In Which I Discover Phenomenal Cabernet from Mosquito Fleet Winery
Do you have those sacred places on earth where you feel at home, or somehow closer to heaven because of the beauty of the place? Is it a beach, a mountain, a cute small town? Hood Canal, WA is one such place that holds a special spot in my heart. My great-grandparents built a cabin out on a piece of property right on the water, and it’s still standing and in the family! It has been a huge part of my life, from childhood through parenthood. It’s been a refuge, especially during the pandemic when we were isolating and being careful. A place to fully relax and be.
In recent years, every time my husband and I would drive out for some down time at the cabin, we would pass by a tasting room in Belfair with “Mosquito Fleet Winery” printed in elegant script across the building, tempting us with the prospect of delicious wine. A wine-tasting room to me is like an iPad to a kid – very very hard to resist! 🙂 Every time we passed it we said to ourselves, “We’ve got to stop in there sometime.” But with young children in tow, and often on a tight schedule, it just didn’t happen.
Well, we finally DID stop in – last summer, I believe. Our kids were with us but they are older and better able to handle the occasional wine tasting with Mom and Dad every once in a while. It’s not like it takes all day to sip 5 or 6 wine pours… it’s good to learn some patience and that the day is not just about what they want to do. The people working at the tasting room were very kind and even gave the kids some popcorn and juice for a snack.
I should pause a second and give you a quick bit of history on the winery’s name. And I must say, it’s nice to have a Washington state winery pay tribute to local history rather than donning an awkward mock French name like Château Belfair or Domaine du Canal. 🙂 Also, while there are literal fleets of mosquitos at Hood Canal (I wish they didn’t love me quite so much – must be the wine in my bloodstream?), the name has no connection to that ecological fact. 😉
For those of you unfamiliar with the name, Mosquito Fleet refers to the fleet of various steamboats that transported people and cargo throughout the many waterways of Washington state, from the inlets of Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, from the 1840s until about the 1950s. Mosquito Fleet Winery honors the spirit of bringing people together through their wines. I love it!
Anyway, hubby and I each did a tasting and enjoyed the wines presented. We wound up going home with a gorgeous bottle of Mosquito Fleet Cabernet Sauvignon Columbia Valley 2019. To me, this was a standout wine – the kind of excellent Washington Cabernet Sauvignon you can pull out and enjoy with an equally excellent steak dinner, or simply to savor uninhibited. Perfect for Memorial Day BBQ fare, I may add.
Here are the details of this particular wine:
355 cases produced
95% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc
From the winemaker: “A beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon with notes of blueberry, blackberry and anise. It has a beautifully full mouthfeel with nice, juicy acids and beautifully rounded out tannins that linger. It was aged predominantly in new French oak barrels which lend a nice aroma of oak and elegance.”
My impression: superb fruit, rich yet elegant, appealing texture, noteworthy balance – a wine of outstanding quality! ❤
Mosquito Fleet Winery prides itself on producing wines that are “hand-crafted with time-tested ‘Old World’ winemaking techniques of centuries past. This small lot, labor intensive approach helps produce memorable wines and memorable times for any occasion.”
As someone who just purchased a very disappointing bottle of cheap-sad-crap-red from the grocery store for our latest excursion to the Canal (I’ll blame the economy, whether I’m justified or not), I understand and appreciate the effort that goes into crafting fine Cabernet Sauvignon using the best fruit, the best winemaking techniques, and new French oak barrels. There is such a difference, and while I can’t afford to drink higher-priced wines every day (let’s be real, I don’t drink wine every day), if I want to experience real pleasure from a wine, I usually have to spend a bit more. But it’s well worth it. There truly is nothing like a truly fine wine. Truly. 🙂
Hood Canal is a beautiful place to relax and unwind, especially with a visit to Mosquito Fleet Winery thrown in. Go try it sometime. Maybe it will become one of your special places. ❤
Let’s toast to those who made the greatest sacrifice on this Memorial Day 2023. ❤
Special thanks to Jacquie for your assistance in answering my questions!