(By Eve Bushman) I studied just a half page on the wines of Idaho when I was preparing to be tested (and pass) my American Wine Specialist® Certification course last year. Frankly, I was pretty intrigued by all of the U.S. states that found a way to make wine that fit their location, climate and soil conditions.

But I  didn’t expect to receive an entire case of wine from Idaho to taste and review. To do that, in a timely manner, I called in the “Big Guns” to help me: The Wine-y Women Unwind meet-up group led by Kathy Lockhart. Within three hours of her announcement, of a guided tasting and lesson for free (the wine was free, so it wouldn’t be right to charge for the tasting) our class was booked. The only thing we asked the 20 ladies in attendance to do was to bring a dish to share, and be prepared to take notes on aroma and flavor, with some help from me, so I could write up this article as a “collective tasting.”

Idaho Tasting Notes

(The first three or so descriptors in both aroma and flavor are mine, additional descriptors are notes from the Winey Women, overall favorites also noted.)


1. Cinder Small Lot Series Sauvignon Blanc, 2014

Aromas: Dried pineapple, honeydew melon, apricot, peach, Meyer lemon, green Granny Smith apple, grapefruit, pear, pepper, stone.

Flavors: The same flavors we found in the aromas also presented in the palate as well as black and white pepper and oak.


2. Fujishin Family Cellars Reserve Viognier, 2015

Aromas: Fruit cocktail, pear, tangerine, apple, floral, vanilla, strawberry, kiwi, passion fruit, almond, eucalyptus and lychee.

Flavors: Lavender, same fruit again as we found on the nose, as well as lavender, lemon, and cloves, with a back palate that was slightly bitter and earthy.


3. Hat Ranch Winery Dry Moscato, 2015

Aromas: Honeysuckle, Meyer lemon, kiwi, orange, tropical fruit, melon, lavender soap, grapefruit, cinnamon, yeast.

Flavors: Lemon twist, limeade, grapefruit, shorter finish.

Read more here: Eve’s Wine 101: Idaho Wine Country and the Wine-Y Women