Jean Claude Beck, wine maker for Woodhouse Wine Estates, passionately exclaims, “I do not make European blends, I do not make French wine-I make Washington State wines!” That he does! Beautiful, artistic wine with a gorgeous French familiarity. Jean Claude, who comes from a family that has been producing wine since 1579, believes that wine is wine and should be made in simple form. He achieves his goals by slow fermentation and low cooking temperatures to preserve the taste of the wine and provide the perfect balance. Jean Claude is very interactive with his growers and is highly involved with the choosing of his grapes.
While talking with the very innovative Jean Claude, you can feel the love that emanates from him about what he does best, and that is make wine. He will randomly pick grapes from the vine to taste them to see if they are suitable for his wine. At that point he will request that growers adjust the water levels, lay the grapes on the ground for a more earthy taste, or make whatever adjustments he feels necessary in the growing process to best highlight the characteristics of the fruit. After 40 years in the business, he has developed the amazing gift of doing all this purely by feel.
Mike and I were lucky enough to be greeted by their loyal and enthusiastic tasting room host, Mark. He has had the opportunity to work for wineries from California to New Zealand and he says that he loves working with Jean Claude. Mark introduced us to a beautiful Grenache rose that is very comparable to champagne. I loved it and I am making it my official holiday selection. I was also very impressed with the 2009 Petit Verdot, with it’s subtle floral notes and deep plum flavors. Mike really enjoyed the Malbec with it’s blueberry hint and rich deep coffee flavors, it is lovely.
Jean Claude invited us to a private tasting of his newly released Cab Franc and I must point out that he truly stuck with his motto of “wine should taste like wine”, because this particular Franc is very true to its heritage and was simply delightful.
Please visit this authentic, passionate winery and tell them that Kim sent you!
15500 Woodinville Redmond RD. NE
Woodinville, WA. 98072