a taste of romance — wine from grapes grown where wild mustangs once roamed free!
Washington is the third largest wine producing state in the country, just behind New York, and while California dominates domestic production, Washington State’s 10 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) produce an excellent range of varietals and blends. And we can’t think of anything more romantic than drinking a wine made from grapes that grow where wild horses once roamed!
Recently, the AdviceSisters had the opportunity to taste some of the offerings from 14 Hands winery. Located in Prosser, Washington, the winery’s name was inspired by the Wild Horses of Washington State. According to the winery, these wild mustangs, measuring a scant fourteen hands high would travel down from the hills every day to drink from the Columbia River and graze along the riverbank and then retreat back to the hills at night. This unique and beautiful landscape gave these unbridled horses their spirit and tenacity that now feeds 14 Hand’s vines.
The winery offers a wide range of products, from a Cabernet to a Moscato, and produced two picnic wine blends, called Hot to Trot Red and Hot to Trot White. We sampled these wines over a long cool weekend in the country and were quite surprised by what a $10.00 bottle of wine can offer.
The Hot to Trot Red blend was particularly nice. Made from Washington’s excellent merlot grapes, along with syrah, petit verdot and mourvedre, the wine was almost black in color with the kind of fruity nose that one expects from Washington wines. Cherry, currants and some plum were all present with a bit of floral – kind of a tea rose. While there was some oak-y vanilla on the nose, this was not really present in the wine itself, which was dominated by berries and black fruits. Raspberries, plums and according to the winemaker some baking spice – though we personally tasted more of a licorice on the finish. Overall, the wine was well balanced and exactly what we would expect from a blend from Washington. The price – at just about $10 — was more than reasonable — and made Hot to Trot an excellent choice for a backyard barbeque or summer picnic.
The Hot to Trot White (2012) was comprised of Chardonnay and Pinot Gris with a small amount of Semmilon. While Washington is most famous for red blends, this wine was also a surprise. Also priced at about $10 a bottle, this wine offered more than the standard California Chardonnay or Pinot Gris. It had a greenish, kind of grassy color and a citrusy nose that in many ways reminded me of an Alvarino, though with less minerality. The Hot to Trot white also a solid picnic wine and would be excellent for summer salads and other light parings with a crisp palate of pears and citrus and a good balance of acidity.
14 Hands has more wines, but these are affordable options for Summer feasting. 14 Hands is a fairly new winery, started in 2002. It first started offering wines to the restaurant trade in 2005. It is located at the former Snoqualmie Winery in Prosser. If you get a chance to visit the Winery in Washington, do so! If not, a bottle of 14 Hands wine can and should be on everyone’s must-try list for This Summer.
For more information on these wines and on the winery, visit: http://www.14hands.com/