Saturday, March 13, 2010

Portteus Winery

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"I know where it is..."

On our recent trip to Washington, Clive mentioned that he had been to Portteus before, and since we were in the Yakima area, Josh, Rick, Clive and myself made the drive down to Zillah, Washington to visit Portteus Winery. We had a window of about 2 hours, and we were all confident we could get to Portteus, do a tasting, and make it back within that time.

Not long after we got off of 82 in Zillah, the three of us left our destination in the hands of Clive. But then we made a right turn when we should have made a left, or was it a left turn when we should have made a right? Either way a wrong turn was made and we were left trying to find our way to a place that only one person knew definitely existed. It probably didn't help that Rick and I (okay maybe I more than Rick) were fairly certain we had seen the signs for Portteus on a wine tour we had done about four days earlier. Clive maintained that he was pretty sure we were on the right track, and we continued looking.

Everything around looked familiar, but we were in orchards in the middle of February, with not many buildings around - hence everything looked the same - so none of us really thought we might be lost. Just in case we might be lost, Rick and I pulled out our trusty pieces of technology that should work in these situations. No, not a GPS, but rather he with his iPhone and I with my BlackBerry attempted to find out where the heck we were and how far we were from Portteus. We were men on a mission damnit, and that mission was to find this place and try the wines. We made left turns and right turns and u-turns, after getting to a couple of dead ends - looking for signs.

Then Clive's phone rang, it was Gwynne, she was running early and was about to get into Yakima. Clive informed her that we were near the winery and he had left her name with the hotel so she could check into his room. A few moments later, Josh's gas light came on. He reassured us that it just mean he had less than 50 miles before he would have run out of gas. Then, when almost all hope was lost, we saw a directional sign. And after passing a couple of roads we had previously been on, we found our way to Portteus Winery.

We saw the warehouse and the house with a Spanish Tile roof across the driveway. The sign on the warehouse read "If door is locked, please ring bell." The bell was rang and a couple seconds later, Brian (at least I think that was his name. I am going to say that it is, and I apologize in advance to him if that is incorrect), the son of the owner, to let us and another pair of gentlemen who had arrived in to do some tasting.

Over the course of roughly 45 minutes, we tried about seven different wines, ranging from Zinfandel to Port to Petite Syrah, to various blends. During the tasting there was entertaining banter that occurred between all of us. Brian jokingly talked about his friends inviting him to things, but only if he brings wine with him. Clive also discovered that Portteus put out a game he and Gwynne recently found - I don't recall anything about the game - and he talked a bit about his frustrations with figuring it all out. Brian cleverly mentioned that it was all in the directions.

We all found and left the winery with something that we liked. We made it back to Yakima in a timely manner, after getting gas, and realized how just one wrong turn was what left us wandering around outside of Zillah.

The wine I choose was the 2008 Rattlesnake Red. As per the bottle, this is a blend made up of 48% Cab Sauv, 25% Zin, 17% Sangiovese, and 10% Merlot.

I decided that this bottle of wine would be the first wine that I would consume as I began my fourth decade, and I partook in it with a colleague of mine, Zac, a couple of nights ago. I opened the bottle and let it breathe for about 30 minutes. Upon pouring the wine, both Zac and I thought the dark, rich color was amazing. We were somewhat taken aback by the full rich nose that existed with spices and wood abounding. We both liked the flavor, but Zac was not a fan of dryness of this wine, while I found it a bit refreshing. Zac had difficulty finishing his because it was just a bit too dry for him, but other than that he was able to enjoy the other aspects of it. I found pretty much everything about this wine enjoyable :-)

I would be interested to read how Clive, Josh, and Rick liked their wines from Portteus, while I am sure you all would be interested as well.

As a side note, please know this is not a post that picks on Clive's directional attributes, it just happened to be part of the story :-)

Until next time...

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