajgert. Huge crowd, with lots of very enthusiastic Reininger fans. Having tried several of their wines before, including a Helix (Cab, Merlot, Pomatia blend) offering from Wine.Woot.com, and the 2003 Reininger Walla Walla Valley Merlot, I knew we were in for a treat. We were not disappointed!
- - 2005 Reininger Merlot Helix Stillwater Creek Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Sold out, no taste available.
- - 2005 Reininger Sangiovese Helix - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley
Earthy cherry flavors, with just a bit of spices on the finish. Very smooth and drinkable, would be great with food. On its own, rather unexciting.
- - 2006 Reininger Cabernet Sauvignon Helix - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Very fruit-forward, but with a nice backbone of tannin and acidity. Raspberry and cassis flavors, with some nice peppery earth. Drinking quite well.
- - 2006 Reininger Cabernet Sauvignon - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
I loved this wine. Huge peppery fruit, lots of blackberry and cassis. Finish is pure pepper-covered chocolate, and lasts for 30+ seconds. This is some nice Cab!
- - 2005 Reininger Syrah Ash Hollow Vineyard - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Dark as night, thick, mouthcoating, and amazingly spicy! BIG heavy blackberry fruit, with gobs of black pepper. This wine reminded me of the Bunnell Syrahs I love so much. Just super-concentrated, lots of extract, and that amazing black pepper, with dark chocolate finish. Must resist buying a case...
- - 2006 Reininger Carménère - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Sold out, no taste available.
- - 2007 Reininger Cabernet Sauvignon Helix - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
Replacement wine for the Carmenere that was sold out. I think this was just released, or has not been released just yet...quite a bit more forward than the 2006, with a bit more tannin showing at this time. Solid wine at a great price: $20. A lot more cassis and black pepper than the 2006 also. Even some tobacco flavors rolling around the tongue. Tasty.
- (No label available) - 2007 Reininger Syrah Port - USA, Washington, Columbia Valley, Walla Walla Valley
According to the Reininger rep, this wine isn't released for distribution, and only sold at the winery. I typically don't like ports, but this one made me stand up and take notice. Mix that peppery blackberry-tasting Walla Walla Syrah with brandy, and you have this. An amazing port, very sweet, but not over the top. Not too much of the brandy flavor I dislike too. Just about perfect for me.