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Alex on Wine: Leavenworth's Eagle Creek Winery

Ed Rutledge is a winemaker, and a good one. He’s also my neighbor and friend which is one reason I’ve not written about him and the Eagle Creek Winery before this. I had some silly notion that readers would dismiss my comments as biased nonsense. In a way, the readers would have been mildly accurate. I am biased in that I like well- made wine and I dislike badly made stuff. Ed’s wines are beautifully made.

Eagle Creek winery has two tasting rooms, one on the West end of Front St. in downtown Leavenworth. That tasting room is called d’ Vinery; it is opened daily year round. The other tasting room is at the winery itself some five miles out of town. It’s only opened May thru September.

Both the tasting facilities are competently staffed with delightful people, so it won’t matter which you favor, you’ll be pleased and happy. However, I favor the tasting room at the winery for two reasons. At the winery, you may sit outdoors under the shade of the several trees Ed has carefully tended these past 22 or so years. You get to sit and see the vines in the vineyard, and, if you like, you may take the tour into the winery’s cellar/barrel storage facility.

What matters though is not which facility you visit because the wines will be the same. Wine is, after all, the real reason to visit any winery. On that platform, Eagle Creek Winery has a full list of white and red wines to offer, and all are at reasonable prices nicely reduced for the wine club membership.

All the white wines are beautifully made. I have two favorites though, the Chardonnay and the Adler Weiss, a blend of several white wines including Riesling. This one is a tad sweet, but it’s important to tell you here, the wine at 1.5% residual sugar still qualifies to be called a dry wine.

Ed also makes six red wines, a Merlot, a Montage (blende of Cab Franc and Merlot), a Cab Franc, a Syrah, and two Cabernet sauvignon wines, currently on the list the 2011 Bacchus Cabernet Sauvignon and there’s the 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.

They are tasting the new, 2012 Merlot at both tasting rooms at the moment, and I’m extremely pleased with the wine’s quality and characteristic structure. This is a wine for dinner today, but, in my opinion, this is also a wine for your cellar.

I can’t however end this column without singing the praises of Ed’s Bacchus vineyard Cabernets. As I believe I said coming in to this article, all of the Eagle Creek Winery’s wines are well made. However, the Bacchus cabs…I’m not allowed to use words like that to shout out here about how terrific they are. Get yourself to one of the tasting facilities and find out for yourself.

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