Daven Lore stands out among small producers

In the hills south of the Yakima Valley town of Prosser is one of Washington’s finest small wine producers.

The husband-and-wife team of Gord Taylor and Joan Davenport runs Daven Lore Winery.

Taylor, rarely seen without his Australian Outback hat, is the talented winemaker, while Davenport, who works at Washington State University’s Irrigated Agriculture Research &Extension Center in Prosser, is known in the valley as “Dr. Dirt” because of her work in soil microbiology.

Indeed, Davenport did the scientific work on the Snipes Mountain American Viticultural Area with grape grower Todd Newhouse. Snipes Mountain was approved as a federally designated grape-growing region in 2009.

On every bottle of Daven Lore is a drawing of Petro, the winery’s “mascot” — a coyote known to fill up on grapes from the vineyard. Petro has become so popular with the winery’s fans that Davenport and Taylor provide temporary Petro tattoos at events and in the tasting room.

Here are several Daven Lore wines we’ve tried recently. Ask for them at your favorite wine merchant or contact Daven Lore directly at 509-786-1575.

Daven Lore Winery 2012 Sweet Riesling, Yakima Valley, $15: Production of this off-dry Riesling was increased to meet demand. While he also excels at Riesling done dry, Taylor notes, “Not sweet enough is like making rhubarb pie without sugar and strawberries,” so he stopped fermentation here at 5 percent. Its alluring aromas are akin to pear pie, joined by candied apple, apricot, clove and jasmine. Flavors feature a rounded entry that leads with ripe pear and tropical notes, followed by sugared grapefruit with a cherry in the center.

Daven Lore Winery 2011 Malbec, Yakima Valley, $28: In the past few years, Taylor has become a welterweight champion vintner in Washington state, pound-for-pound one of the region’s best for the precise and consistent work with his small lots overlooking Prosser. Yet another example is this Malbec, which came from Crawford and Lonesome Spring Ranch vineyards. He created aromas of blackberry, Marionberry jam on toast, plum, Jolly Rancher grape candy, licorice and a hint of charcoal. There’s a swirling of blackberry and president plum flavors that brings loads of food-friendly acidity.

Daven Lore Winery 2010 Petit Verdot, Horse Heaven Hills, $28: Wine lovers who visit the farmers market in Prosser recognize Taylor and his Australian Outback hat. He continually creates wines of distinction at his efficient facility on the northern slope of the Horse Heaven Hills overlooking the Yakima River. And this is yet another. Using fourth-leaf fruit from Double Canyon Vineyard, he’s turned what is typically a Bordeaux blending variety into an intense bottling on its own. The nose is rich and inviting with blackberry and black cherry with dark chocolate and toast. It’s a mouth-filling experience that begins with more blackberry, picking up notes of plum, dried strawberry, black olive, teriyaki sauce, vanilla and Aussie black licorice. There’s good richness from beginning to end as the fruit keeps pushing alongside the age-worthy tannins.

Daven Lore Winery 2012 Dry Riesling, Yakima Valley, $15: Taylor builds two distinctly different styles of Riesling. He finished this bone dry with the pH at a brisk 3.02. The nose suggests fresh-pressed apple juice, ripe Bartlett pear, jasmine, lime and celery. The dry approach smacks you with a bite of Granny Smith apple and is backed by Asian pear. There’s great slate and lime peel in the finish.

Daven Lore Winery 2010 Decade Series Dr. Davenport Syrah Forte, Snipes Mountain, $28: While it doesn’t scream Port-style in the nose with its delicate cherry, raspberry and milk chocolate notes, this fortified dessert wine’s structure is dangerously good. Cherries, raspberries and chocolate-covered orange peel flavors come across as not overly sweet (10 percent residual sugar) with lip-smacking acidity.

Eric Degerman and Andy Perdue run Great Northwest Wine, a news and information company. Learn more at www.greatnorthwestwine.com.

Talk to us

More in Life

Bright beautiful background of ripe fruits. Organic healthy food.
On Nutrition: Fructose: The simple sugar with a bad reputation

You shouldn’t fear fructose, which is found naturally in fruit. But you should reduce or limit added sugars.

Hamilton-Beachbum Zombie served at Latitude 29 in New Orleans — and now your own home bar. (Randy Schmidt)
He cracked the Zombie code. Now he has his own Zombie rum

A new spirit from Jeff “Beachbum” Berry is here to reanimate your tiki cocktails.

What do ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ digestion look like in the loo?

There are many benefits of balanced digestion and many risks associated with imbalanced digestion.

Ask a Pediatrician: How high should SPF of kids’ sunscreen be?

The broad-spectrum sunscreen, which will screen out both UVB and UVA rays, should have a sun protection factor of at least 30.

In this easy appetizer, crostini are topped with puttanesca, a spicy sauce made with tomato, capers, olives, garlic and anchovy. (Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS)
Eat This: Puttanesca crostini part of feast of summer fishes

Top little crusts with a simple and spicy sauce made with anchovies, olives, tomatoes, capers and garlic.

Edmonds native and author Nova McBee at Brackets Landing Park on Friday, April 9, 2021 in Edmonds, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
This Edmonds’ writer’s YA novel offers ‘Calculated’ intrigue

Novelist Nova McBee’s newest work stars a teenage math prodigy trapped in a criminal underworld.

When battling a summer cold, a quick trip to the drugstore and a painless test to rule out Covid helps provide peace of mind. (Jennifer Bardsley)
When you get a cold even though you’re still wearing a mask

She stocked up on over-the-counter medicine at Walgreens after getting a drive-thru COVID-19 test.

Take long view on the big and small decisions of parenthood

It’s important to consider the bigger picture — the values and traits you hope to nurture in your children.

The night watchman signals “All’s well.”
Rothenburg’s night watchman a dangerous job in medieval times

The 15th-century German man would sing the ‘all’s well’ tune at the top of the hour through the night.

Most Read