Monday, June 1, 2009

Please - No More Idaho!

I really do not want any more. It seems like such a strange thing to say, especially coming from someone whose first word was "more." But please, stop sending these wines to me.

I tasted the Zhoo Zhoo wines. I tasted the Pend d'Oreille. I tasted Sawtooth. I even did a little research on Idaho as an AVA. I just recently tasted the wines from Bitner Vineyards, Hell's Canyon Winery, and Koning Vineyards. And after tasting all of those wines I have formed an opinion: There is a reason why Idaho is not known as a quality wine producing region.

Why did I taste these wines? Let me start at the beginning. I had decided to put out a press call through ProfNet, asking for more information about little or unknown wine regions. What I got was a ton of e-mails that wanted me to check out the Ohio wine tourism trails, Arizona wine trails, and Idaho's Snake River Valley. The only group to send wines to me were the Snake River Valley people, and I am very thankful that they did. It has given me some great insight into their wine industry and the terroir that is Idaho.

That may sound strange to those who would consider the great wines of Bordeaux and Napa to have terroir, but I truly believe that Idaho wines have particular indicators that announce to the world that they come from the state of Idaho.

I just do not think the world really wants to pay attention.

Looking back at my tasting notes, there is one word that repeats again and again and again: "Bitter." About 90% of the wines I tasted had such a bitter finish that it left me gasping for something to wash it away.

That does not mean I have not found some gems. I thought the Koenig Riesling Icewine 2006 was decent. The Pend d'Oreille Wood River Terroir Series Malbec 2006 was pleasant, even enjoyable. The Zhoo Zhoo Claret "Veronique" 2005 is worth checking out.

These are of course my own opinions (and I am no expert), so feel free to check out any other Idaho wine you find. All I am saying is, I could have done without tasting them...
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