News & Awards
Three Rivers Awarded Two Golds and a Silver at 2009 Sommelier Challenge
The 2009 Sommelier Challenge
was held this year over the September 26th weekend in San Diego. Our 2007 Columbia Valley Merlot
and 2008 Columbia Valley Chardonnay
were awarded Gold ratings, while our 2008 Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc
came home with a Silver.
Geoff Tate's Insania Featured on NWPR
Northwest Public Radio recently broadcast a story on wineries in the Northwest that have partnered with celebrities in their winemaking efforts. Leading off the story was Insania, our collaboration with Queensryche's Geoff Tate.
To read the story, go to http://www.nwpr.org/07/HomepageArticles/Article.aspx?n=6190, or scroll to the bottom to listen.
RJ's Wine Blog Recommends Three Rivers Cabernet Sauvignon
We were recently sent a copy of a review from RJ's Wine Blog on our 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley) which he rated 89 points. Although we are sold out of the 2004 at the winery you may be able to find a bottle at your local wine dealer. We do currently have 7 cases of the 2005 left which is just as good if not better.
To see the Quickfire Wine Review from RJ's Wine Blog click the link: http://www.rjswineblog.com/2009/04/quickfire-wine-reviews-primus-three.html
Winery Spotlight: Three Rivers featured on Wine Skinny!
Four of Three Rivers wines created by winemaker Holly Turner were featured online at the Wine Skinny! 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007 Chardonnay and 2006 Merlot.
To view the article please visit: http://www.wineskinny.com/2009/06/24/winery-spotlight-three-rivers-walla-walla/
2007 Chardonnay listed as Wine of the Week on Wines Northwest!
Wine Writer for Wines Northwest, Chuck Hill, has included Three Rivers 2007 Chardonnay on his list of More Versatile Chardonnays
for the week of May 21,2009. Check out the review here:http://www.winesnw.com/chuckhill_winesofweek.htm
Voted Best Local Winery 5 Years in a Row!
Three Rivers Winery has been voted 'Best Local Winery' for the 5th year in a row by readers of the Walla Walla Union Bulletin Newspaper. Thank you to everyone who voted for us. We will continue to strive to make your visit at Three Rivers enjoyable and memorable!
Three Rivers one of Wine & Spirits Year's Best Cabernet!2005 Cabernet Sauvignon (Columbia Valley)
Besides scoring 90 points and being on Wine & Spirits list of the Year's Best Cabernet's for 2008, Three Rivers 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon has one of the best price points to boot! Just $21 per bottle.
Wine Spectator Interview with Geoff Tate about 2007 Insania
Wine Spectator recently interviewed Geoff Tate of Queensryche about his collaboration with winemaker Holly Turner in creating his 2007 Insania wine. Click here to see the full article: www.winespectator.com/Wine/Features/0,1197,4694,00.html
2005 Boushey Vineyards Syrah proves that Washington State Syrah is not waivering.
The tasting panel at the San Francisco Chronicle selected Three Rivers 2005 Boushey Vineyards Syrah as an example of a great 2005 vintage for Washington State Syrah. The vintage offered a cool spring, followed by a hot and dry summer. Though some people think syrah is falling behind in popularity, Washington syrah balances ripeness and acidity, still making it one of the best varietals grown in the state.
Panelists commented, "On a Yakima Valley slope Dick Boushey grows some of Washington's best fruit- always mindful of how vintners use it. Walla Walla's Three Rivers got enough for just 254 cases of wine, but made the most of it. It's a flashier style, but with lots of oak (54% new) but also white pepper, sweet blueberry and a firm mineral backbone. The tannins are nuanced and refined, and the fruit and aromatics shine through beautifully."
2006 Chardonnay Boasts 91 Point Rating!
The highest rating we have ever received from Wine Spectator on our Chardonnay happened in this month's issue of the magazine. Harvey Steiman gave it 91 points and described the wine as, "Beautifully silky and refined, with lively acidity to keep the plush grapefruit-accented pineapple, spice and cream flavors zippy, finishing harmoniously. Drink now through 2012."
2005 Merlot Rated 90 points by Harvey Steiman of Wine Spectator!
In a review of Washington State wines, Harvey Steiman of Wine Spectator Insider, rated Three Rivers 2005 Merlot (Columbia Valley) 90 points. Of the 20 Washington wines featured in the arcticle, the Three Rivers 2005 Merlot was the best value on the list as well. Harvey Steiman descibes the wine as, "Lithe and nicely focused, with pretty cherry and currant flavors that hint at chocolate as the finish sails smoothly on, lingering enticingly. Drink now through 2012."
Wine Expert Andy Perdue's Dream CaseThree Rivers 2004 Champoux Cabernet Sauvignon included in the Dream Dozen!
The January/February 2008 issue of Seattle Homes and Lifestyles magazine included an article written by wine expert Andy Perdue. Andy writes,
"Selecting a 'dream case' of wine from Washington used to be fairly simple: Pick Quilceda Creek, Leonetti, Woodward Canyon and L’Ecole for starters, then toss in a DeLille and something from Chateau Ste. Michelle. Go esoteric on a few selections just to look as if you know what you’re doing, and you’re done.
Well, with nearly 500 wineries now operating in Washington, the job of sorting through what’s available and narrowing it down to 12 great wines is no longer a simple matter. Yes, the wineries I’ve listed above still are among the finest in the Pacific Northwest (on the entire West Coast, in fact), but it would be a bit like cheating to include them now.
Instead, I have come up with a great case of wine without leaning—much—on the crutch of notoriety. I’ve selected one wine each from 12 different categories of wine. This made my job even more difficult because I selected only one cabernet sauvignon, for example, when there are dozens upon dozens that could and should make the grade.
Thus, here is my Washington dream dozen—all wines that were released in the past year or so:" CABERNET SAUVIGNONThree Rivers Winery 2004 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Horse Heaven Hills)
"The finest vineyard in Washington is Champoux Vineyard in the Horse Heaven Hills south of Prosser. From it come some of the country’s finest wines, especially cabernet sauvignon. It’s such a good vineyard that wineries including Quilceda Creek, Woodward Canyon and Andrew Will are part owners just so they can get the grapes they want every year. One of the finest wines coming from these grapes is made by Holly Turner of Three Rivers in Walla Walla. Here’s a showpiece wine to bring out when you really want to impress someone."
To see the rest of the 'dream case' please visit www.seattlehomesmag.com
for the full story.
Three Rivers earns two spots on the Wine & Spirits list of the 2007 Years Best Syrah!
Over the past year, critics for Wine & Spirits Magazine tasted 371 Syrah from California, Oregon and Washington. Included in the 54 wines that received the strongest praise from the critics were the 2004 Ahler Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley) and the 2004 Syrah (Columbia Valley). Each of these Three Rivers Syrah earned 92 points, which is defined as 'exceptional' according to Wine & Spirits standards.
Three Rivers One of Top 12 Wine Clubs to Join!Seattle Times Case Study November 11, 2007
Seattle Times wine writer Paul Gregutt scoured the state to come up with a dozen of the best wine clubs to join. The wine clubs listed had to be open to signing up new members, and offer rare, one-of-a-kind releases. Three Rivers Winery was one of five Walla Walla wine clubs featured. To read more visit www.seattletimes.com
The Wine Advocate Recognizes 5 Three Rivers Wines with 90+ Scores!
Jay Miller of The Wine Advocate
visited Washington this summer, focusing on the Walla Walla region, to review wines from the 2004 and 2005 vintage. He describes Washington as "one of the world's most exciting viticultural regions". 2004 was a challenging vintage due to some winter freezes, while the 2005 vintage has been described as problem free, and in some opinions a 'perfect' vintage. The five wines Miller rated 90 points or higher to Three Rivers Winery are listed below: 92
-2004 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Horse Heaven Hills)91
-2005 Champoux Vineyard Merlot (Horse Heaven Hills)90
-2004 Boushey Vineyards Syrah (Yakima Valley)90
-2005 Malbec (Columbia Valley)90
-2005 Meritage White Wine (Columbia Valley)
Noted Wine Writer Paul Gregutt Lauds Winemaker Holly Turner"Turner is one of a small number of winemakers who seem to have a built-in gift for achieving balance and complexity."
When Holly Turner took over as head winemaker for Three Rivers Winery in 2002 she established a style distinctly her own. In an interview with Paul Gregutt she explains, "For me it's all about balance. I don't want too much wood or alcohol; I want everything to flow on the palate. My wine should be juicy in the mouth but not too toasty, with no burn. Everything I do with wine is based on tasting and balance."
Paul Gregutt recommends the 2004 River's Red (Columbia Valley), 2005 Grenache (Wahluke Slope) and the 2004 Chelle den Millie Vineyard Cabernet Franc (Yakima Valley) in his arcticle, along with mention of many other offerings available at Three Rivers Winery.
To read the full story visit the Seattle Times website at www.seattletimes.com
and enter keyword 'Three Rivers Winery', or you can go to Paul Gregutt's website at www.appellationamerica.com
Pacific Northwest Wine of the Week!2003 Columbia Valley Syrah
Wine Press Northwest's Wine of the Week is an independent opinion based on double and single blind tastings. They proclaim, "A Syrah of this ilk often commands at least $30, particularly from a Walla Walla winery, but not this one. Ahler, Weinbau, Milbrandt and Patina Creek vineyards play roles in this very cherry release that includes aromas of oak, vanilla, leather and cedar. Rich black cherries, blackberries, blueberries, anise and milk chocolate line up alongside sturdy tannins to make for a penetrating wine." Food Matches:
Pair with roasted meats such as duck, lamb, beef or turkey.
New Varietals, New Releases and Winery Exclusives!
Winemaker Holly Turner is doing a great job of bringing new ideas to the table. She has been listening to customer requests and is now making a small number of new varietals. These new wines are sold exclusively through the Three Rivers Winery tasting room and will not be distributed. The newest release is a 2005 Grenache (Wahluke Slope). 160 cases of this wine were bottled. We also produced 130 cases of 2004 Chelle den Millie Cabernet Franc (Yakima Valley). A fine example of what the finicky Cabernet Franc grape can do.
Coming soon is a 2005 Malbec Merlot and our newest white wine, a 2006 Reisling. Check with the winery for release dates!
We have added a few of our finest limited production wines to our list of 'Winery Exclusives' . They include our 2004 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (Horse Heaven Hills) and 2004 Ahler Vineyard Syrah (Walla Walla Valley). Remember if you are a wine club member you are guaranteed access to these limited release wines and will receive preference in ordering.
If you can't make it to the winery for tasting you can always order through our website or by calling us at 509-526-9463.
Best of Class and Double Gold Awarded to Three Rivers Signature Wine!Results from the 2006 LA County Fair and Central Washington State Fair Wine Competitions.
The 2003 Meritage Red Wine was the star at two recent wine competitions. Just released this past May, this wine is already living up to its position as the winery's signature wine. Awards included Best of Class and Gold Medal at the L.A. County Fair 'Wines of the World Competition', and a Double Gold at the Central Washington State Fair Wine Competition.
The Kings of Cabernet Sauvignon!'Fab Cab' Tasting Results from the largest single-blind tasting of Northwest Cabernet Sauvignon by Wine Press Northwest.
In a gathering of 128 Northwest Cabernet Sauvignon, Three Rivers Winery earned one of nine "Outstanding" ratings for our 2003 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. That's less than 7%, so acclaim didn't come easily. Also noteworthy was our 2003 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon with an "Excellent" rating. Already shining in their youth, we cannot wait to see what additional aging does for these 'Fab Cabs'.
2006 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition ResultsThree Rivers Winery brings home two gold medals!
Winemaker Holly Turner has done it again! This year the spotlight is on the 2003 Columbia Valley Merlot and the 2004 Meritage White Wine. Both earned Gold Medals at the 2006 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. At $19 per bottle Gold couldn't taste any better!
Three Rivers wines served at the Governor's Mansion!
Wines from Three Rivers Winery have been served at several events in Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire's Mansion. In a letter to winery co-owner Duane Wollmuth, Governor Gregoire acknowledges the White Meritage, River's Red Table Wine and Columbia Valley Merlot. They were most recently served this past December at a "Dinner with Governor and First Gentleman". Governor Gregoire complimented our wines stating they "received high praise from our guests" and "have all been a big hit at the Mansion".
Three Rivers earns rare Double Platinum award!Wine Press Northwest 6th annual 'Best of the Best in the great Northwest' Platinum Tasting.
In a blind tasting of all gold medal winning wines in 2005 from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia, the 2002 Champoux Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon earned the highest honor; Double Platinum.
Also receiving honors were the 2003 Boushey Vineyards Syrah and the 2002 Meritage Red Wine with Platinum
Receiving Double Gold
were the 2002 Columbia Valley Syrah, 2003 Pepper Bridge Sangiovese, 2003 Meritage White Wine and 2003 Columbia Valley Chardonnay.
Winemaker Holly Turner dazzles Wall Street Journal!Adding Variety to Varietals by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher.
The authors from the Tastings
column of the Wall Street Journal always wanted to conduct a tasting of Meritage White wines but could never find enough to do a good sampling. They were pleased to find a bottle of Three Rivers Winery 2002 Meritage White Wine one day. In their words, "It was sophisticated and interesting, with a combination of ripe fruit, rich fullness, nice spices and earth. We'd serve it at a fancy dinner party in a minute." They feel that Americans are increasingly looking for something beyond varietal wines and are more willing to give blends a try. "Sometimes wines that are blended offer the best of both worlds, which was certainly the case here".
Merlot Earns Prestigious Recognition at Esteemed Competition The Walla Walla winery’s 1999 Columbia Valley Merlot is the only merlot represented among the 34 finalists selected from approximately 350 highly-acclaimed wines.
(Hot Springs, VA)--The 1999 Columbia Valley Merlot from Three Rivers Winery was the only merlot chosen as a finalist at the esteemed Jefferson Cup Invitational wine competition held at Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest Retreat near Hot Springs, Virginia. Part of a weeklong celebration of the distinguished statesman’s culinary and cultural contributions, the competition features 350 invited wines selected for exemplifying American viticulture and winemaking.
According to competition organizers, the Jefferson Cup Invitational does not grant the traditional gold and silver awards seen at most wine competitions because they feel all invited wines are worthy of a gold ranking. Instead, two Jefferson Cups are awarded at the competition, one for vinifera and one for non-vinifera varietals. Once invited to participate, the Three Rivers merlot went through three rounds of judging to be named as a finalist in the competition.
“This competition undoubtedly features some of the nation’s finest wines by some of the nation’s best winemakers,” says Three Rivers winemaker Charlie Hoppes. “It is a real pleasure to be among such good company and see our wines perform very well.”
The Three Rivers 1999 Columbia Valley Merlot, part of the winery’s inaugural vintage, is a deeply concentrated, well balanced wine displaying aromas of black cherry, plum and spice, complemented by a backdrop of French oak. The wine is well integrated with a nice balance between the fruit and the oak. The varied components in the wine come from the grapes grown in distinctly different terroirs of the appellation.
The 1999 Columbia Valley Merlot was also recently awarded a gold medal and the Best of Class Award at the 62nd annual Los Angeles County Fair wine competition, widely considered one of the most prestigious of its kind in the United States, with more than 2,000 wines from 400 wineries participating. It is one of eight wines released this year, including a 1999 Sangiovese (Columbia Valley), two 1999 Syrahs (Columbia Valley and Boushey Vineyards), 2000 Late Harvest Gewurztraminer (Walla Walla Valley), two 1999 Cabernet Sauvignons (Columbia Valley and Champoux Vineyard), 2000 Sangiovese (Pepper Bridge Vineyard), and 1999 Meritage Red Wine.
All of these wines are available now at Three Rivers Winery, located midway between Walla Walla and Lowden along HWY 12, as well as at wine shops and restaurants throughout Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. These wines can also be ordered online through the Wine Shop
Vineyard Spotlight - Alder Ridge VineyardEvery year, thousands of tourists flock to eastern Washington to experience the highlights of wine country living—awe-inspiring mountain and vineyard vistas, the scent of ripening grapes on the vine, and so much more.
However, for John Farmer, General Manager of Alder Ridge Vineyard, these are everyday things. After all, John’s home is stationed far above hundreds of acres of vineyard, providing the awe-inspiring views. And as General Manager of Alder Ridge, his days are filled with a connection to the vineyard he tends.
John clearly enjoys the work and lifestyle he has chosen. To him, viticulture—the art and science of growing grapes—is profoundly fulfilling. “There is something deeply satisfying about viticulture. You can watch the progress you make each day, and if you are lucky enough to beat Mother Nature on her terms, you have truly accomplished something.”
Alder Ridge Vineyard is located 15 miles west of the small town of Paterson, Washington. Owned by Winemakers, L.L.C., Alder Ridge is a sprawling 812-acre vineyard set atop a series of dry, sparsely vegetated ridges 450 to 950 feet above the Columbia River.
John has worked in agriculture most of his life. He holds both a bachelors and masters degree in horticulture, and has been at Alder Ridge Vineyard since 1998. Working with a year-round staff of six people and a temporary workforce ranging from 45 to 60 additional workers, John capitalizes on the dry conditions to minimize the grape canopy and the crop levels. Minimizing both allows him to not only control the workload, but also maximize the fruit quality.
The same hot, dry conditions which make Alder Ridge such an ideal site for growing grapes in the summer, also make the site one of the most secure locations for surviving the occasional severe cold winters that threatened most of eastern Washington’s bountiful vineyards.
“No site in eastern Washington is 100 % secure from winter cold,” John says. “But if Alder Ridge Vineyard is damaged, then there will be few vineyards left untouched.”
This nearly frost-free environment, combined with the steep south facing slopes and resulting high quality fruit are some of the reasons Three Rivers covets the grapes from Alder Ridge Vineyard, according to winemaker Charlie Hoppes. “Alder Ridge has terrific potential for producing very high quality grapes and the vineyard represents one of the warmest year-round sites in eastern Washington,” he says.
Three Rivers currently sources Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot from Adler Ridge Vineyard and looks forward to a long, productive relationship with John and Winemakers, L.L.C.