WE HAD THE BEST TASTINGS TODAY!
We not only drank great wine, but had GREAT hospitality, which made for a terrific afternoon.
Stevens was high on my list to visit given their profile in Gregutt’s book: “Though Stevens remains a bit of a local secret, all of these wines belong on anyone’s list of Washington’s best.”
Pulling up to the Stevens tasting room in the Warehouse District, I can see how it has remained a secret. Even though we knew what we were looking for, I still felt like we were wandering into a private garage, which added to the allure. When you go to Stevens, you feel like you’re popping by for a private affair, as if you’re friends with the winemakers and they’ve invited you over for an afternoon of sampling and discussing their latest creations.
Paige and Tim Stevens personally walked us through every wine we tasted, and we were struck by how friendly and passionate they were. We LOVE hearing about which vineyards the grapes come from, the winemaking process, all of that, so we loved how forthcoming they were about all the details. Also unique to Stevens is the artwork gracing the labels. Tim is an artist and creates different labels each year. If you look to your left as you exit the building, you’ll see a collection of all the labels/bottles from years past–very cool! We bought a bottle of 2009 cab franc, our first time buying a bottle of this aromatic and peppery wine that is more typically blended with cab sauv and merlot to create Bordeaux and Bordeaux style blends.
We had originally planned to go somewhere else, but Tim and Paige said we really ought to head next door to Pomum (which wasn’t on our list/map). We were SO glad we took their advice. Again, really wonderful wines and such hospitality! Pomum is run by a Spanish family, growing wines in the Spanish style. The winemaker’s sister, Anna, was overseeing the tastings, and made our visit completely memorable. We talked and laughed for a solid hour (far longer than we normally take to taste). Seriously, I don’t think we stopped smiling ear to ear the whole time we were there. Anna is a superb conversationalist and sure knows how to make people feel welcome. If I ran a winery, I’d want to hire her to run my tasting room, she’s a gem!
When we have multiple favorites wines, as was the case here, our new MO is to go for the unique bottle…and that’s what we did here! We left with a bottle of Tempranillo, the classic, “noble grape” that forms the basis of Rioja and is widely-grown in Spain, but is completely atypical to Washington state. Hurrah for peeps going out on a limb and doing something different!