Sometimes customers tell me that the wineries who have tasting rooms in downtown Walla Walla aren’t as good quality as the wineries just outside on the south side or east side. Kerloo Cellars is here to prove them wrong!
I first heard about Kerloo through some friends who told me about their killer Syrah, but because their tasting room hours are sadly limited (Fridays and Saturdays only), I never made it out to taste. Luckily, I found out through facebook that they were open late for Spring Release last week, and I was able to just make it in before they closed! I’ve had their Temperanillo before, if you remember this post, but I’ve never tried anything else from them, so I was really excited to see the Majestic and a Syrah-Grenache on their tasting bar. Both were delicious; the Majestic (a Rhone-style table blend, grapes from Columbia Valley) was a little lighter, with great fruit and some of the savory qualities I expect now in a Syrah or Syrah blend, and the Syrah-Grenache (grapes from Snipes Mountain) was dark and savory, but with almost a floral quality to it as well, which was surprising.
The tasting room itself is small, as you can see, but was a really calm and soothing place in a sea of busy and crowded tasting rooms. Sonja, who runs the tasting room, is smart and knowledgeable both about wine in general and Kerloo wines in particular. This isn’t the sort of tasting room where you might stop for a picnic or to lounge and have a glass or bottle; this is your good old-fashioned, no-frills wine tasting room, meant to showcase the wines themselves.
Find them downtown, kitty-corner to the Marcus Whitman hotel, every Friday and Saturday 11-4.
Definitely make this a stop on your wine tasting tour or even on your way to lunch downtown; Kerloo is worth a visit at least. And pick up a bottle of the Majestic; I did!
I’ve declared it riesling week, so instead of the weekly link round up, I have some Washington rieslings rounded up for you! I know we’re all on a budget these days, so I picked a few of my favorite grocery store wines and then a few of my favorite local wines.
Awesome Grocery Store Rieslings
Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling 2011
I tend to think that Charles Smith’s wines are good, but often overpriced. Not this one! This riesling is crisp and refreshing, with a touch of residual sugar (about 1.8%). $12 at the winery (located here in Walla Walla), where it’s sold out, so grab some at the grocery store, where you can find it for around $10. Or, if you have your heart set on going to the winery, you can try the 2012 Kung Fu Girl Riesling!
Willow Crest 2011 Riesling
This riesling is a little sweeter than the others on this list (4% residual sugar), but still pretty refreshing. A little unbalanced in the sweetness vs acidity, but a good choice for those who prefer their rieslings sweeter. Tropical fruit and honey notes make this a good summer riesling; I enjoyed the first glass, but couldn’t get through a second. Buy for $12 through the winery or $11 in grocery stores.
I’m drinking Kerloo Cellars 2009 Temperanillo! This is a bottle my boyfriend got for free (people love giving him free wine; I still haven’t learned his secret…maybe a code word I need to know?) Kerloo’s 2009 Temperanillo is sold out now, but they have a 2010 Temperanillo for sale, which I haven’t yet tried. Their Temperanillo isn’t crazy unreasonable in price, but maybe a little more than new drinkers are willing to spend. It will run you $34, which I think is a good value for this wine.
Well balanced earth and fruit, bright flavors, and not too spicy for a Temperanillo; this is a wine that goes well with food. It tasted even better the second day it was open! The grapes come from Wahluke Slope and Walla Walla.
Pair it with: Butternut Squash Risotto
Check them out online for information about the winery or to order wine!