Updated: Jul 17
Badger Mountain Vineyard and Winery has a deeply rooted history in the heart of Washington Wine Country. Located in the Tri-Cities, it was founded by Bill Powers in 1982. With a commitment to organic viticulture and wine production, in 1990, this became the first USDA certified organic wine grape vineyard in Washington State. Bill's vision started with a responsibility to the environment extending to a completely natural product under the Badger Mountain Vineyard label.
“I am the luckiest guy in the world because I get up, walk out the door and get to do what I love everyday.” -Bill Powers
At the Badger Mountain Vineyard and Winery's 2019 Fall Release Party, I had the privilege of tasting seven different wines from both their Powers Winery and Badger Mountain Certified Organic Vineyard labels. This review will be featuring three of those wines. Overall rating scale is from 1-5 (5 being the highest).
2018 Powers Chardonnay
Wine displayed a deep straw color with a medium-low viscosity. Low-intensity primary aroma of citrus with a hint of banana and pineapple. Secondary aromas of tropical fruit. Medium sweetness, crisp and light citrus at first taste. Finishing notes of high acidity towards the back of the mouth. Low tannin with a medium-low body. Alcohol content 13 %. Finishing length 6 seconds.
Produced & Bottled by Powers Winery in Kennewick, WA
Contains Sulfites, 750 ML
Overall Rating: 4
2016 Powers Members-only Grenache (Clifton Bluff Vineyard, Wahluke Slope)
Only 25 cases made available to members only. A rich ruby color with medium intensity. Viscosity viewed at medium-high, with strong legs. The smell was also at a medium-level with aromas of ripe strawberries and cherry. Secondary note of vanilla. Tertiary aromas of earth described as a potting soil type scent. Taste somewhat dry, with a medium level of acidity and tannin that hits the middle of the mouth with fresh berries, licorice, and a lingering white pepper. A medium-full body. Alcohol content 13.5%. Finishing length 10 seconds with delightful complexity.
Region, Wahluke Slope
Produced & Bottled by Powers Winery in Kennewick, WA
Contains Sulfites, 750 ML
Overall Rating: 4.5
2018 Badger Mountain "Mi Familia" Red Blend
Color after swirling the glass shows a medium intensity tawny. A dark yet colorful bouquet. Viscosity surprisingly low to medium-low. Shallow visibility of legs. Medium intensity for primary aromas of cherry pie and cranberry. Secondary aroma of vanilla. Concerning tertiary aroma of earth with a volcanic rock scent. Possible sulfide fault.
In full honesty and integrity, the first sip was unpleasant. It tasted like a matchbox covered in pepper and confirmed that there was indeed a sulfide fault in the wine. No need to fear, there are some simple ways to correct this in the wine that will usually help bring out the purposed aromas and flavors. This wine fault is commonly known as reduction. It happens during the winemaking process when wine doesn't get enough oxygen. Decanting the wine will significantly improve the smell. No decanter? No problem, try stirring your wine with a silver spoon. These tips will help combat the faulty components in the wine to bring out its authentic flavors.
After properly decanting the wine for about an hour, I had a much better experience tasting a highly complex wine with a symphony of aromas and flavors.
The second tasting experience displayed a variety of flavors hitting all areas of the palate, and lingering on the sides of the mouth. Primary notes of black cherry, plum, and licorice. Secondary flavors of black tea and white pepper. Tertiary tastes of vanilla leaving a smooth yet spicy aftertaste from the pepper notes. Sweetness was dry, with low acidity. Medium tannin felt against lower teeth to lips with a medium body. Alcohol content 14%. Finishing length 8 seconds.
Badger Mountain Certified Organic Vineyard label
"Mi Familia" Red Blend
Region, Columbia Valley
USDA Organic, Vegan Friendly & Gluten-free
Produced & Bottled by Badger Mountain, Inc., Kennewick, WA
No sulfites added. May contain naturally occurring sulfites. 750 ML
Overall Rating: 3.5 (due to initial wine fault)
Three Course Pairings Review
Chardonnay: Nice balance between smoothness of cheese and citrus aftertaste. Average taste with no complex flavors.
Grenache: Brings out light and nutty flavor. Nice earthy aftertaste. Balanced complexity.
Mi Familia: Initial nutty primary flavor with a lingering pepper aftertaste. Strong complexity in flavors.
Mozzarella with Fresh Basil and Tomato
Chardonnay: The acidity of the tomato brought out a tart flavor in the wine. Strong combination of earthy and citrus aftertaste.
Grenache: Notes from the basil left a wonderful earthy aftertaste with a smooth vanilla finish. Balanced complexity.
Mi Familia: The tomato and mozzarella are more pronounced in this tasting. Strong pepper finish brings out a pleasant lingering aftertaste.
Chardonnay: Surprisingly bitter taste. Citrus flavor did not compliment the cheddar cheese well. Unbalanced finish.
Grenache: Strong enjoyable pepper taste from start to finish.
Mi Familia: Not complementary to this very complex wine. It brought unpleasant flavors of bitterness.
Butternut Squash with Roasted Garlic
Chardonnay: For lack of better expression, BLEH! It was all wrong. The garlic was overwhelming.
Grenache: Very tasty! Brought out the sweetness in the squash, and the earthiness of the garlic. Perfect combination and complexity.
Mi Familia: Compliments the garlic well while adding an extra peppery finish. Full complex flavor throughout tasting.
Chardonnay: Almost day and night from the squash. Absolutely delightful! Notes of sweetness and lemon flavor. I could snack on this tasting all day. Light finish.
Grenache: Average flavor, leaves a deep earthy aftertaste of potted soil. Dry finish.
Mi Familia: Similar average taste as Grenache, strong peppery finish.
Chicken Alfredo with Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Chardonnay: Hints of lemon brought out the flavor in the chicken. Subtle citrus finish.
Grenache: Brought out the cheese flavors in the Alfredo sauce and parmesan. Balanced salty and dry finish.
Mi Familia: Adds a strong peppery spice to the entire dish.
Chardonnay: Notes of herb from the garlic bread, very tart.
Grenache: Forward taste in nose and mid-mouth. Mellow vanilla compliments the buttery note.
Mi Familia: Deepens the primary cherry and plum. Light pepper finish.
Chardonnay: Pleasant and crisp citrus flavor complimenting the peaches. Brought out the brightness with a subtle lemon secondary note. However unbalanced finish with cinnamon and nutmeg aftertaste on top of the lemon.
Grenache: Symphony of fruits combined with the peach, cherry, cranberry, and strawberries. Harmonious spice aftertaste that left me wanting more.
Mi Familia: Deep aroma and tastes of dark cherry, plum, and peaches. A kick of spice and pepper in secondary notes. Topped with smooth vanilla finish with lingering spices of nutmeg and cinnamon. Absolutely complex and divine!
My overall favorite featured wine with pairings was the Grenache. Great balance between the different fruits, salt, spice, and earth flavors.
As a lifelong scholar, I desire to deepen my education and understanding of wine. In these efforts, I made contact with the Wine Folly to obtain the tools needed to research, and to have a better comprehension of the science and art that is wine. I read their "wine bible" cover to cover, and will continue to use it as a reference in my wine writing and reviews.
A special thank you to the Tasting Room Manager, Marlisa Lochrie, at Badger Mountain Vineyard and Winery for assisting me during the fall release party, and for taking the time to share her knowledge and expertise. Cheers!
Learn more about the Badger Mountain Vineyard and Winery by visiting https://www.badgermtnvineyard.com/
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