MikeL's Guide to WA Wineries
Chinook Wines - Wines

The Wines: (Spring 1996)

1994 Semillon:
The warm 1994 harvest season ripened Semillon grapes to a rich golden color and fruit flavor. The '94 wine is reminiscent of some ripe stone fruits (nectarines, peaches) in combination with the characteristic herbal Semillon character. This wine was barrel-fermented in small barrels and aged on the yeast 'lees' for almost a year before racking, blending and bottling. The vanilla essence from wood barrel aging is a great complement to Semillon's spiciness.
We enjoy serving Semillon as an aperitif or with light meals. Semillon's naturally low acidity makes our resulting wine appeal to a wide range of tastes. One friend's recipe for Lime Chicken (sauteed chicken breasts with garlic and a light sauce of reduced chicken broth and lime juice) is delicious with Chinook Semillon wine.
Varietal: Semillon; Appellation: Yakima Valley; Vineyard: ?; Cases produced: 369; TA: ?, pH: ?, RS: ?.

1994 Sauvignon Blanc:
Grapes for our 1994 Sauvignon Blanc came from Klipsun Vineyard on the warm slopes of Red Mountain in the lower Yakima Valley. In that early-harvest year, we found ourselves crushing Sauvignon Blanc in late August. The wine was fermented dry in oak barrels. Additional barrel aging for 11 months softened the natural tannins and grape acidity, yielding a smooth and drinkable wine. That warm vintage season has resulted in a wine that is enjoyable now and smells of ripe melon and citrus.
Some of our favorite foods with Sauvignon blanc are chevre, roasted garlic, roasted and marinated sweet peppers, scallops, oysters and of course breads and other dishes which incorporate fresh herbs.
Varietal: Sauvignon Blanc; Appellation: Yakima Valley; Vineyard: Klipsun Vineyard; Cases produced: 348; TA: ?, pH: ?, RS: ?.

1994 Chardonnay:
Spring 1996 brings the release of a new vintage of Chinook Chardonnay -- the first to be labelled with a Yakima Valley appellation. Grapes were selected from the Klipsun and Carter Family vineyards for this barrel fermented wine. The Klipsun grapes were harvested first, as usual, at the very end of August 1994. Klipsun Vineyard occupies a unique site in the lower Yakima Valley and is extremely efficient at heat accumulation. Fermentation took place in new oak barrels.
Two blocks of Carter vineyard grapes were picked in mid-September and fermented as "new" and "old" block wines. The young block wine was taken through a secondary 'malolactic' fermentation for softening of acidity and additional complexitv. The wines were left alone through the winter months, aging on their yeast "lees" in oak barrels.
In the end of summer, 1995 all three lots of wine were blended together and each contributed its own character: toasty oak and pure Chardonnay flavors from the Klipsun Vineyard, strong varietal flavor, body and some malolactic complexity from the Carter Family Vineyard wines. The resulting wine was bottled and aged for six months prior to its release at the winery. Varietal: Chardonnay; Appellation: Yakima Valley; Vineyard: 75% Carter Family Vineyard, 25% Klipsun Vineyard; Cases produced: 550; TA: ?, pH: ?, RS: ?.

1991 Cabernet Sauvignon:
Our first vintage of Cabernet! We're describing this new red as concentrated, with mature flavors of ripe berry, cocoa, vanilla bean and with a rich, warm, estery sensation. Wines such as this are meant to be shared with friends, when cool weather makes us want to linger together over hearty meals. Availability is limited, as we only made 199 cases.
For this first blend of Chinook Cabernet Sauvignon, we chose to blend vineyards to add different flavor and texture characteristics to the resultant wine. The primary Cabernet Sauvignon sources in 1991 were on the 'Red Mountain' district of the Yakima Valley: Tapteal and Ciel du Cheval vineyard Cabernet were blended with grapes from the Don Olmstead vineyard in Grandview. Contributing the same captivating fruitiness which it lends to our Merlot, is a 25% aliquot of wine made from Dick Boushey's vineyard (also of Grandview).
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon; Appellation: Yakima Valley; Vineyard: Tapteal, Ciel du Cheval, Don Olmstead, Dick Boushey; Cases produced: 199; TA: ?, pH: ?, RS: ?.

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