Sunday, December 21, 2014

Forgeron Cellars Finds New Space

August 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Last Sunday, July 29th, 2012, a new winery opened up a tasting room in Woodinville, Washington. A Walla Walla winery that has been around since 2001. A winery that has also received its fair share of accolades over its 10+years of existence.

Personally, I like this winery’s reds best with lamb.

The winery? None other than Forgeron Cellars. French for blacksmith, the choice of the word forgeron is a nod to their Walla Walla tasting room and winery, which is located on the former site of a turn-of the-century blacksmith shop in downtown Walla Walla (A couple of interesting facts: they uncovered hundreds of horseshoes buried within the foundation of the original blacksmith shop, assumed to have been placed there for good luck. Forgeron also refers to artisans who combine their hands and experiences in order to do their given trade well.)

Forgeron Cellar's new Woodinville digs, from left to right: The wine wall, the anvil - a nod to the winery's name, Forgeron, which means blacksmith in French - and the French-born winemaker, winery part-owner, and managing partner Marie-Eve Gilla.

Forgeron Cellar's new Woodinville digs, from left to right: The wine wall, the anvil - a nod to the winery's name, Forgeron, which means blacksmith in French - and the French-born winemaker, winery part-owner, and managing partner Marie-Eve Gilla.

Winemaker/part-owner/managing partner Ms. Marie-Eve Gilla was born in Paris, France and earned her Masters of Enology at the University of Dijon – in French, her Diplome Nationale d’Oenology. (Sounds better in French, doesn’t it?) Marie-Eve moved to the United States in 1991 and has over 20 years of experience making wine professionally, with wineries that include Argyle, Covey Run, Hogue Cellars, and Gordon Brothers. She and her team focus on food-friendly wines that are not short on the unique and complex. Being a good French winemaker, of course terroir is key.

Did I mention that their reds go really well with lamb?

Your Hedonista recently attended an industry night at the shared space of Patit Creek Cellars and now Forgeron Cellars (formerly Patit Creek and Challenger Ridge Winery & Vineyards; Patit Creek has since moved into the former Challenger Ridge space, with Forgeron Cellars now the new occupants of the former Patit Creek space). In addition to the dual tasting room experience, they also have a garage space that they’ve renovated nicely to hold large events of up to 70 enophiles.

left to right:

Some of my personal highlights, from left to right: a bottle of their 2012 Chardonnay "Vigneron Select" ($25); their 2012 Late Harvest Riesling ($19 per bottle); and their 2008 Petite Sirah ($30).

While at this event, I tasted through their offerings, two of which are available only at the Woodinville tasting room: their 2008 Petite Sirah ($30) and their 2008 Syrah ($46). The Petite Sirah hails from the Columbia Valley and is all rose petals and spices that turn into dark chocolate and fruit; they made only 67 cases of this one. The Syrah is from Les Collines Vineyard and is all black pepper and smoked meats (think of pairing it with gypsy sausage, here); only 114 cases were made.

Their 2012 Chardonnay “Vigneron Select” ($25) has an old-world-meets-new-world quality about it, with caramel, chamomile, citrus fruit and pear; not over-oaked, it has a complexity that impressed me (who is, I confess, not typically a big lover of the Chard). I like to pair it with a soft cheese, crackers, and fruit. Their 2009 Merlot ($30) is brighter and more fruit-forward. And their 2012 Late Harvest Riesling ($19) is a dessert wine even the non-dessert wine hedonists out there (assuming there actually are some) will appreciate sipping chilled on a hot summer’s day: it’s very light on the honey and heavy on the aromatics and fruits – fruits like lychee, apricot, peach, and pear. It would go great with an ambrosia salad without taking it over, for example.

So now there’s yet another Walla Walla winery that’s migrated west for those of us here on the West Coast. And yes, they have a wine club, which they’ve dubbed – fittingly – “The Anvil Wine Club.”

Merci beaucoup, Forgeron!

Did I mention that their reds go really, really well with lamb?

Note: In order to comply with FTC Act 16 C.F.R. 255, Heed the Hedonist would like to disclose that it does receive media “comps” and/or media discounts – but not in exchange for favorable coverage, or for withholding unfavorable coverage, of the given venue/meal/performance/product/service.

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