A good friend of ours in the wine industry suggested we meet for a drink at one of the Pacific Northwest’s newest, and hippest, tasting rooms during a recent visit to Seattle. We had been hearing the favourable buzz and were keen to try it ourselves and see what the Estates Wine Room was all about.
We hopped a cab from our downtown hotel down to Pioneer Square, though we could have easily walked. If you have not been to Pioneer Square for several years (we had not) you will be pleasantly surprised. The Square, just on the southern edge of downtown, and near the lake, has gone through a significant makeover. The old cobblestone streets and brick storefronts of Seattle’s oldest and most historic neighbourhood are still there, but new paint, flower boxes and an influx of high-end tenants has made this a chic and trendy spot. Pioneer Square has become a foodie’s Mecca with a number of interesting restaurants and cocktail bars to visit.
The Estates Wine Room is near the entrance to Pioneer Square, just off of Occidental Street. It was created by Crimson Wine Group, owner of eight different wineries in Washington, Oregon and California. The Estates Wine Room offers wines from three of their wineries as well as a Champagne that Crimson is the exclusive US distributor for. The Estates Wine Room offers A Bergere from Champagne, Archery Summit from Willamette Valley in Oregon, Seven Hills from Walla Walla Valley, Washington and Double Canyon also from Washington, in Horse Heaven Hills.
As we walked up to the doorway we knew we were going somewhere special. The entrance is an impressive grey façade against the original stone work that speaks of elegance and sophistication, looking more like a turn-of-the-century bank than a tasting room. Once inside, the theme changes from traditional and classic to trendy and modern.
Gleaming white tables sit on blonde hardwood floors to show sleek modern lines. At the entrance is a bar and serving counter with a backlit wine rack in the base. Narrowly spaced columns wrapped in a vineyard photo occupy one wall that stands in contrast to the exposed brick of the other walls. Taken together, along with the classical music playing in the background, they create a vibe of comfortable sophistication. Just the environment you want for tasting wine! At the back of the room is a private room that looks perfect for private parties or corporate events of up to 20 or 30 people.
We began our tasting with the Champagne they distribute, the A. Bergére NV Brut Cuvee Selection. This is a blend of 50% Chardonnay and 50% Pinot Noir, all from villages in the Cote des Blancs. This is a wonderfully dry Champagne with crisp green apple notes along with citrus and hints of almonds. Very Good+
We then moved on to two Pinot Noirs from Oregon’s Archery Summit Vineyards. Located in Dayton, Archery Summit owns 120 acres of vineyards planted mostly to Pinot Noir (with some Pinot Gris) in the Dundee Hills and Ribbon Ridge AVAs in the Northern Willamette Valley. We started with the 2015 Archery Summit Red Hills Pinot Noir. The Red Hills Vineyard is a 23 acre parcel in the Dundee Hills AVA planted to Dijon and Pommard clones of Pinot Noir. Dundee Hills’ Jory soils are deep and well drained and always impart a slightly earthy note to the Pinot Noir grown on it. This wine showed plenty of dark, macerated cherry on a medium+ frame. Notes of baking spice, earth and cracked pepper were delivered powerfully but with balance. A beautiful Pinot that cries out to be paired with food, we bought a bottle after the tasting and took it across the square to London Plane where we enjoyed a delicious farm-to-table dinner. (Something we highly recommend you do!) Excellent+
We finished off our tasting with the 2015 Archery Summit Pinot Noir Arcus. This is one powerful Pinot, definitely a wine for those who want impact, which this delivers in spades. Even more extracted than the Red Hills this wine was more in the style of Pinots from the Central Coast of California rather than the more traditional elegance that Oregon has developed a reputation for. Dark, opulent and structured, this wine was just a baby and surely has a long life of further development for those with dark, cold cellars. Excellent for now with potential to improve as it ages. Unfortunately we did not have time to try any of their delicious looking tasting plates nor their wines from Seven Hills or Double Canyon. But we will certainly be returning to do just that and we will tell you how those tasted in a subsequent article.
The Estates Wine Room
307 Occidental Ave South
Seattle, WA 98104
12pm – 6pm