Goose Ridge Vineyards 2019 WSU Cougars VIII Red Blend, Columbia Valley, $40

by | Apr 11, 2022 | Latest wine reviews, Outstanding, Washington | 0 comments

Georgia Tech grad Andrew Wilson took his chemical engineering degree and went onto become one of the first products of Walla Walla Community College’s Institute for Enology and Viticulture. He’s now in his eighth season as the winemaker for the Monson clan — “the Cougtastic Cougs at Goose Ridge Winery.” Wilson takes a GSM-ish approach by leading with Mourvèdre (38%), Syrah (19%) and Grenache (16%), tacking on Rhône sibling Petite Sirah (15%), then building more structure with Merlot (8%), Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Our panel couldn’t recall ever coming across such a “Rhône stranger” approach, but it’s an “Officially Licensed Collegiate Product” through the Washington State University Alumni Association’s Wine-By-Cougars program and comes together as snappy, juicy and smooth drink. Bright red fruit aromas, akin to red currant and raspberry, pick up pleasing secondary notes of ground savory, celery leaf and orange oil. There’s more on the palate, where there’s a pinch of black pepper, smooth plum-skin tannins and a pop of pomegranate in the rewarding finish. Suggested pairings include a charcuterie board featuring Cougar Gold cheese, Cougar Gold Mac & Cheese with sausage and mushrooms or this recipe by the WSU Creamery for Blue and Gold Sliders. And bottles of VIII are available at all four of the Goose Ridge tasting rooms — Richland, Walla Walla, Woodinville and Leavenworth.

Rating: Outstanding! – 92 points

Production: 1,000 cases

Alcohol 14.2%

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About Great Northwest Wine

Articles credited to Great Northwest Wine are authored by Eric Degerman and other contributors. In most cases, these are wine reviews that are judged blind by the Great Northwest Wine tasting panel.

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