Walla Walla winery leaving others in dust
June 3, 2010 · 10:31 AM
By Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman
Wine Press Northwest
For Corey Braunel and Chad Johnson, life is more than just making great wine. It's also having fun.
The owners of Dusted Valley Vintners in Walla Walla have exuded this attitude since arriving on the Washington wine scene in 2003. They are Wisconsin natives, and their their 2006 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon used barrels with oak from their homestead in Wisconsin.
That wine topped Wine Press Northwest's comprehensive judging of Northwest Cabs and also won a Double Platinum award in the magazine's year-end best-of-the-best competition.
The winery produces two tiers of wines: the Dusted Valley label and the value-minded Boomtown bottlings. They produce about 4,000 cases of wine annually under the Dusted Valley label and make 15,000 cases of Boomtown with plans to grow it aggressively.
Dusted Valley also has opened a second tasting room in Woodinville.
Here are a few to check out:
Dusted Valley Vintners 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, Walla Walla Valley, $26: Wisconsin and French oak meld with maraschino cherry, coffee, chocolate, tobacco leaf, green pepper and cedar aromas. Rainier cherry and blueberry flavors include marvelous acidity with a bit of grip and a lingering finish of cracked green peppercorns.
Dusted Valley Vintners 2007 Stained Tooth Syrah, Columbia Valley, $26: Dusty cherries, strawberry and raspberry aromas are joined by hints of chocolate, coffee, cedar and some orange peel, a sign of Viognier's influence (5%). Juicy cherries and boysenberries lead the attack with pomegranate acidity and late-arriving chocolaty tannins. Suggested fare includes rack of lamb rubbed with rosemary and thyme.
Dusted Valley Vintners 2007 Boomtown Syrah, Columbia Valley, $15: It starts with aromas of boysenberry, plum, blackberry and steak juice. Cherries and chocolate show up in the finish.
Dusted Valley Vintners 2008 Boomtown Pinot Gris, Columbia Valley, $13: Tones of apricot, banana nut bread, ginger and spearmint with a trail of lemon oil and a frosty glass of an Arnold Palmer.
Dusted Valley Vintners 2007 Boomtown Merlot, Columbia Valley, $15: This includes a bit of Malbec, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon blended in for complexity. This offers aromas of cherries, leather, red plums and chocolate, followed by flavors of of black cherries, dark chocolate and blackberries. Supple tannins provide just the right amount of structure.
Andy Perdue and Eric Degerman are the editors of Wine Press Northwest, a quarterly consumer wine magazine. For more info, go to www.winepressnw.com.