Top 10 Wines of the 2018 Wine Bloggers Conference

There was a lot of wine poured during last month’s Wine Bloggers Conference in Walla Walla (understatement of the year, I’m sure!). Much of it was tasted at a rapid pace. Therefore, when I find myself still thinking of certain wines days after such an experience, I know they’re something special. These are the wines I will seek out again.

Many thanks to the sponsors of the conference, without whom we would not have been able to experience these wines.

Avennia 2016 Arnaut Syrah

Ever since this world class winery opened its doors in Woodinville, I’ve had some of its wine in my cellar. The stunning Arnaut Syrah crafted with fruit from the legendary Boushey Vineyards in the Yakima Valley speaks to the source by offering savory notes of Mediterranean herbs.

Ca’ Lojera Annata Storica 1999 Lugana DOC

The Trebbiano based wines poured by Italy’s Lugana DOC were lovely. However, this golden hued aged white wine was a showstopper.

Force Majeure 2016 SJR Vineyard Syrah

Truly, all of the Force Majeure wines I was fortunate to taste were stellar. This Syrah, however, stood out because of its distinctive flinty and smoky notes.

g. Cuneo Cellars Ripasso

This is a labor intensive wine crafted in the traditional Italian method of drying out grapes to concentrate flavors. Gino Cuneo says it’s the only wine in Washington made in this style.

LAN Rioja Gran Reserva

I sidestepped into the room where LAN Rioja was being poured on my way to the Cheeses of Europe seminar. It turns out that the LAN Rioja Gran Reserva pairs incredibly well with Mimolette cheese.

Laxas Sensum Brut 2016

Sparkling Albarino is extremely limited in production. As such, this wine from Rias Baixas is rarely experienced. Lucky for me the seat next to me was vacant, so I was able to taste twice as much of this refreshing quaffer.

Mullan Road Cellars 2015 Red Blend

This wine crafted with fruit from Washington State’s Columbia Valley oozes chocolate notes. Need I say more?

Robert Weil 2016 Kiedrich Grafenberg Riesling Spatlese

I’ve always adored German Riesling and wines like this make me love it even more. With sustainable farming, Asian pear notes, and a honeyed finish what’s not to love?

Otis Kenyon 2017 Rousanne

This Washington wine was poured during the speed tasting rounds, and my tweet says, “a more crisp version of Roussanne from @otiskenyonwine! I’m thinking scallops and vanilla risotto for a pairing.” To which Otis Kenyon replied, “Yes please! You cook, we’ll bring the wine!” I can’t wait.

For a deeper dive into this wine check out Getting Geeky with Otis Kenyon Roussanne on the Spitbucket blog.

The Walls 2016 Concrete Mama Syrah

When your friends see that you have a bottle of wine from The Walls in your hand, they get even more friendly! This Walla Walla Valley wine was the highlight of our evening during the closing dinner.

Want more? Check out Decanted Podcast’s Wines We Loved from the 2018 Wine Bloggers Conference.


Wine Bloggers Conference
Visit Walla Walla
Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance
Consorzio Tutela Lugana
Force Majeure
g. Cuneo Cellars
Bodegas LAN
Rias Baixas
Mullan Road Cellars
Loosen Bros. USA
Otis Kenyon
The Walls