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Cab Franc and Viognier

Watermill Winery

Posted on May 22nd, 2013

Just across the border from Washington's famed Walla Walla wine haven sits Milton-Freewater, Oregon. With a rich history in agriculture, it was only a matter of time before this area blossomed into a premiere grape source. Along with its popularity as supplier for many great Walla Walla vintners, Milton-Freewater boasts top-notch wineries of its own. Today's offer is one such producer - a family that has proudly grown grapes and other produce in the area for many years, only recently creating its own wine label, and with killer results.

The Brown family began their Milton-Freewater adventure as apple growers, eventually adding wine grapes to their catalog of crops. The family's vineyards quickly became some of the top fruit sources for wineries in both Walla Walla and Milton-Freewater. Having success in turning a portion of their apple harvest into hard cider, the Brown's expanded their business to include Watermill Winery. The first wine we had from Watermill was their Cabernet Franc, and we instantly fell in love with its rich, well-rounded character. Two vintages later, and we are still just as enamored. Tasting through the rest of the Watermill Winery label revealed a solid line-up, including what has become one of our favored Viogniers from the area.

If you drink a lot of wine from Walla Walla, it is likely that you've tasted juice from the Brown family's Milton-Freewater vineyards. Here's your chance to sample straight from the source!

2009 Watermill Winery Cabernet Franc - $26.99 (Warehouse pick-up: $23.99)

This 100% Cabernet Franc from the Brown family's estate McClellan vineyard, along with fruit sourced from Seven Hills vineyard, is delectably dense and rich. The herbal components of the grape are prevalent on both the nose and palate, along with rich cherry and sweet spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. This is definitely a wine to sit back and enjoy as is opens and evolves.

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2010 Watermill Winery Viognier - $15.99 (Warehouse pick-up: $13.99)

From Elephant Mountain, Willard and the up-and-coming XL vineyard, this 100% Viognier is a mouthful. Rich apricot and apple flavors are balanced with crisp citrus, making for a rich, well-rounded Viognier. The big flavors make for a wine that can stand alone, while the citrus and acidity present a food-friendly component. Think rich cheeses or chicken with an apricot compote.

Wine Enthusiast, Paul Gregutt: "Nicely done, still young and sharp, but carrying interesting scents of lemon and lime rind, orange liqueur, and peppery spice. Excellent acidity buoys it up through a satisfying finish, with just a slim suggestion of warmth. Should continue to improve with another two or three years in the bottle. 89 Points."

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