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Smasne/Gård Wine Release Party

2009 August 20

To meet Robert Smasne, the winemaker for Smasne, Gård and consultant for several other brands, you’d never think that he truly is a farmer at heart. He rarely smiled during our conversation. but he talked passionately about his wines, his kids and his beautiful wife, Echo, who does make him smile. (I still can’t believe she’s had 4 kids.) Yet, his family has been farming in the Yakima Valley for five generations and he’s obviously seriously proud of his heritage. With Gård’s managing partner, Josh Lawrence they have cultivated fruit used, not only in their own wines, but in many well-known and respected wines produced throughout Washington State.

This past weekend, they had a release party at their tasting room in the Woodinville Warehouse District. The $5 tasting fee was being donated to charity. They were introducing two new releases and also pouring their other current wines as well as library selections of their red wines. Despite the large numbers of people crowding the tasting room, I didn’t see as much wine being sold as I saw being poured. I hope that they were simply doing fulfillment for club members since the cash register sat idle most of the time.

The first of two new releases is the 2008 Smasne Rosella Rosé. This Rosé named after Robert’s grandmother, Roselle, is made from 64% Sangiovese and 36% Black Muscat. It spent 24 hours on the skins and 5 months in oak. It has a deeper red-pink color than many rosés and aromas of strawberry, hint of floral and a faint smokiness. With lively acidty and a slightly mineral finish, this is a great food wine that will pair well with many different foods. You’ll feel good buying it too since 100% of the profits go to charity. $18 for 750ml.

The second release was the 2008 Gård Altruism Riesling made from 100% fruit from Josh Lawrence’s vineyard, situated at 1675 ft. on the Royal Slope in Columbia Valley. Because of higher acid levels in the fruit, this Riesling has 1.6% residual sugar which balances well with the acidity giving it a fairly dry taste. Very pale greenish-yellow in color with aromas of honey, pear and apple. On the palate, there are hints of honeydew, citrus and lemongrass with a very clean finish. A perfect pairing with spicy Asian foods. And, $1 from each bottle sold goes to support the MS Society. $14 for 750ml.

Of the other wines I tried that day, I really enjoyed the 2005 Smasne Estate Syrah which I’ve had before. Garnet red in color with heady aromas of blackberry, tobacco and smoke. Tastes of black olives, smoked meats and well integrated oak showed me that the initial high acid levels have started to soften. It had soft tannins on the medium length finish. This wine would be a great compliment to gamey meats. $45 for 750ml.

We liked their new releases so much that Sheri and I ended up buying a couple bottles of the Rosella Rosé and a bottle of the Altruism Riesling. Thanks to Lisa Lawrence for letting me know about their event, inviting me to visit and introducing Echo to my blog. We should all do lunch and hang out together…uh, okay maybe not. At the very least, we may stop by your next event. Thanks again.

The Gård/Smasne tasting room is located at:

Woodinville Warehouse District
19495 144th Ave. NE, Suite B240
Woodinville, WA 98072

They are open Fridays, 1-6 PM, Saturdays & Sundays, 12-6 PM

Copyright © 2009, Eric Hwang and Bricks of Wine. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Eric Hwang and Bricks of Wine with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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