Vashon Wines Tasting Notes

Label-chasselas2012 Chasselas Doré

When available. We have not made a Chasselas since the 2006 vintage due to damage to the vineyard from disease and various pests, like raccoons and birds. This grape comes from one of the oldest vineyards in western Washington. Known as the Back Bay Vineyard, it was planted originally to the Island Belle grape sometime in the 1920s. The Chasselas Doré was planted later, about 1940. 

It is light, and delicate, and reminds of rice wine with hints of pear. 
One of our great wines. Regrettably we have decided to no longer produce this wine. We hope you still have some in your wine cellar. Our last vintage (2010) was one of the best.

aligote2012 Aligoté

When picking up grapes in 2011, I noticed a bin of grapes labeled Aligoté which has always been one of my favorites. It is the sister grape to Chardonnay but has this mysterious green/mineral quality to it. These vines were planted in 1968; 45 years old. This wine is scheduled for release in mid-September. 

Can’t wait to have this with a prawn dish with lots of garlic.


This is a fantastic wine. Isletage is a made-up name created by the Puget Sound Wine Growers Association of which I am Vice-President. The only requirement to use this name is that the grapes must come from the Puget Sound AVA. This batch is made from 90% Madeleine Angevine grown on Lopez Island, and 10% Pinot Noir (Blanc) from Vashon. I force-carbonated it and put it into our cider bottle. It is dry, light and fruity, lightly sparkling…..kind of a 7-Up for grown-ups.  
Serve with lighter seafoods, or pasta.

cabsav2009 Cabernet Sauvignon

This wine captures the warmth of the vintage. It combines a smooth palate impression with a touch of acid. It has lots of ripe raspberry fruit characteristics with a fullness of flavor balanced by good acidity. Someone said of our wines, “They are lighter….but deeper.” I agree.

Serve this with full rich meat or vegetable dishes like roasts.


A youthful wine from grapes grown at Upland Vineyards. This wine is at once fruity and elegant and reminds of a wine from the Right Bank of Bordeaux. It has nice up-front fruit but with flavors that linger toward the back of the palate. 

2010 Grenache

A new grape variety for us. Grenache has always intrigued me, especially when it expresses a peppery quality, similar to fresh-ground black pepper. It is a major component of Cotes-du-Rhone wines, usually enhanced by a touch of Viognier and a bit more of Syrah. Our version is Grenache with a bit of Viognier co-fermented together. It is medium weight, fruity, and dry at the same time…and there is a hint of the pepper in the aromas and the back of the palate. 
This is your grill wine,  or your deck wine; serve with grilled sausages, or BBQed chicken.

thrTramp Harbor Red

Our blended table wine. This wine is made in batches of four barrels, with one of the barrels coming from the previous batch. This wine is rich and sweet tasting, not of sugar, but of ripe round fruit and touches most of the taste spots on your palate.

Ready to drink now, it goes with just about everything.

pinot-noir2011 Pinot Noir

Island-grown grapes by Joe and Tony at Monument Farm Vineyards. This is probably the most fun wine. It is from grapes close to home and reflects the terrior of this special place. This wine is difficult to understand as it shows true Pinot Noir character, both in its cherry/strawberry fruitiness but also in its slightly vegetative quality, like a great Burgundy. Don’t let the light red color fool you. This wine is going to age and become a dark red wine with great complex flavors, for those with patience (and a wine cellar). 

aligoteClaire Red

This is a fun wine made for my daughter, Claire. She asked if I would make a red wine that was lighter and smooth. This is a blend of 80% Semillon and 20% Tramp Harbor Red. It is fruity and dry, medium weight and lingering, with aromas and flavors of raspberry. 

Serve this with light seafood, cheese, or spicy dishes.

ElevenRed11 Red
Okay, so I made a wine for my daughter… so how about one for my son. I found an old baseball jersey of his in the closet and laid it out on the bed, took a picture of it, then had it made into a label. Number 11, his favorite number. The current offering of this wine is 1 part Cabernet Franc and 1 part Merlot. It is a beautifully balanced wine that will age really well. 

Serve with lighter meats, Portobello mushroom grilled with goat cheese.

reserve-red2010 Reserve Red
This is a blend of one-third each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Each of these grapes finds a spot on the palate which creates a full, round impression. There is still just a bit of tannin but this wine should age gracefully for twenty years.

Serve with richer, fuller cuts of meat or sauces.

cider200wIrvine’s Vintage Cider, Vintage Blend
This is a blend of European cider apples made from a variety of sources. It is crushed and pressed at the winery using a cheese press, then fermented to dryness, settled, then racked into a stainless steel barrel where it sits for a year aging. It is then racked again, sugar and yeast are added, then the cider is put into 500ml bottles and capped with a wired porcelain cap.
It is dry and creamy and not too unlike a good champagne (definitely a small c). 

CiderWoozydeerWoozy Deer Cider
A new label, but an older cider. This is a cider that I made back in 1997 from the Cox’s Orange Pippin apple grown near Mt. Vernon. It was named after a moose in Sweden that got stuck up in a tree after eating too many fermented apples on the ground. The label features a great drawing of the moose in the tree by Wendra Lynne. This cider is 16 years old and it has become smooth and distinctive.

Serve with mussels, clams, pork or light cheddar-type cheeses.

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