Alexandria Nicole Cellars tasting rooms are known for their secret door which leads to a private rock start tasting experience!
During our recent visit to Woodinville, Washington, Alexandria Nicole Cellars was top on our list. With more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms in this community about 30 miles northeast of Seattle, that’s saying a lot.
ANC made an impression on me several years ago when I visited their small tasting room in Prosser, Washington. As I watched, owner Jarrod Boyle walked to a bookshelf. I thought he was going to show us an interesting book. Instead the bookshelf swung away revealing the members-only tasting room. Inside we tasted wine like rock stars.
In the Hollywood Winery District ANC tasting room in Woodinville, the members-only tasting room is open when business is slower. The tasting room is located in the old Hollywood School, a stylish brick building with architectural touches and nice landscaping.
The lower level, has a laid back, funky wine cellar feel. We found a small outside patio with an interesting sculpture and some old auto memorabilia and settled in for a tasting.
ANC Elegance and Power!
The winery, which is based in Horse Heaven Hills overlooking the Columbia River, is owned by Jarrod and Ali (namesake of the winery) Boyle. Their vineyard, dubbed Destiny Ridge, has not only the production facility, but three “tiny houses” available for rent. One of the tiny houses, all the rage on HGTV, even features wine on tap. We like that sort of plumbing.
ANC features some of the best tasting wine in the Pacific Northwest, so we were anxious to get started. We led off with the 2014 vintage of Shepherd’s Mark, a blend of Roussane, Marsanne and Viognier. This is a quenching white Rhone blend. The 2015 Chardonnay is a refreshing Horse Heaven Hills wine aged in oak and on the lees.
It’s not often you get a chance to have a side-by-side tasting of two 2015 Viognier from the same winery. It was the 2015 Reserve Viognier versus the 2015 Crawford Vineyard Viognier. The reserve wine rocked with pear and honeysuckle flavors while the Crawford was more floral.
In memory of Prince, we sampled the 2014 Purple Reign Grenache. The wine was served with a slight chill – quite nice since it was heating up outside on the patio. This had traces of vanilla, caramel and candied berries. Light and lovely!
The ANC range is solid up and down the lineup, but I have two strong recommendations. For Syrah lovers, the 2014 Jet Black Syrah, is a sultry, big wine with strong tannins an an inky dark purple color. The 2013 Quarry Butte is a Cab dominated blend with Merlot and Cab Franc with lesser amounts of Malbec, Syrah and Petit Verdot. For $26, this is a solid red blend that showcases the rich flavors of Washington.
We finished with two wines from the reserve tasting list. The 2013 Destiny is the flagship Bordeaux blend that features 24 months in French Oak. The tannins are integrated in this luscious wine. It features complex flavors of blackberry, herbs and spice. the 2013 Little Big Man Petit Verdot is jammy with extracted blackberry flavors and a savory finish.
The school bell didn’t ring, but we could see it on the side of the building and knew this round of tasting was at an end. Don’t ask for whom the bell tolls, it is merely a subtle reminder for you to seek out Alexandria Nicole Cellars wines, or better yet, visit their wonderful Woodinville tasting room.