Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dunham Cellars: American wine worth drinking

I've talked often in the past of my lack of enjoyment of American wines. I've had all kinds, everything from Washington Merlot to Oregon Pinot Gris to California's Opus One. One or two really expensive Oregon Pinot Noirs have been acceptable--not thrilling, but not bad.

Last night we had a couple of friends over, one of whom used to work in the hospitality industry. He brought a bottle of wine from a local producer in Walla Walla (east of the Cascades) and swore up, down, and sideway that I'd like it. So we opened it up to go with a hearty beef marrow stew, and lo!, it was very tasty indeed:

Dunham Cellars' Trutina is a fairly equal blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, with a dash of Syrah. We drank the 2008, and, as I say, it was good--but I bet if we'd aged it, we would have found it better than good in five to ten years. Trutina means 'balance' and Dunham have, in fact, created a very nicely balanced wine. I can't believe I'm saying this but, yes, I've found an American wine worth aging like Bordeaux. I need to get some more, stash it away, and see what happens. My hope: that it will remain rich, but the structure will show through even more commandingly. I think this could be a very good wine indeed.

This experience has only increased my determination to never say never. And to invite those friends around more often...
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