Red Wine and Sweet Fruit — a Bergevin Lane review

bergevinSome red wines are so rich that you could have them for dessert. I don’t mean actual dessert wines: I mean a wine with so much fruit that it tastes like a yummy dessert. Actually, we paired this wine with a chocolate raspberry dessert. And it was really yummy.

Bergevin Lane Columbia Valley Calico Red 2006 is the wine I’m reviewing today. It’s made in Washington State wine country, and if you’ve been reading my posts, you know I really like Washington State reds. But Bergevin Lane is especially cool. Read the home page of their website and you’ll see why. Bergevin and Lane are the two women you see here, and their passion for good wine is real and obvious. Many other critics have agreed — Wine Spectator, The Wine Advocate, Wine & Spirits and others have already given their wines a boatload of 90+ ratings and rave reviews, and they’ve only been around since 2001! They’re also located in the town of Walla Walla, Washington — that’s just too much fun to pronounce, and makes me want to go visit there soon.

I’ve already explained why Eastern Washington State is such a perfect place to grow wine grapes, but here it comes again. First, it’s in a rain shadow created by the Cascade Mountains to their west, so the climate is dry and warm. The nights are cool, though, and in tech-talk there’s about a 30 degree Diurnal Temperature Shift. That means it’s typically 30 degrees cooler at night than it was during the day. That extreme cool-down lets the grapes stop growing every night, and creates good acid in the fruit.

The area is also at a more northerly latitude than the rest of the U.S. wine industry, and if you remember your 6th grade geography, you know that gives them longer days during the growing season (or more daylight hours) to ripen the grapes. So combine the good acid, and the very ripe fruit, and you get wine with great balance. Enough said?

So back to Calico Red. It’s a blend of several grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah in about equal amounts, a decent dash of Merlot and a pinch of Zinfandel. That sounds like a recipe for a fruit bomb, and Bergevin Lane actually bottles another blend called Fruit Bomb (which it certainly is). Calico Red offers plenty of jammy blueberry and cherry fruit, but there’s also a hint of spice and sweet vanilla oak on the finish. The Cab gives it some structure, and remember, there’s that Washington State acid to keep the palate in balance.

When we drank Calico Red at a wine and food pairing dinner, with Flourless Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Drizzle, it was truly a match made in heaven. Do yourself a favor and try this out. You probably won’t find the 2006 vintage, but the 2007 is every bit as good. Let me know what you think, and if anyone’s been to Walla Walla to visit the winery, please tell me about it!

Bergevin Lane Colico Red 2006

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14 Responses to “Red Wine and Sweet Fruit — a Bergevin Lane review”

  • Melissa Jones:

    So who are you that writes these reviews? Doesn’t say anywhere on your web site who you are. I think it’s great you finally found Calico Red. One of the best everyday drinking wines around.


    • admin:

      Hi Melissa — I’m Debbie The Wine Lady, and besides writing for this website, I own and manage a wine retail store. That’s how I came across Bergevin Lane, and I’ve used several of their wines for tastings and wine dinners. What other Washington State wineries do you like?

  • [...] And it’s not just those “foreigners” who are challenging the pecking order. Washington State is finally getting its due for top-quality reds that certainly rival anything from California, and many of them are in the $20 range.  (See my reviews for Tamarack Firehouse Red or Bergevin Lane Calico Red). [...]

  • Growing grapes is not as difficult as it may seem. Follow some sound advise and anyone can do it.

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  • Need a list of ‘big and bold’ cabernets ($20 or less per bottle), Chateau Ste Michelle 2008 90WS $18 is not big or bold enough, Novelty Hill 2006 92WS $25 is not big and bold enough, Cade 2007 92WS $60 comes close but is over $20, Seghesio Zinfandel 2008 88WS $25 is big and bold (but it is a zin), Zaca Mesa Syrah 2006 93WS $22 is big, bold and intense (but it is a syrah), D’Arenberg Shiraz, Australian The Stump Jump is big and bold (for only $10 per bottle), but it is a Shiraz. Need a list of Big and Bold cabernets that are reasonable price.

    • I like Boxhead Cabernet from Australia (around $12), J. Lohr from Paso Robles (around $18), Educated Guess from Napa Valley ($20), McManis from California ($12), Castillo de Molina from Chile ($10), 14 Hands from Washington State ($12). Are there any other varietals you’re working on?

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