Looking for wow-factor wines with prices that won’t make you run in fear? Look no further than Alexandria Nicole Cellars.
Founded in 2001 by Jarrod and Ali Boyle, Alexandria Nicole Cellars hosts tasting rooms on both the West (Woodinville, WA) and East (Prosser, WA) sides of Washington State, so you can easily acquire a bottle to sip on. They are also widely distributed, so if you find yourself located somewhere that isn’t quite a quick drive to either tasting room, you can still be in luck.
Jarrod Boyle grew up in Prosser, WA and following graduating from college, worked as the business manager for a farm on the eastside of the State. His transition to wine took place in 1996 when Hogue Cellars convinced him to make a switch and join their team as a viticulturalist.
The next step in a wine career is to launch your own vineyard, right? For most of us, owning an operating a vineyard is and will always remain a dream, and reality that is the way it should be. Managing a vineyard is not a simple task when you want it to be done right. Jarrod is someone that knows how to do right, so I’m happy to see this venture stay in the hands of awesome people like him.
In 1998, Jarrod Boyle partnered with the Mercers (of Mercer Estates) to cultivate and plant a vineyard on a 264-acre site overlooking the Columbia River. This vineyard is named Destiny Ridge and to this day remains the estate vineyard of Alexandria Nicole Cellars. This spot is also home to the Alexandria Nicole winery, but that didn’t come about until a few years later.
Three years following the establishment of Destiny Ridge Vineyard (2001), Alexandria Nicole Cellars launched. As of October 2014, their website states that they produce approximately 10,000 cases of wine per year. This size of production keeps them in the medium-sized winery category, which is a great place to be – it is not such a large production size that the artisanal skills of a good winemaker must be cast aside, while also being large enough to provide wines priced extremely competitively for their quality.
Like beer as well as wine?
If you are a fan of beer, you’ve probably heard of Dogfish Head Brewery, what’s more likely, is that you’ve tried a bottle or two. They’re kind of a big deal in the world of craft beer. Dogfish Head is known for producing quirky and unique beers. One such example of this is Noble Rot. Have you had a bottle of this stuff? It’s pretty darn delicious. At this point, you’re probably wondering why I’ve gone on for an entire paragraph about Dogfish Head and beer. Well, next time you find yourself at a beer shop, check out a bottle of Noble Rot. You’ll notice that the beer is actually a wine-beer hybrid. And guess who’s the wine part of that hybrid equation? Yup – Alexandria Nicole Cellars.
Alexandria Nicole provides Dogfish Head with botrytis-infected viognier and pinot gris grapes to use in this beer. I can hear you again, “Infected? So they’re sending them their bad grapes?” It’s the exact opposite. The botrytis infection is known as the “noble rot” (hence the name of the beer), as it instills a unique flavor profile, that is often sought for late harvest rieslings (dessert style wines). Each vintage, a very small percentage of grapes are lucky enough to be “infected” by botrytis, which makes them a premium product. Adding to their value is the fact that botrytis infect grapes must be harvested by hand. A steady hand that is willing to search through the vines to identify individual clusters that were infected and caringly clip those clusters off one-by-one. Knowing these details helps to provide reasoning behind why Dogfish Head Brewery must slap a hefty price on a bottle Noble Rot. Trust me, it is worth every penny.
The joint effort between Alexandria Nicole Cellars and Dogfish Head Brewery sounds like it may be just the beginning of unique adventures with wine for Jarrod Boyle. In an interview with Wine Press Northwest (after being named their 2011 Winery of the Year), Jarrod expressed his interest in a variety of additional projects. Based on the quality and success of Alexandria Nicole as well as Noble Rot, we could only be so lucky if those other endeavors become a reality.
Where to Find Them – Tasting Room Location(s)
Woodinville – Hollywood School House
Address: 1410 Northeast 145th Street, Woodinville, WA 98072
Hours: Open daily 12 – 5pm | Friday night happy hour 5-8pm (Club Members Only)
Prosser Tasting Room
Address: 2880 Lee Road, Suite D, Prosser, WA 99350
Hours: Open daily 12 – 5pm
Destiny Ridge Vineyard and Winery
Address: 158422 W. Sonova Road, Prosser, WA 99350
Hours: By appointment only
Wines Worth Checking Out
Jet Black Syrah
“Whole berry fermentation leads the way for this deep and dense black in color Syrah. There’s an energy driving the wine, immediately apparent in the sultry aromas of blackberries, huckleberry, mocha, lavender, and espresso. The flavors are thick and saturated, coating the mouth with dark cherry, toffee, cedar and a delicate leathery spice. A very generous mid-palate with loads of texture yet it manages to stay fresh and elegant, with juicy acidity, very fine, silky and sleek tannins, and a brilliant finish that certainly doesn’t lack for length.” – 2012 Vintage, Winery Description
“Light Straw in color, this off-dry Riesling expresses luscious aromas of dried apricot, honeysuckle and baked apple. Delightfully fresh, the palate shows bright and crisp flavors of peach, tropical fruit and freshly squeezed lime juice. With its balanced acidity and a touch of sweetness, Alexandria Nicole’s estate White Riesling is mouthwatering and precise. Serve chilled for casual sipping or pairs perfectly with glazed ham, spicy Thai dishes and pate de foie-gras.” – 2012 Vintage, Winery Description