AWG Correspondent

Jade Helm

Gorman Winery Tasting Room Photos

Gorman Winery Tasting Room Review

Regions: Puget Sound AVA, Woodinville, Woodinville Tourist District, Washington

Reviewed: May 25, 2014 by Jade Helm
Published: June 4, 2014

Three walls, a pinball machine, pizza delivery, and a guitar collection that could only be described as “b*tchin’”... This is Gorman Winery’s Tasting Room in Woodinville Washington. Set on the main drag through the tourist area, this is an inviting spot to taste and hang out for a bit. The fourth “wall” is made of roll up garage doors creating an open air space including a calming water feature. The breezes blow in on pleasant days, and a fireplace can extend the season a bit. There is limited indoor seating but Gorman, Patterson Cellars next door, and Station Pizzeria share a fair number of outdoor tables and chairs. You can even have your pizza “delivered” two doors down to enjoy with some Gorman wine.

Chris Gorman, owner and winemaker, had stopped by the tasting room the day we were there. We do not think he planned to be there long, but after giving us a generous amount of his attention, he was still talking with guests when we left. It reminded us of the chef/owners at family restaurants who visit the tables even as the kitchen demands attention.

The tasting was extensive with two Chardonnays, a rose, and several combinations of Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Syrah, mostly from the Red Mountain AVA. Gorman makes a Chardonnay, Big Sissy, with a blend of grapes from several vineyards in addition to single vineyard Chardonnay. We tasted Ashan from Conner Lee Vineyard in the Wahluke Slope AVA. After ten months in new French oak, this will appeal to drinkers who favor oak flavors over fruit.

Chris is super excited to tell about the name of his rose - “42 39 58”. These are Rosie’s measurements from AC/DC's Whole Lot of Rosie. Only there isn’t a whole lot of 42 39 58. With only 300 cases produced, Chris predicts it will be sold out “by the time the sun comes out [in Washington].”

Other wine names are related to the varietals - Bully for Cabernet Sauvignon, Pixie for Syrah, and Evil Twin for the Cabernet Sauvignon/Syrah blend. Zachary’s Ladder (Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Petit Verdot) is named for Chris’s son Zachary. His orange painted ladder leans behind the bar. Chris plans subtle clues for guests to discover. Rosie is pictured on the side of the AC/DC pinball machine.

While the names reflect the varietals’ reputations, the wines are very representative, new world renditions of varietal flavors. Bully is a Red Mountain bruiser that screams cassis. Pixie, grown on gravel soil reminiscent of the classic growing regions of the Rhone, is fruit forward with purple and black fruit flavors. We especially enjoyed Evil Twin, a blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon that tasted of purple flowers, blackberries and vanilla. All of the Gorman wines had an approachable tannin structure. Copious amounts of sun and wind in the Red Mountain AVA result in thick-skinned grapes. Chris expertly handles tannins to create wines that can be enjoyed in their youth. Chris’s mission is “To make delicious wines. Choose the finest grapes in Washington state, use the finest coopers and suppliers, don’t settle, and don’t screw it up.” We would say mission accomplished.

For those who like big, fruity new world reds with noticeable yet integrated tannins, Gorman Winery is a good place to stop. Those in search of some variety will also enjoy whites and rose, and even a dessert wine called Cry Baby.

Address & Contact Information: 14505 148th Ave NE Woodinville, Washington 98072. Telephone: 206-351-0719, email:, website: Tasting Hours: Mon-Thurs 3:00-7:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-7:00, Sun 12:00-5:00.

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