Appellation: Walla Walla Valley
Since this is Apple Cup Week, here is a winner from two proud Cougs. Deborah Hansen graduated from Washington State University in 1979 with a pharmacy degree and worked in the Bay Area before moving to the Walla Walla Valley in 1996. Soon after, she and her husband, David, a product of WSUs world-renowned veterinary school, turned their orchards to vineyards and Deborah learned winemaking at famed University of California-Davis. David is the vineyard manager, and Rock Bottom is one of three estate plantings he oversees. Their combined work with Albariño, a Spanish white grape, is delicious. Its ripe and bright as tones of stone fruit run all the way through. Asian pear and starfruit pick up a dash of lemon pepper and include a sense of minerality. The persistence of lime juice creates a long finish. This year, it earned a double gold medal, which means it received a unanimous vote for gold, at the Walla Walla Valley Wine Competition. That judging serves as a scholarship fundraiser for students at Walla Walla Community Colleges winemaking program.
Rated Outstanding! by Great Northwest Wine. (13.9% alc.)
Cases produced: 265
Food pairings: The Hansens suggest serving their Albariño with Vietnamese Chicken Meatballs in Lettuce Wraps. It also can be enjoyed during Thanksgiving with clam dip, light appetizers or sweet potatoes.
The Hansens operate four tasting rooms, including one at the base of Oregons Dundee Hills.
Walla Walla tasting room:
Walla Walla, WA 99362
Woodinville tasting room:
14366 Woodinville-Redmond Road NE
Redmond, WA 98052
Spokane tasting room:
8 N. Post, Suite 6
Spokane, WA 99201
Dundee tasting room:
1410 N Highway 99W, Suite 100
Dundee, OR 97115