Whether the blends are Bordeaux, Rhône-style, or something completely unique, Washington is serving notice that its red wines made from a mix of grapes are world-class. This week we talk to Wine Enthusiast Contributing Editor Sean Sullivan and get to know bottles from three unique regions, Red Mountain, Horse Heaven Hills, and Walla Walla Valley, and how vineyard site impacts what ends up in your glass.
Jameson Fink: Welcome to Wine Enthusiast’s “What We’re Tasting” podcast. I’m your host, Jameson Fink. Join me as we discuss three fantastic wines and why each one belongs in your glass. This episode, we’re looking at red blends from Washington state with Sean Sullivan, Wine Enthusiast contributing editor who covers and reviews wines from the region.
One of the conversations we always have about a wine region or a state is having a signature grape, does it have to have a signature grape. Definitely with Washington, what’s really interesting about that is you could probably say Merlot, you could say Cabernet, perhaps even Syrah. I think what’s interesting about Washington, besides its diversity in grapes, is its red blends. For me, that’s where a lot of excitement is so I’m excited to speak with you about this, Sean. Welcome to the show.
Sean Sullivan: Thank you very much for having me.
JF: With red blends, I think … Also, I should mention that you wrote a really interesting article for winemag.com about wine blending and red grapes. If you go to winemag.com and search for wine blending, it will come up. I was thinking about Bordeaux-style blends, your Cabernet-Merlot, Cabernet-Franc, et cetera, based blends. Rhone blends, which are your Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, and a few other suspects might be involved in that, too. Sean, is Rhone … Are the Rhone blends, the red blends, is that really where a lot of kind of the excitement and really interesting things are being done in Washington?