This last Saturday we joined Warr-King Wines for another ‘At The Tasting Room’ experience. They partnered with local pastry chef Aliyah Davis of Black Magic Sweets to create custom macaron flavors that paired perfectly with their new Rosé releases. Rosé and macarons? What’s not to love!
Founded in 2013 by Lisa Warr-King Packer to highlight the uniqueness of Washington wine – they embrace vintage variation, with each vintage a reflection of the vineyard, region and year.
They take a minimalist approach to winemaking and believe in letting the wine be the wine it’s going to be. Washington State offers a unique and distinct terroir that allows many varietals to thrive in its varied soils, creating fruit that evinces a sense of place. This terroir creates bold, structured wines; fruit forward flavors and elegant finishes. They value their relationships with growers and they honor their efforts by producing unique, delicious wines that represent their hard work.
They intend to stay small and stay focused, offering a limited production of carefully crafted, quality wines to be enjoyed on any occasion.
ABOUT THE WINEMAKER
After spending 20 years in the high tech marketing world, Lisa was ready to move in a new direction.
As a lifelong gourmet who developed a taste for Oregon’s earthy Pinots in her college days, she had a great interest in wine. With prodding from a friend, she took a few classes at Lake Washington Tech. One class led to another and more classes led to an internship at Patterson Cellars. One harvest and she was hooked.
Lisa completed the Wine Technology Program at Lake Washington Technical College and then a two-year certification program in Enology from Washington State University.
She spent two years with Patterson Cellars learning the business and making a bit of her own wine in collaboration with John Patterson. She spent a harvest at Chateau Ste. Michelle learning how to make white wines on a large scale. Yearning to get back to the fruit and the hands-on experience, she decided to make a go of it on her own and Warr-King Wines was launched.
In Lisa’s spare time she enjoys entertaining, traveling and drinking wine with friends and family.
Warr-King Wines is located in Woodinville’s Warehouse District. Located on the hill above Woodinville and Highway 522, the Warehouse District is a bit like the Meatpacking District of New York. This is a smaller, grittier, no-frills style of winemaking. The results, however, are anything but. And what it lacks in scenery and façade, the Warehouse District more than makes up for in vibe and taste. For wine, beer and spirits enthusiasts, there’s a density here that’s to die for. This is the home of more boutique wineries per square foot than any wine region in the world—right in Seattle’s backyard.
You’ll know when you’ve hit the heart of the Warehouse District because you’ll hear the buzz. With winemakers packed tooth-to-jowl, there’s an energy here that fuels both friendly competition and amazing cooperation. So much so, that you’ll often see wineries borrowing and lending equipment, expertise and manpower to one another—especially at crush season. This is where the person pouring is often the winemaker, and the personalities you’ll meet and the methods and opinions they share make the perfect pairing to any glass. You’ll learn as much about the process as you do about the palate.
Warr-King Wines’ tasting room is a true Warehouse District winery, but they have done an amazing job at transforming the space in a way that truly speaks to their story and their wines. The tasting room is cozy yet full of personality. They often have local artists feature their work in the tasting room. Currently, large pieces of art from local artist Tami Figiola are on display throughout the tasting room.
Warr-King Wines has both indoor and outdoor seating options. For outdoor seating, they have several large tents set up towards the back of the tasting room. This would be the perfect spot to catch all the winemaking action as these tents are positioned near the production space of several neighboring wineries. There is plenty of indoor seating too. Their indoor seating is broken up into two spaces: the main tasting room and the barrel room. My favorite spot is located in the barrel room. There is something about enjoying a tasting while being surrounded by the wines in barrel. It feels almost like special treatment to be seated amongst the barrels, but that is a normal occurrence within the Warehouse District.
Currently, Warr-King Wines is open Saturdays from 12-5pm and Sundays from 1-5pm. They highly encourage making reservations to visit the tasting room. Depending on availability, they are happy to accommodate walk-up guests as well. You can make a reservation online here.
~ Written by Amber Schmitt, Marketing Director of Woodinville Wine Country
As mentioned above, Warr-King Wines partnered with local pastry chef Aliyah Davis of Black Magic Sweets to create custom macaron flavors that paired perfectly with their new Rosé releases. Rosé and macarons? What’s not to love! I had to try it for myself.
LET’S TALK WINE
Here is the current tasting menu I enjoyed at Warr-King Wines:
- 2020 Lily Frances Rosé: 100% Petit Verdot
- 2020 Marie Noelle Rosé: 100% Syrah
- 2016 Syrah: 100% Syrah
- 2017 Tenacity: 75% Mourvèdre, 25% Syrah
- 2016 Merlot: 100% Merlot
Given this last weekend was their Rosé release, I will share the macaron pairings below as well.
Pairing #1: 2020 Lily Frances Rosé + Cherry almond jam macaron with orange zest and almond buttercream
This wine started as an experiment in 2019 and quickly turned out to be a crowd favorite. This wine is named after Lisa’s daughter Lily. This rosé is a gorgeous pale pink with flavors of tropical fruits on the palate. The perfect spring and summer rosé as it is just a tad sweet but vibrant as well.
The cherry almond jam macaron was such a fun pairing for this rosé. The subtle notes of almond worked very well with the prominent tropical fruits of this wine.
This unique 100% Petit Verdot Rosé captures the magic of spring in a glass. Named after our winemaker’s daughter, this wine is vibrant and full of character with well-placed acidity and a touch of sweetness. Fresh strawberries and red cherries on the nose with a dance of passionfruit, nectarine and florals on the palate. Perfect with appetizers, salads, and grilled salmon.
Pairing #2: 2020 Marie Noelle Rosé + Grapefruit marmalade macaron with a vanilla buttercream border.
This wine has quite the interesting back story. Winemaker Lisa Packer hosted an exchange student from France several years in a row. After getting to know this student very well, Lisa went to visit his family in France. This student’s family also made wine – specifically rosé. What a small world! While visiting, Lisa got to know his grandmother Marie Noelle who had made the rosé wine for the family. See where this is going? Soon after, this wine got it’s name in honor of Marie Noelle.
This wine is exactly what you expect when you think of rosé. You get flavors of strawberry and raspberry on the palate as well as floral aromas. Paired with the grapefruit marmalade macaron it is a match made in heaven.
Pairing #3: 2020 Marie Noelle Rosé + Elderberry buttercream macaron with a sweet yet tart raspberry jam
Who doesn’t love elderberry? This macaron pairing was very elegant and a great end to our macaron pairing. The elderberry buttercream elevated the floral notes of this wine.
100% Syrah, direct-to-press. Aromas of wild strawberries and zest of citrus. This wine bursts with red raspberry and fresh grapefruit on the palate, with hints of rose petal and lavender. Bright acidity, plus a lovely round texture and elegant mineral finish that will leave your mouth watering for more.
No that I have covered the macaron pairing and rosé releases let’s move on to the rest of their tasting flight. Red wine lover’s, this part is for you!
A great representation of Wa State Syrah. Dark fruits on the palate and in the aromas of this wine. Perfect for that wine and cheese night with good friends.
*Fun fact: This wine won Double Gold at the San Francisco International 2020.
This dark and full bodied wine is not only dense in color but also fruit. Blueberry and blackberry fill the nose and the mouth. A hint of olive, mocha, burnt sugar and pepper round out the finish. This one will make you fall in love with Washington Syrah and stain your teeth purple. Pairs well with roasted meats, blue cheese and a good piece of chocolate.
A portion of the proceeds from this wine go to benefit Stem Paths Innovation Network and their SPIN Girls program, which provides access to STEM-based academic workshops and opportunities to young women and communities of color in King County. This wine is inspired by all the determined souls who follow their passion and refuse to let anything stand in their way. Winemaker Lisa Warr-King Packer created TENACITY with the hopes of encouraging more women to pursue the sciences and get involved in winemaking!
This wine is fierce and lively.
Inspired by all of the determined souls who follow their passion, don’t take no for an answer and refuse to let anything stand in their way. This blend is made up of 75% Mourvèdre and 25% Syrah. Spicy, herbaceous, and light bodied.
Goodness this Merlot is delicious. I would say this is a Cabernet-lover’s Merlot. This wine is structured with a broad finish. The subtle flavors of vanilla on the finish of this wine are to die for.
*Fun fact: This wine received 91 pts from the WA Wine Panel 2021.
This Washington beauty will have you falling in love with Merlot all over again! Layers of plum, black cherry, pomegranate, chocolate and herbs fill the senses. The finish is big with structured tannins and notes of vanilla, fig and violets. This one is bold and beautiful and has time in bottle to make it close to perfection. And will only get better with age! Enjoy with a roast or a delicious burger.
That rounds out my tasting experience at Warr-King Wines. I encourage you to pay them a visit as well. This tasting room is full of energetic and passionate woman willing to share their love of wine with you. Lisa is actively involved in the newly formed organization called Alliance of Woman in Washington Wine. This organization focuses on connecting, inspiring and advancing women and their advocates in the Washington wine industry. You can learn more about this group here.
Thank you to the team at Warr-King Wines for all that you do and for inviting me to your rosé release weekend. I will be back very soon!
If you want to learn more about Warr-King Wines click the links below!