Maryhill Vinyards, Washington
Maryhill Wines, from the fertile soil of the Columbia Valley in Washington State, are new to Chattanooga,
Great Buys is back for the holidays! Longtime readers of The Pulse will remember Great Buys as a weekly column, in which Riley’s Wine & Spirits picks something special from the its larges selection of adult beverages from around the world, discusses it’s origins and taste, then offers it up at an insanely low price.
For this special holiday column, we’ve picked Maryhill Wines from the fertile soil of the Columbia Valley in Washington State. Maryhill Wines are new to Chattanooga and offer a little something for everyone, from the casual sipper to the hardcore connoisseur.
Maryhill Winery is a relatively young vineyard. It was started in 1999 by Craig and Vicki Leuthold, married entrepreneurs with separate careers who both shared the same desire to experience more out of life by following their common passion of making great wines. They purchased several thousand acres in Goldendale, located at the southern tip of the Columbia Valley, Washington State’s premier wine-producing region. Goldendale is not only breathtakingly beautiful (and once explored by Lewis and Clark), but is also known for the three essential ingredients needed for the cultivation of outstanding wine that vineyards use to make fine wine:
• A warm growing season.
• Cool breezes to oxidize and nurture the developing fruit.
• A healthy, rainy season.
By 2000, the Leuthold’s began construction on their winery overlooking Gunkel Vineyard, perhaps the oldest and most-fertile vineyard in Washington State. One year later, Maryhill Vineyard opened its doors, becoming the 100th winery in the state. That first year, Maryhill yielded just 5,000 cases, but through hard work and dedication, matched only by the greater successes of the wine industry, Maryhill was voted Washington State’s 2009 Winery of the Year by Washington Press Northwest.
Today, Maryhill produces more than 80,000 cases of wine per year, currently offering up to 30 varietals. Riley’s is happy to welcome Maryhill Wines to our store by offering nine of their best. Each wine or varietal displays both characteristics of wines cultivated in the Columbia Valley and Maryhill’s dedication to crafting them a cut above the rest.
Featured Maryhill Wines
1. 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon ($13.95); Fruity aromas of plum, blackberry plus some honey give over to flavors of sharp cherry, figs, anise and violets. This wine contains some big fruit and isn’t overly tanic making it a truly characteristic of Cabernet grown in the Columbia Valley.
2. 2008 Merlot ($13.95) In a word—smooth—as Merlot should be. Expect aromas of raspberry jam, coffee and some eucalyptus, while the palate contains flavors of blackberries, toffee, black pepper and cherry which linger to the finish.
3. 2009 Chardonnay ($8.24): This classy Columbia Valley Chard (more fruit, less creaminess) starts off with aromas of lime and pear, which give it tropical character. A touch of vanilla and oak give way to a full fruit forward assault of lemon, apple, honeydew melon, followed by a nicely rounded finish of nutmeg and fig.
4. 2010 Riesling ($8.24): Riesling has always sharply divided wine drinkers. You either love it or leave it. Lovers of the sweeter side of this grape will be very pleased indeed with aromas and flavors of lime, pear, apple and orange blossom. Maryhill’s Riesling stands its own ground next to Chateau Ste. Michelle’s “Warhorse” Rieslings. CSM beware!
5. 2009 Pinot Grigio ($8.24): This golden-colored wine meets wine drinkers in the middle with well-balanced acidity, putting it neither into the sweeter or the dryer categories. Expect refreshing aromas of citrus, green apple and light pear which eases you into flavors of grapefruit, citrus and pear, finishing with a bit of nutmeg.
6. 2008 Maryhill Zinfandel ($13.95): Unique Red Zinfandel offers aromas of dark cherry, which carry over to the palate along with chocolate, raspberry and coffee. But wait—more is in store with a palate detecting the flavors getting deeper, while this Zin becomes a bit more tanicly aggressive.
7. 2010 Maryhill Wine Maker’s White Blend ($8.29): A blend of Chardonnay, Sauvingnon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier, creating a very mild aroma of dried fruit, that turns into fresh flavors of nuts and baked apples.
8. 2010 Maryhill Wine Maker’s Red ($8.24): A nice balanced blend of 40 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 30 percent Merlot, 20 percent Syrah and 10 percent Cabernet Franc. This wine gives off pleasing aromas of black cherry, blackberries and hints of vanilla, that lead to outstanding flavors of black cherry, chocolate and anise, leading to an exciting French vanilla finish.
9. 2010 Sauvignon Blanc ($8.24): This drier white wine is absolutely bursting with a wide assortment of citrus fruit, including orange, lemon, red grapefruit—but that’s not all. It follows through with green apples and honeydew melons. This wine works alone or pairs well with salads and/or fish.