Tasting with a Winemaker

In my years of wine tasting, I have found that the most enjoyable wine is when you learn about the wine in your glass from the winemakers themselves. Listening to their passion describing the art they create in each glass is so intoxicating that you appreciate every sip that much more. 

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A couple years back I attended a wine tasting event in South Lake Union; ten or so local Washington winemakers were they’re pouring a selection of their wines. I enjoyed all the wines, but I my favorites were those being poured by the winemakers themselves. That is how I met John Patterson of Patterson Cellars. John is a very down to earth individual with great knowledge of Washington wine making. After sampling the wines he was pouring and talking with him for probably 15 minutes, not to the amusement of others wanting to chat with him, he invited me to Woodinville for a one-on-one tasting of his current line up. 

So on a cold wet Seattle day I ventured to Woodinville to meet John at his main tasting room in the Hollywood district.  We sat by the fireplace and tasted through the diverse line up, including Chardonnay, Blends, Cabernet, and even dessert style wines. John strives for balanced wine, each a reflection of quality grapes and proper wine making skills. After that first visit I signed up to be a club member so that I could get wines that are such small production they only go to club members, and I’ve never disappointed.

Of all the wines John crafts, one of my favorites is called the E70. The E70 is named for the freeway that runs thru the Bordeaux and Northern Rhône regions. E70 is a beautiful blend of 50% cabernet sauvignon and 50% syrah; these are the signature grapes from these two regions. Both cabernet and syrah grapes are well suited for the Eastern Washington climate, and this wine skillfully represents how successfully blending them together can be.  The 2013 vintage is exceptionally smooth with a fruity profile enhanced by notes of spice, smoke, and vanilla. The body of this wine coats your entire mouth, and the full-bodied richness finishes satisfyingly smoothly. 


Patterson Cellars now has four tasting rooms, so there is no excuse to not visit!  Your first experience can mirror mine, tasting through the line up in the Hollywood District.  For a weekend wine experience, you can head to the Warehouse district and taste where the wine is made.  The warehouse tasting room is especially fun in the fall during crush because there is always action happening. If you find yourself in Leavenworth for the weekend, pop into their tasting room there.  The newest location keeps you in the city, as Patterson Cellars has recently opened up in SODO, so visit before a Mariners game! Cheers!