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2009 Seattle Wine Awards

2009 June 14
by Eric Hwang


20090712Just arrived at the Rainier Club in Seattle and getting settled in to blog live. I’ll update this post as I taste and make my way around. So far, I’m waiting to receive assignments for the wineries I’m supposed to be covering. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos of the blogger room with everyone busy setting up twitter accounts for wineries and blogging about what’s happening.

I wandered around the tasting rooms just to see who was here and I’m glad to see a few familiar faces. Rod and Leslie Balsley from William Church was pouring their award winning wines including their Double-Gold 2007 Malbec ($30) and Silver Award 2007 2 Spires Red Wine ($32). Mike Sharadin from Northwest Totem Cellars really cleaned up as you can tell from the photo here. The more plaques on the table, the more awards they garnered. They received a Double Gold for their 2006 Longhouse Syrah which I really like.

Just returned from wandering around again. This time, I actually got to taste a few things. The 2006 Woodinville Wine Cellars Reserve Syrah was a treat. Winemaker, Sean Boyd, won a Gold. Hopefully, mentioning them will redeem me from not mentioning them before in my blog. The 2008 Cave B Estate Winery Riesling was a very drinkable off-dry Riesling in the under $20 category and it won a Gold. Except for the lack of diesel aromas, it could have been a German Spätlese Riesling.

The Double-Gold 2006 CR Sandidge “KISS” dessert wine was liquid apple pie with raisins. A dessert in itself, but I could see pouring this over ice cream except that it’s $50 for a 500ml bottle. Yeah, better to just drink this. The 2006 Goose Ridge Estate Winery G3 Red Blend, Columbia Valley won a Double Gold and is only $16. What a bargain for such a succulent red wine.

The 2004 Claret Glen Fiona, Columbia Valley was a pleasant surprise. Almost Bordeaux-like in its aromas and taste it won a Silver award and is only $30. Walla Walla Vintners won a Double Gold for both their 2007 Sangiovese, Columbia Valley ($24) and their 2007 Cabernet Franc, Walla Walla Valley ($28) which I tried and was duly impressed. Instead of typical green aromas, I loved the floral aromas and fruit-forward blackberry and blueberry on the palate.

The Gold award winning 2006 Nonna Viola Red Wine, Columbia Valley was a bit out of my price range at $58 but the 2005 Anelare Syrah, Columbia Valley seemed like a better deal at $39 considering it received a Double Gold. Besides, I like Syrah and Kahryn Alexander (pictured) was so personable, how could I resist not liking it. I’m glad I found the Steppe Cellars 2006 Dry Riesling, Rattlesnake Hills. It really was dry with aromas and tastes of honeyed apricot for only $18.50 and it received a Double Gold.


It would seem that the wine of the afternoon that everyone was raving about was the Double Gold award-winning Syncline 2007 Mourvèdre, Horse Heaven Hills ($30), but then I already knew that when I tasted it at Taste Washington a couple of months ago.

The food at this event was incredibly good. I was able to take a break and have some of the prime rib roast, scalloped potatoes and macaroni and cheese. My only real complaint about the venue would be the crowds and the way they arranged the exhibitor’s tables. The large columns made it hard to maneuver around when the public descended upon the place. The bloggers could have been better organized but it worked out nonetheless and I’m glad that I was able to attend and network with other wine lovers, bloggers and social media geeks.

3 Responses leave one →
  1. June 14, 2009

    C.R. Sandidge FTW! That guy is MONEY (and so is the price tag on his dessert wine apparently). Lots of great wine at the Seattle Wine Awards this year for sure.

  2. June 16, 2009

    Hi Eric,

    Nice to meet you in person at the event. Thanks for the blog posts and nice photos.

    It was my first wine awards event working with Christopher Chan. The food was amazing and the Rainier Club staff really treated us well. There was a lot of coordination behind the scenes and we learned a lot this year. Our team produced over 70 interviews, managed a live stream on uStream.TV, signed up 25+ wineries to new Twitter accounts, generated 250+ photos with four camera crews. The “wine assignments” experiment did not quite work, but we tried new things and learned. Bean was a great addition to the team and had a great positive attitude. Kathy and the UW digital media staff were exceptional! Now have the new media team in place to do a great job next year.

    PS – Robert Sandidge with C.R. Sandidge Wines, Lake Chelan AVA is now on Twitter @crsandidgewines . He is a really cool guy, “money” as Alan said above. See photos

    In a week or so we will host a post wine awards viewing party to watch the videos and see the photos.

    Thank you for shining some light on our amazing Washington Wine makers, I am sure they appreciate your work.

    Cheers, Tim Reha

    Seattle Wine Awards
    New Media Director
    @timreha @wineawards #seawineawards

  3. June 23, 2009

    Thanks for the photos of the seattle wine awards. The wine bottles tempt me lot.

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