Baer Winery


The Entrance

I was first introduced to the Baer Winery a couple of years ago when Julia and Clark opened up a bottle of 2006 Ursa.  I rather enjoyed it so on a later trip I drank one bottle of the 2007 Ursa and brought another bottle back home.  Knowing that I would be in Seattle this month I opened that sole bottle of 2007 Ursa before my trip.  It too was delicious.  I always planned on stopping by Baer during my Woodinville visit.   However, when I asked around for recommendations everyone suggested Baer but forewarned me they might be sold out of everything. It is considered an up and coming winery so it was interesting to receive the recommendations.

The Tasting Room

When I walked into the tasting room Lisa Baer was pouring wine.  She explained that the 2008 Ursa was sold out but they still had the 2010 Shard and 2008 Arctos.  Wine Spectator pre-released the scores for their wines and the 2008 Ursa received a huge 95 Points!  I believe the Arctos received 91 points.  I was a bit bummed because I wanted to return home with some Ursa.  Fortunately, there is a supply in the distribution chain so using the list of stores that carry Baer Wines I was able to bring a few bottles home.

Tanks

Baer Winery was founded in 2000 by Lance Baer.  From the initial release of 200 cases of Ursa in 2003, the winery has switched properties, introduced two more wines, and in 2007 settled in the Woodinville warehouse area.  The current production lies at 2,000 cases per year but may grow up to 2,500 cases per year.  Lance sadly passed away in 2007 leavint the winery to be owned and run by father Les and sister Lisa.  The grapes are exclusively sourced from Stillwater Creek Vineyard in the Columbia Valley.

Stainless Steel Barrels for the Shard

Following the tasting I was given a tour of the production area.  Every square foot of space is used.  I even spied cases of 2008 Ursa waiting for a distributor to pick it up!

New Barrels from Tonnellerie Sylvain

My follow-up post will contain my notes on the 2007 and 2008 Ursa.

Pallets of Wine (including Ursa) and Barrels

2010 Shard, Columbia Valley
This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from the Stillwater Creek Vineyard.  It was fermented and aged in 75 gallon Stainless Steel barrels.  There were 432 cases produced.  This was bottled less than three weeks prior to my tasting.  There is a good nose of grass and stones.  In the mouth there were flavors of white stone fruits, apples, in this crisp wine.  Not Rated.

2008 Arctos, Columbia Valley
This wine is a blend of 58% Cabernet Sauvignon, 39% Merlot, and 3% Petit Verdot.  The grapes were sourced from Stillwater Creek Vineyard.  It was aged for 19 months in 80% new French oak.  There is a good nose keeping the character of the winery with inky, dark purple fruits.  This is youthful compared to the Ursa with a savory quality to the dark fruit, “bay leaf”, and subtle, tasty tannic flavors.  I would personally cellar this for a couple of years.  Not Rated.

New Corks

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