Appellation: Columbia Valley
Jessica Munnell’s ability to produce bright whites helped Mercer Estates earn Washington Winery of the Year from Wine Press Northwest in 2016. Now, the graduate of Richland High and Washington State University works with vineyards overseen by acclaimed grower Tom Merkle, who is Munnell’s partner in Wautoma Springs. This superb Sauvignon Blanc reflects the growth of their brand timed with their stylish young tasting room in Prosser within the Port of Benton’s Phase II for Vintners Village. The label design by Texan artist Leigh Ann Torres for the Sauvignon Blanc depicts an Arrowleaf balsamroot in bloom, and the wine casts out a pretty nose of florals and sweet basil, which lay atop honeydew melon to entice the senses. The palate showcases a zippy medium bodied happy wine with more melon, lime and crushed mountain meadow grass notes. It’s a beautifully balanced wine that shows the quality of the fruit and a light hand from the winemaker. This spring, it was awarded best of class and a gold medal at the Cascadia International Wine Competition.
Rating: “Outstanding!” by Great Northwest Wine. (12.5% alc.)
Food pairings: In the Wautoma Springs tasting room they are big on canned sardines, purchase a tin or two and take them home for serving on sliced country bread and topped with red onion, basil, tomato, garlic, olive oil and sea salt. Additional ideas include scallops, chicken salad, pasta with asparagus, garden salads and vegetable-based soups.
Wautoma Springs tasting room
236 Port Ave., Suite C
Prosser, WA 99350