Friday, July 31, 2015

Wine Advocate Scores Announced

We are happy to share the latest scores and reviews from Jeb Dunnuck of The Wine Advocate: 

2012 Woodward Canyon Columbia Valley Merlot - 90+ points
I think there’s some upside to the 2012 Columbia Valley Merlot. Coming from the Weinbau and Woodward Canyon estate vineyards, it has lots of oak in its black cherry fruit, scorched earth, graphite and coffee bean-like aromas and flavors. These give way to a medium to full-bodied, plump, layered and nicely concentrated wine that will be better in another year or two, and have a decade or more of longevity. Drink: 2015-2035. 

2012 Woodward Canyon Estate Reserve - 95 points (Watch for Release)
A sensational Bordeaux blend, the 2012 Estate Reserve checks in as a blend of 28% Merlot, 27% Cabernet Franc, 27% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Petit Verdot that spent 21 months in 100% new French oak. It offers thrilling cassis, caramelized black cherries, licorice and toasted bread notes to go with a full-bodied, ultra-pure, multidimensional feel on the palate. This is Walla Walla at its finest, and while it’s approachable today, it won’t hit maturity for 7-8 years and will evolve for a decade or more past that. Drink: 2023-2033. 

2013 Woodward Canyon Chardonnay- 91 points
The only white presented, Woodward Canyon’s 2013 Columbia Valley Chardonnay offers lots of ripe white peach, citrus blossom, white flowers, toasted bread and hints of brioche in a medium-bodied, elegant, pure and beautifully balanced package. Fermented and aged in 20% new French oak, this is downright classy, and will offer plenty of pleasure over the coming 2-3 years. Drink: 2015-2018. 

2012 Woodward Canyon Erratic -91 points
There are 173 cases of the 2012 Erratic (53% Mourvedre, 33% Syrah and 14% Grenache, aged in 2- to 3-year old barrels) and it has lots of Mourvedre-influenced minerality, earth, pepper and dark fruit characteristics on the nose. These flow to a full-bodied, nicely structured, balanced and age-worthy wine that can be drunk today or cellared for a decade. Drink: 2015-2025. 

2012 Woodward Canyon Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon - 95 points
The biggest, most rich, mineral-laced and massive wine in the portfolio, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Old Vines gives up lots of currants, charcoal, smoke earth and chocolate to go with a full-bodied, concentrated, structured and backward profile. This has lots of oak, lots of tannin, and lots of potential, but it should only be purchased by patient consumers. Give it 5-7 years and enjoy bottles over the following two decades. This is 91% Cabernet Sauvignon and 9% Petit Verdot, mostly from the crème de la crème Champoux Vineyard, which spent 21 months in 100% new French oak. It’s up with the top wines of the vintage and readers looking for a classic, serious and age-worthy Bordeaux blend from Washington need look no further. Drink: 2022-2042.

A beautiful Bordeaux blend, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Artist Series checks in as a blend of 100% Cabernet, from a number of vineyards (mostly Woodward Canyon, Champoux and Spring Creek), that spent 21 months in 50% new French oak. It’s a classy, full-bodied, seamless and sexy 2012 that exhibits lots of black cherry, black raspberry, toasted spices, licorice and dried herbs. The most approachable and forward of the Bordeaux blends, it will still have two decades of longevity. Drink: 2015-2035.

Friday, November 21, 2014

2012 Artist Series Featured Artist: Katherine Ace year Rick and Darcey chose a painting for the “Artist Series” label. Over the years they have found the artists’ work in galleries, have had friends and customers suggest artists and have had artists contact them to submit work. Katherine Ace was recommended by a previous “Artist Series” artist. The Smalls viewed her work online and were particularly taken with her still-lifes.  When contacted, Katherine was very interested in having her work used for the label and a meeting was arranged in Portland. While viewing the still-lifes at a gallery Katherine mentioned that she was creating a new series based on Grimm’s fairy tales and offered to open her studio so that they could be seen. “Sleeping Beauty” was captivating as is the tale, and the Smalls ended up purchasing her as opposed to a still-life for the 2012 "Artist Series" label. "Sleeping Beauty" is the first “Artist Series” label that depicts a figure.

In Grimm’s tale the sleeping beauty, Briar Rose, is cursed to one hundred years of sleep when she pricks her finger on a spindle. Thorns, depicted in the painting, grow over the castle hiding it from view. Finally a handsome prince comes to the rescue and they live happily ever after. The story can be found at

Katherine was born in Chicago in 1953 and received a BA from Knox College, Illinois, in 1975. She works in alkyd/oil on canvas.

Between 1974 and 1990 she lived on three US coasts, in two mountain ranges, in remote rural rentals, in major cities and never in one place for long. Her continuing eclectic education consisted of pursuing a smorgasbord of work: a street portrait artist in New Orleans, a potter in Vermont, commissioned copyist, corporate portraitist, advertising/ magazine/ book and textbook artist. In January 1990 Ace moved to Oregon and established a permanent studio. She has had 32 solo shows since 1992.

Katherine will be joining us at the winery for Holiday Barrel Tasting, Dec. 5th - 7th to talk about her work and sign bottles.

Monday, August 18, 2014

2014 Harvest is Just Around the Corner!

At the winery and Estate Vineyard we are getting ready for harvest. With all the heat this year, we expect harvest to be earlier than normal so we are busy getting prepared. have been seeing veraison in our Estate Vineyard for several weeks now. Veraison is the term used to describe the time when grapes change their color and begin the ripening process. We see red wine grapes turning from green to a pinkish-mauve color and eventually to a dark purple. The process is harder to see with white wine grapes, but they turn from green to a more yellowish color, and the skins transition from opaque to translucent. It's an exciting time in the vineyards because we know that harvest is not far off. Soon Rick and Kevin will be walking the vineyards weekly, tasting the berries and then bringing in bucket-fulls of samples to be tasted and evaluated for sweetness, acidity, tannin, and overall flavor development. These evaluations are how we decide when the fruit is ready to be picked.

We have also started receiving barrels to the winery. Each year we buy a certain amount of new barrels. These barrels all come from France and typically arrive starting in mid to late summer. This is also the time when we pull our old, empty barrels our of storage and begin the process of cleaning them and checking for leaks. next step is cleaning. Cleaning, cleaning cleaning! The cellar crew has started washing all of the bins we use to put the grapes in as they are picked and transported back to the winery. Next will be cleaning all the winemaking equipment - sorting table, crusher-destemer, hoses, presses, tanks, pumps, and other tools.

One of the last things we do before harvest is finish all of our bottling for the year. The barrels and tank space are needed for the upcoming harvest. We just wrapped up our bottling this past week with the last of the 2012 red wines. this heat continues, we should be harvesting our Estate sauvignon blanc by the end of this month. Then begins two months of long days and hard work. But we love it! And it's all worth it when we get to meet a wine buyer from Tokyo who loves our 2011 Old Vines and recommends it to his guests or we meet a customer in the tasting room who can't wait until we release our next vintage of barbera.

Swing by the tasting room this fall to get a feel for what all the harvest excitement is about. We'll have daily updates in the tasting room about what's being crushed, pumped, and pressed in the cellar!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Only a Few Seats Left for our Pre-Harvest Dinner!
Seattle’s Sager Small and Matt Kendall return to prepare a Mediterranean-inspired menu using an array of fresh produce from Woodward Canyon’s Lazy S Arrow garden. The dinner will be perfectly paired with Woodward Canyon wines hand selected by Rick, including a special library selection. Make your reservations today; only seven seats left!

The price of the dinner is $145 per person. Tickets are available for purchase and are non-refundable. Please contact the winery to purchase your ticket or if you have any questions.

Date: Saturday, August 23rd, 2014
Time: 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Venue: Woodward Canyon Winery, 11920 West Highway 12, Lowden, WA 99360       
Contact: Courtney at (509) 525-4129 or for reservations

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Article from Great Northwest Wine
We were just featured in a recent article from Great Northwest Wine.

Make Woodward Canyon your destination this summer for lunch in the Reserve House, a classic or reserve flight in our tasting room, or to enjoy a picnic and relax with a glass of wine in the garden!

Friday, June 27, 2014

The latest scores are out from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate!

We are excited to share the most recent scores from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate:

2011 Old Vines Cabernet Sauvignon - 94+
2011 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon - 94
2011 Estate Reserve Red Wine - 94 (Not yet released)
2011 Columbia Valley Merlot - 90

Thanks to Rick, Kevin, and the rest of our winemaking team for doing such a great job with a challenging vintage!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

In honor of Chardonnay Day, Thursday, May 22, all weekend in the tasting room we will be pouring both our 2012 Washington Chardonnay and our 2012 Celilo Chardonnay. The Celilo Chardonnay will be poured for this weekend only, and we are offering a special tasting room price on the Washington Chardonnay of $35 a bottle (for purchases of 6 or more bottles through the end of May). 

In our Reserve House Restaurant we will be pairing chardonnay with our Chicken Piccata, and Chef Chad is working on a scallop special, also to pair with our chardonnay

Come celebrate Chardonnay Day with us all weekend!