Can you stand one more week of Chelan wineries? I hope so, because I've got two good ones for you to consider.
I wasn't able to meet husband-and-wife winemakers Dean and Heather Neff of Nefarious Cellars during last month's visit, but my hat is off to them for doing a super job with all of their current releases.
Heather is responsible for the white wines, and her 2010 Consequence (about $18) is a bold and beautiful effort. The blend of sauvignon blanc, aligoté, and a dash of viognier flaunts tropical fruit and floral aromatics with flavors of nectarine, apricot and key lime. Tasty, refreshing, and worthy of summertime sipping.
On the red side, Dean has crafted a 2008 Upland Vineyard Malbec (about $28) that I thought was one of the better red wines I tasted while in Chelan. Classic blackberry and black cherry juice, with spicy and cedary aromas and flavors, highlight what he terms as an "absolutely gulpable" wine.
For ordering information, call 509-682-9505 or visit nefariouscellars.com.
Another husband-and-wife team, Rob and Donna Mellison, are the driving force behind Mellisoni Vineyards, which is turning out wines that easily fall into Lake Chelan's upper echelon.
You'll need to make an appointment with Donna to visit the winery, where she says they "like to do things a little differently."
Turns out she wasn't kidding. For starters, they haven't broken ground on the tasting room, so you're likely to sample wines on the terrace adjacent to her home beneath the winery's steeply sloped vineyards. For a nominal $10 fee, you'll be treated to generous pours and a plate of meats, bread and cheeses.
After a leisurely two-hour visit, I left feeling this was one of the hidden gems among Washington wineries.
All of the Mellisoni whites strike just the right balance of fruit, acidity and residual sugar. The 2010 45 Degrees (about $32) is a lovely riesling and gewürztraminer blend, with honeysuckle aromas, tangy Granny Smith apple flavors and a twist of sweet lime zest, while the 2009 Riesling (about $25) exudes pear, melon and lime, with a touch of lemon drop candy on the finish.
The 2007 Syrah (about $30) is also a must-try, with blackberry jam flavors up front, a good splash of acidity for balance, and soft tannins along with a hint of coffee and cassis.
DAN RADIL is a wine enthusiast who lives in Bellingham. Reach him at danthewineguy.com.