Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

October 13, 2014 at 4:48pm

Côtes du Ciel 2012 vintage wines release party at Black Door Wine Company

Cotes du Ciel on Red Mountain, Washington

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Viognier was touted as the next great white wine five years ago when it was rediscovered after becoming nearly extinct in the late 1960s when only about 35 acres remained in the Condrieu region of France's Rhone Valley. Today, Condrieu now has more than 700 acres, and it is planted around the globe, including Australia, Argentina, Chile and 390 acres in Washington state. This grape falls somewhere between the aromatic gewürztraminer and the tropical fruit of chardonnay, bringing in elements of both.

Winemaker Richard Holmes of Côtes du Ciel in the Red Mountain region in Washington poured his first vintage Viognier, a 2012, last winter at Black Door Wine Company in Tacoma's Proctor District. It blew properietors David Lower and Victoria Johnson away.

"I love its elegant and pure minerality," says Johnson. "It's simply beautiful."

I ran into the duo while dining at Primo Grill, then again last Saturday at the Proctors Farmers Market. Over the course of the two exchanges, I learned Holmes' family were one of the first winemakers on Red Mountain, a primitive place that went on to be one of the state's premiere grape growing regions. In 1972, Jim Holmes, Richard's father, paid $200 per acre on Red Mountain - one of five families who began making wine in the region characterized by good air drainage, light soils and deeply rooted vines. Holmes founded Kiona Vineyards and Ciel du Cheval, to keep a long story short.

Richard, who left the dot-com world, returned to the family farm several years ago to create his own wine on the land he worked for many years. Richard's brand, Côtes du Ciel, included that delicious bottle of Viognier at Black Door.

Lower and Johnson kept in touch with Richard. They are beyond thrilled to have him back in their house Saturday, hosting a release party for a Reserve Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and a Merlot from Côtes du Ciel's 2012 vintages. The duo calls the wines mind blowers.

"This release is pretty cool for Tacoma and the South Sound that Richard Holmes would release his wines at Black Door," says Johnson. 

COTES DU CIEL RELEASE TASTING PARTY, 5-7 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 18, Black Door Wine Company, 3906 N. 34th St., Tacoma, $5, 206.359.0466

Filed under: Wine Tacoma
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Served, a blog by the Weekly Volcano, is the region’s feedbag of fresh chow daily, local restaurant news, New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top.

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