On our latest “date night” my husband took me to Lauren Ashton Cellars. It was a first visit and we really enjoyed it. Our host was Janine and even though she was the only one there, and quite busy, we never felt we lacked for attention.
Janine told us that the name of the winery was inspired by Kit Singh’s, the winemaker, children: Ashley Lauren and Ashton Troy. Kit was a dentist who really enjoyed sampling all the various wine regions in Sonoma, Napa and France. In 2009 he decided to start his own winery and Lauren Ashton was born.
We really enjoyed the tasting room. It is casual and comfortable. The night we were there a fabulous young artist Ali Diana, a local singer/songwriter was playing. It was really nice to have a “smokey” soundtrack to our evening. There is a bar in the tasting room and seating at smaller tables as well as nice outdoor seating. Something for everyone.
The wines were good. The grapes come from Columbia Valley: Dineen, Dionysus-Weinbau, Quintessence, Ambassador and Sagemoor. All well-established Washington Vineyards. Because the Columbia Valley AVA is the largest appellation in Washington, there can be quite a variety to the grapes.
There is a $20 tasting fee that is waived with a $45 purchase. The wines we tasted on our visit:
2020 Cuvee meline – This wine is a Sav Blanc and Semillon Blend. High acidity and a bit of pineapple. This would be good ice cold with a summer salad. $30/bottle
2021 Chenin Blanc – Fermented in new French Oak. A bit of green apple. $28/bottle
2022 Rose – equal parts Grenache and Mourvèdre – quite oaky (Spent time in American Oak?) I think our taste needed to be colder $25/bottle
2017 Merlot- lots of berry notes, it was chalky without too much minerality. Good with tomato-based pasta sauce. Bold. $45/bottle (We did purchase this)
2017 Cuvee Arlette – Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sav & Petit Verdot Blend – Spicy in a good way $58/bottle
2016 Syrah – full-bodied, chalk finish but not overwhelming $48/bottle (We did purchase this)
2017 Proprietor’s Cuvee- Cab Sav, Cab Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot Blend – Silky and smooth tannins yet it has complexity $68/bottle
This is a nice winery and well worth a visit. I think it proves my point that “It’s Not Just Grapes” as Janine, the atmosphere and entertainment made this an all-around fun experience.