Oct. 1, 2014
They gathered to swirl, sip and savor, and Whidbey Island’s Ott & Murphy Winery came out on top, looking rosy, and tasting delicious.
Among the approximately 1,300 wine entries submitted to the prestigious Seattle Wine Awards, Ott & Murphy scored high, winning three Double Gold medals, one Gold, three Silver and a Bronze in the 2014 annual competition. It’s the largest yearly evaluation of Washington State wines, when a world-class panel of local, national and international wine professionals gather in April to taste wines in a single-blind format in which grape variety or style is known, but not price or producer.
Despite its small size, the consistent yield of top Seattle Wine Awards means Ott & Murphy Wines can now breathe the prestigious, top-of-the-mountain air of the state’s best artisan wineries. These well-deserved heights suit the winery’s senior winemaker, Eric Murphy (also a mountain guide), as well as its managing winemaker, David Ott, both of whom strive to reflect the excellence of Washington’s stellar grapes.
“We see OM as a regional standard-bearer for the exceptional wine grapes being grown in eastern Washington,” Ott said.
Ott believes the winery’s success is dependent on its careful selection of those Washington vineyard sites growing the sophisticated wine grapes that even Napa wineries envy.
“Our winery’s future lies in its well-established relationships with Washington’s fine vineyards in the Yakima Valley, such as Dick Boushey (of Boushey Vineyard) and Joe Hattrup (of Elephant Mountain Vineyard), whose vines figure in several of our winery’s vineyard-designate wines,” Ott added.
So confident are they in the excellence of these meticulously-grown grapes that Ott & Murphy expects their next several releases to impress national wine journals, such as Wine Enthusiast, where both red and white Ott & Murphy wines have repeatedly scored an impressive 91 points.
Artisan winemakers like Ott & Murphy blend age-old winemaking techniques with contemporary science to bring out the elegance of the Washington grape. The art of the vintner, they believe, lies in being able to reveal the skills and hard work of the vineyardist, who produces the perfect grape, so that Ott & Murphy can continue to make excellent wine.
And the winners are: 2009 Petite Syrah, Gold; 2012 Marsanne, Double Gold; 2012 Roussane, Double Gold; 2010 Syrah, Double Gold; 2009 Radieux (Bordeaux blend), Silver; 2010 Malbec, Silver; 2012 Possesion, Silver; 2013 Chanson Rose, Bronze.
Select OM wines can be found on Whidbey Island at the Star Store in Langley, The Goose Grocery in Bayview, and at bayleaf and Local Grown in Coupeville. They’re also offered at fine island restaurants including Christopher’s, The Front Street Grill and the Oystercatcher, all in Coupeville.
The full complement of available Ott & Murphy Wines are available by the bottle, glass or in a tasting at Ott & Murphy Winery’s unique Tasting Room and Cabaret by the Sea, on the waterfront in downtown Langley.
Visit Ott & Murphy Winery website or visit the Tasting Room at 204 First St. in Langley. Call 360-221-7131 for more information or reservations to the cabaret.
Pictured at top: Apprentice winemaker Chris Hunter works the press at Ott & Murphy Winery in Clinton on Whidbey Island. (photo courtesy of Ott and Murphy)