2016 Latah Creek Huckleberry d'Latah
The first release of Latah Creek’s Huckleberry wine was in 1996, making this vintage its 20th Anniversary. This wine has become so popular, it has been dubbed “Spokane’s #1 wine” and currently makes up 50% of production. Father/daughter winemaking team, Mike and Natalie, contribute this success to the quality of the wine in the blend. Using primarily Riesling, this wine’s first name was actually Huckleberry Riesling. But due to federal law changes, a fruit name and a grape name can no longer be together on a label; they changed it to include the winery name in an Italian fashion, Huckleberry d’Latah. Also, because of the fruit addition, they are not allowed to put an appellation or vintage date on the label. The wine used is always from the same vintage and from Columbia Valley AVA. It is truly a taste of the Northwest.
Every vintage of Huckleberry is a little different in varietal makeup due to harvest amounts, final wine production amounts, and more; but it is always 75%-90% Riesling. This wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks at cooler temperatures, to retain its forward fruit characteristics. A higher acid level was left in the wine to keep it from cloying, and to keep it fresh and crisp. The addition of natural fruit juice and concentrate give the wine a deeper fruit character and a beautiful color.
Bold berry and sweet honeysuckle nuances greet your nose. The subtle blueberry flavors of the wild huckleberry upon first sip compliment the spun sugar, and ripe pear from the Riesling, and florals and grape flavors from the Muscat Canelli. A crisp acid, with a hint of ginger, minerality, and grape linger.
Enjoy this wine by itself, with citrus salads, pork, chicken, or lighter summer meals, such as Ellena’s Greek Bread Salad recipe published in her latest cookbook.