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On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

Washington Story 3

05 Nov 2019

April 2nd, 2019 ... There’s a place called Reynvaan Family Vineyards in the Walla Walla Valley where owner and winemaker, Matt Reynvaan, has to start with the pronunciation of his name, explaining it is of DutchReynvaan White origin. The winery was established in 2007 with a 5-acre parcel devoted mainly to Rhone Valley varieties - today the Washington side is 15 acres while they also have 23 acres in Oregon … the Washington vineyard sits at 1600 feet above sea level that's one of the highest in the state. Their total production is 3000 cases.

2017 Grenache Blanc … (****+)
2016 Stonessence ... (****+)
2016 The Classic ... (****)

Seven Hills RoseOur next visit was lunch at Seven Hills Winery where Casey McClellan (winemaker and founder) greets us and pours some great lunchtime wines. This is not my first run-in with Seven Hills Wine, they were also a mainstay at The Estate Room back in Seattle - so between those two locations I cobbled together my list of favourite wines - and this is also where I found my favourite Rose of the trip:

2018 Rosé … (****)
2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Seven Hills Vineyard … (****)
2015 Ciel du Cheval Vineyard Red … (****+)


After leaving Seven Hills we ventured over to Long Shadows where we learned of the special nature of this Winery: Partnerships in winemaking with well-known winemakers in their respective regions working with Washington fruit. The likes of Folonari (Italy), Randy Dunn (Dunn Vineyards, California), John Duvall (Penfolds, Australia), Michel Roland (who needs no introduction), and others have lent their expertise to create this portfolio all overseen by Gilles Nicault (director of winemaking).

2015 Pirouette ... (****+) Long Shadow Wines
2016 Sequel Syrah ... (****+)
2016 Feather Cabernet Sauvignon ... (**** ½)


Dinner this night is with John Bookwalter at his acclaimed winery restaurant “Fiction” - John's the kind of guy you could have dinner with three times a week and never get bored and not hear the same story twice. His dad, Jerry, is a pioneer of the Washington wine industry helping to establish three of the state's most iconic (and oldest) vineyards Sagemoor / Bacchus / Dionysus. The winery was established in 1982. Plenty of Bookwalterwines were poured through dinner, but I got stuck back with two wines one called “conflict” and the other “suspense”, and just couldn’t get passed how good they were.

2016 Cabernet Franc “Suspense” … (****+)
2016 “Conflict” … (****)


Ontario Wine Reviews: 66 Wines from 31 Wineries

07 Oct 2019

Not all reviews make the newsletter, there's just so many good wines and not enough space ... so every three to six months (or so) I clear out the backlog of wines ... here are the reviews that were written but until now have never seen the light of day. 

(click on the wine name to link to the full review)

Lake Erie North Shore

Nothing this time round


Niagara Escarpment

Domaine Queylus 2017 Droite
Featherstone 2017 Cabernet Franc
Featherstone 2018 Phoenix
Fielding 2016 Cabernet-SyrahFielding
Fielding 2017 Red Conception
Fielding 2017 Rock Pile Red
Fielding 2018 Pinot Gris, Rock Pile Vineyard
Fielding 2018 Riesling, Lot No. 17

Good Earth 2016 Big Fork Red
Good Earth 2016 Chardonnay
Good Earth 2016 Pinot Noir
Good EarthGood Earth 2017 Pinot Grigio
Henry of Pelham 2016 Family Tree Red
Henry of Pelham 2017 Chardonnay Estate
Henry of Pelham 2017 Gamay Estate
Henry of Pelham 2017 Revel, Cabernet & Baco Noir
Henry of Pelham 2017 Vidal Moscato, House Wine Co.
Henry of Pelham 2018 Baco Noir
Henry of Pelham 2018 Riesling, Speck Family Reserve

Honsberger 2018 Riesling
Legends 2017 Malbec
Megalomaniac 2017 Cabernet Franc Icewine, Coldhearted
Meldville 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, 4th EditionMeldville
Organized Crime 2017 Pinot Noir, Break-In
Organized Crime 2017 Riesling, Wild Ferment
Organized Crime 2018 Pinot Gris
Tawse 2016 Pinot Noir, Cherry Avenue Vineyard
The Farm 2016 Pinot Noir, Neudorf Vineyard
The Farm 2017 Pinot Noir, Black Label
Vineland Estates 2017 Pinot Meunier



Diamond Estates 2018 Sauvignon Blanc Serenity
G. Marquis 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon
Lakeview Cellars 2017 Chardonnay, Barrel Aged
PondviewPondview 2015 Pinot Noir, Bella Terra
Sunnybrook 2017 Poire Sec
Trius 2017 Chardonnay, Wild Ferment – Watching Tree Vineyard
Trius 2017 Merlot


 Prince Edward County

Broken Stone 2016 Intensity
Cape Vineyard 2017 Cabernet Franc
Casa Dea Estates 2015 Cabernet Franc ReserveCasa Dea
Casa Dea Estates 2015 Pinot Noir
Casa Dea Estates 2016 Mavi
Casa Dea Estates 2017 Embrace
Casa Dea Estates 2017 Melon De Bourgogne

Hinterland 2011 Les Etoiles, RD
Hinterland 2018 Borealis
HinterlandHinterland 2018 Whitecap
Hubbs Creek 2017 Chardonnay unfiltered
Huff Estates 2017 Pinot Gris
Huff Estates 2017 Riesling, Off-Dry
Karlo Estates 2018 Pinot Grigio, Lake on the Mountain

Lighthall Vineyards 2017 Pinot GrisLighthall Vineyards
Lighthall Vineyards 2018 The Fence
Lighthall Vineyards 2018 Pinot Gris
Lighthall Vineyards 2018 Progression

Rosehall Run 2016 Certain Ratio
Rosehall Run 2017 Tempranillo
Rosehall Run 2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Hungry Point
StannersStanners 2016 Chardonnay
Stanners 2016 Riesling
TerraCello 2018 Vidal

Other Regions & Virtual Wineries

Potter Settlement 2016 Geisenheim RieslingPotter Settlement
Potter Settlement 2016 Vidal
Potter Settlement 2017 Chardonnay, Triple Rare
Potter Settlement 2017 Frontenac Rouge
Potter Settlement 2017 Sauvignon Blanc




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