Uncork summer with Yakima Valley winery lineup
As warmer weather approaches, wine drinkers will be trading in their deep, bold reds that pair well with the comfort foods of winter for lighter, patio sippers and zesty whites with enough acid to hold up to grilled fish, cold soups, entrée salads and other summer-friendly cooking options. Parejas Cellars, located in the Eastern Washington AVA of Yakima Valley, has just what sunshine screams for.
Winemaker, Mark Wysling, focuses on Spanish varietals under the Parejas label and wines outside the Spanish focus with his second label—Wysling. Recently I had the pleasure of tasting through six of his offerings and was particularly pleased with his whites. When I saw albariño, marsanne and a marsanne/roussanne blend I was convinced that Wysling had stalked me because I’m a sucker for those particular grapes and his treatment of them did not disappoint.
- 2013 Parejas Tres Rojas de Mesa – With a high amount of monastrell (58 percent), this wine has distinct barnyard notes mingling with soft fresh red fruit and light, approachable tannins. An excellent option for wine drinkers venturing beyond lighter pinot noirs into the realm of big reds. $20, 325 cases
- 2013 Parejas Garnacha Blanca – The higher acid level of this wine makes it immediately a food-friendly choice in my book. Originating in northeastern Spain the traditional seafood dishes of the coastline, particularly shellfish, come to mind as well as fragrant paella and tomato-based dishes like gazpacho. This is a dry white with strong notes of green apple. Spicier French goat cheese would also hold up nicely. $18, 103 cases
- 2014 Parejas Albariño – Yes, please. I immediately enjoyed the full mouth feel and bright acidity that greeted my palate. Easy to see this pairing seamlessly with the regional Spanish dish, bacalao, or even Thai food or a chicken Caesar salad. Versatile wine with intoxicating aromas of stone fruit. $15, 420 cases
- 2013 “Wysling” Marsanne – The floral bouquet of white blossoms and orange to tangerine notes was just lovely in this straight varietal. After opening for a few minutes I detected some delicate savory components and slight smokiness. This dry white would go particularly well with the richness of crab, lobster or scallops but would be equally nice with chicken in a cream sauce or a cheese plate of Camembert and Havarti. $18, 103 cases
- 2013 “Wysling” Band of Sisters – I thoroughly enjoyed this blend of roussanne, garnacha blanca and marsanne. Accustomed to seeing viognier as the third grape in this Rhône-style trio, the addition of the zippier garnacha added another layer to an already complex white with a lingering finish. Beautiful aromatics, balanced acidity, approachable, great with food or alone. A gorgeous summer wine. $18, 355 cases
- 2013 “Wysling” Gewürztraminer – When Wysling says zero residual sugar, he’s not kidding. Gewürz is often associated with a dessert wine but this slightly spicy white was on point with Wysling’s tasting notes of rose petal and lychee. A pleasant interpretation of an Alsatian gewürztraminer as opposed to the off-dry variety many Americans are more accustomed to (and shy away from). The warm climate it’s growing in does not seem to be an issue for Wysling as he is able to tame the naturally high sugar content of this grape to coax a pleasant amount of acidity making it an excellent choice for Asian cuisine. $14, 70 cases
For more information, go to parejascellars.com.
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